Date: 12th December 2002

Director Blasts 007 Critics

MOVIE firebrand Lee Tamahori has made a withering attack on critics of his James Bond film Die Another Day (2002).
The New Zealand-born director said he had to rescue Bond from becoming a sexless, politically correct wimp.

"James Bond is a loner who parades around saving the world, bedding women and driving fast cars," he said.

"You don't want to get all namby-pamby and have him all new age and crystal-gazing."

In an extraordinary tirade, Tamahori:

WISHED death upon North Korean leaders.

BRANDED the anti-smoking lobby a nonsense.

CHIDED his producer for cutting a sex scene in which Bond had "the best lay of his life".

CALLED most Hollywood insiders liars.

CONSIDERED it a "mistake" to cast supermodel Elle Macpherson in his Edge, The (1997).

Koreans, cast as villains in Die Another Day, have slammed Tamahori's film as culturally ignorant and degrading.

Anti-smoking groups are fuming over Tamahori's insistence that Pierce Brosnan's Agent 007 puff on a cigar in the film, but Tamahori was unrepentant.

"All this political correctness from the anti-smoking lobby is just a nonsense," he said.

"There are not going to be 100,000 teenage boys picking up cigars because Pierce smoked in this movie.

It is a foolish, politically correct notion.

"Let Pierce set his feet on fire and see if the kids follow suit.

And to hell with North Korea. It's a basket-case country.

"The sooner its leaders all roll over and die, the better."

Before scripting a sex scene between Brosnan and co-star Halle Berry, Tamahori asked producer Barbara Broccoli if there was a "rule book . . . to not offend anybody".

When she said no, Tamahori replied: "Good. Let's give James Bond the best lay of his life. Let's go out there and try to offend everybody."

Later, Broccoli ordered cuts to the scene, which Tamahori described as "hot stuff".

"Pierce and Halle hammering away at it, basically . . . but in America, you're not allowed to thrust, moan or see anything," he said.

"You can chop someone's head off, though."

Tamahori said his decision to cast Elle Macpherson in Edge, The (1997) was a "mistake".

"In retrospect, I think I could have found an actress to do the part better," he said.

Tamahori, whose credits include Once Were Warriors (1994) and two brutal episodes of The Sopranos, said he was not afraid to speak his mind.

Herald Sun

Source: Press Release



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