Congratulations Luciana -
Thunderball was voted number 5 in 007 MAGAZINE readers' 50th
anniversary poll. Why do you think Bond fans love the film so much?
“I think it's because it was an easy story to follow. It wasn't over
gimmicky. I watched it for the first time in I don't know how many
years recently when I was in my house in Mexico and some friends of
mine said: "We want to see it! We want to see it again!" And I sat
through it for a while and I said: "Look at the special effects from
all those years ago, today they would do more, more, more!" But I
really think that, not just Thunderball but all the first few
Bond pictures were easy to follow. You knew who the bad guys were
and who the good guys were, they weren't complicated. Although my
own favourite one is actually From Russia With Love!
Why do you like From Russia With Love so much?
It was a great story. I thought the first one [Dr. No] was
too simple, but as soon as they had success and they could spend a
little bit of money… I also loved the train sequence. I just thought
that it was a great movie. But then I loved all of Terence Young's
films. I was very partial to Terence's direction, I must say!
Having watched Thunderball recently, what would you pick
out as your favourite scene or sequence in the film?
Hmmm! Oh God! That's difficult! You know, because my husband fell in
love with me because of this scene, I would say the scene where I
throw the motorcycle down into the water, then I take off my helmet.
My husband years later said to me: "When I saw you in that scene, I
thought: 'this is the woman for me!'" And now we've been married 33
years, so I have to be partial to that scene!
You didn't like the motorbike much either did you? Were you glad
to get rid of it?
Well, yes because after half an hour or so of lessons I mixed up the
accelerator with the brake and had an accident where I flew into a
wall and got yelled at by Terence!
So how does it feel to have been in a film that is such a
significant part of Bond and film history? A film that is still so
You know, for a period, when Thunderball came out they said
it had made more money than any other Bond film, if you translated
the price of the tickets. Can you verify that?
Absolutely, on ticket sales and taking inflation into account,
Thunderball is number 1 by a long way.
So they were right when they told me that! Well, now I'm really
upset that it wasn't number one [in the poll]! [laughs]. How many
Bond movies have been made? 21? 22? I want to know who came ahead of
OHMSS was voted number one!
Which one was that?
The 1969 007 film starring George Lazenby as James Bond.
Are you serious? And some people used to say he was the worst Bond.
He must be so happy!
What is your happiest memory from working on Thunderball?
It's very tough to come up with just one moment, but I think the
whole atmosphere when we were shooting. It was always such fun. I
never made another movie like that where nobody was upset, where
everybody got along. All the movies I made before and after, never
was I in a situation where people were so relaxed and happy. And
Terence, of course, made it so easy for all of us. Being on the set
was like being in a movie within a movie - on the set at night with
dinner under candlelight! One moment in particular though was the
telephone call when they told me I was going to be Fiona. I was at
my happiest when I got that news. I remember exactly where I was
sitting in my attic in Rome, looking over St. Peter's. That was my
happiest moment. And after that everything else was such a breeze!
Thank you Luciana, and congratulations again on being part of one
of the favourite five Bond movies of 007 MAGAZINE readers!
Thank you! I can't wait to see the next copy of 007 MAGAZINE.