People and Personalities
Mr Bond, I expect you to die!
The new James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace is set to hit the Big Screen – with a bad guy from Bedfordshire!
A hero is only as interesting as the villains he defeats, and surely one of the main reasons for our enduring interest in the exploits of James Bond is the variety of colourful enemies he has outfoxed over the years.
In the past, it has always been easy to spot the bad guy, the clues were obvious – the metal jaw, an eye that wept blood and who could forget Blofeld with his trademark white cat?
Donald Pleasance as Bond villain Blofeld
Today's Bond villain is subtle and not so easy to spot. There will be a façade – good looks and sharp suits, he'll be almost charming but with a dangerous smile…
Step forward Neil Jackson, with his classic good looks, square jaw and a background in competitive boxing Neil has all the credentials for the perfect Bond henchman.
But how does a boy from Bedfordshire become a Bond villain?
As a boy, Neil lived with his family in Barton Le Clay and attended Harlington Upper School. His drama teacher saw Neil's potential, placing him in several of the school plays including Annie, Little Shop of Horrors, Hard Times, and West Side Story. Neil was by all accounts an adventurous child, participating in many school sports, competing for both his school and county in rugby, swimming and tennis.
Neil's first professional acting job was a UK National touring production of Strindberg's classic "Miss Julie", in which Neil understudied the lead character, Jean. A role he took over in the West End production later that year.
Daniel Craig as Bond
However, Neil's big break came when Oliver Stone cast him as Perdiccas in Alexander.
More screen roles have followed, including being cast as the evil henchman Mr Slate in the latest Bond film 'Quantum of Solace'.
We caught up with Neil to find out how he landed the role and to ask what it's really like working with Daniel Craig.
Listen to the interview here:
Quantum of Solace is the 22nd James Bond film by EON Productions, due for release in the United Kingdom on 31 October 2008.
The sequel to the 2006 film Casino Royale, it is directed by Marc Forster, and features Daniel Craig's second performance as James Bond.
last updated: 08/10/2008 at 12:07