Why Don't You Relax, Mr Bond? Trust Me, Nobody Here Is after You

Cape Times (South Africa), June 5, 2007 | Go to article overview

Why Don't You Relax, Mr Bond? Trust Me, Nobody Here Is after You


Capetonians are forever complaining about streets being cordoned off, cars getting blown up, people plummeting off buildings, and naked women running through the city.

This makes Cape Town sound a lot more fun than it really is. The sad reality is that all this excitement is carefully stage managed for the benefit of 35mm Arriflex cameras.

People get shot in Johannesburg. Movies get shot in Cape Town. I'm not always sure who is worse off. Them, I suppose. At least we have the ocean.

Gracing the Mother City with his exalted presence at the moment is Daniel Craig, star of the latest James Bond movie. I never fully appreciated Casino Royale because halfway through it I went foraging for something to take the brutal edge off my Klip-nip, and when I returned I discovered that I had lost the plot.

It seems I'm not the only one. From the moment Craig landed at Cape Town International Airport, he has been behaving like a highly strung paranoiac in a badly managed witness protection programme. With all the ducking and diving between the terminal and the car park, I'm surprised his deviant behaviour never aroused the suspicions of our airport police. Okay, I'm not all that surprised.

There is a disturbing similarity in the behavioural patterns of an American film star appearing in his latest movie and a member of the Americans gang appearing in his latest court case. Both go to extreme lengths to avoid being photographed. Both behave as though they have something to hide. Both appear as guilty as hell.

While we know the gangster probably did kill the dealer who was muscling in on his turf, we also know that Chuck Norris has never actually killed anyone.

Or so Hollywood would have us believe. However, plenty of B-grade actors have died in violent films, never to be seen in anything again. Countless extras have been gunned down in crossfire or mangled in car wrecks. Where are they today? Buried in unmarked graves across the Mojave Desert, that's where.

I suspect this is one of the reasons South Africa has become such a hot destination for foreign film-makers. Deaths are so much more realistic when lead characters can use live ammunition without the producer having to worry about local cops following up on missing persons reports.

Soon after giving a non-existent pack of paparazzi the slip, Craig and his bevy of burly bodyguards arrived on set deep in the menacing slums of Bantry Bay. Frankly, it wasn't so much a set as a shiny new Range Rover parked outside an upmarket restaurant. Nevertheless, his fawning lickspittles moved like greased lightning to shield him from the prying eyes of the media.

The scene involved our hero sitting in the car talking on his cellphone. Then he stepped out of the car and said something to someone nobody could see. …

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