George Lazenby Far Eastern Odyssey By Bey Logan

September 17 2017 at 11:48 AM
Nick Clarke  (Login pathfinder73)

Response to Re: To Nick - George Lazenby left Singapore around July 10 – 13, 1973

Bey Logan: George can I ask you to take us back to 1973, and your first encounter with Bruce?

George Lazenby: Well it almost didn’t happen. I was in Hong Kong and I called Raymond Chow at Golden Harvest, and he asked me to come up to his studios. I was so flat broke at the time, I had to take the bus from Hyatt Hotel to Golden Harvest. It took me about three hours! When I finally got there, I met Raymond, and Raymond called Bruce, who was in the editing rooms, and Raymond said “Look, I’ve got George Lazenby here. Come and meet him”. And Bruce was like “I’m not interested…” What I didn’t realise at that time was that, whatever Raymond suggested, Bruce wouldn’t like it! Anyway, I guess Raymond persisted, and I did get to meet Bruce.

Bey Logan: So he wasn’t impressed that you’d made the Bond film?.

George Lazenby: Not at all. In fact the thing that really excited him was my interest in Philosopher J.Krishnamurti. When I first met Bruce, I was waiting for a bus near the Golden Harvest film studios. We were going to have lunch. This car pulled up, and in the back seat were, Bruce and the reigning Mr Hong Kong (Bolo Yeung), and in the front were his wife Linda and his secretary. The car pulls up behind them, and it’s a Mercedes with just Raymond Chow in the back.. Bruce says “Get in this car,” I say “But there’s no room”, so the secretary gets out, and I get in. I think she’s going to get into Raymond’s car, but she gets back in on my lap!. Then off we go, and then were pulled over by the police. There’s a typhoon warning up, so we have to get off the road. So we have a police escort to the restaurant., and we haven’t booked, so you can imagine…

Bey Logan: In walk Bruce Lee James Bond and Bolo… Now THAT’S a Kodak moment.

George Lazenby: They had to wheel out this big round table, and we had lunch. Now, Bruce could tell that I was broke, so he turns to Raymond and say “Give George (U.S) $10,000 and Raymond goes “What! Why?”. Bruce goes “We’re going to make a film with him,” and Raymond goes “What film?”. Bruce goes never mind what film. Just write the cheque. I later found that Raymond Chow had a 49.9 percent share in the (Concord) company, and Bruce had a 51.1 percent share, so Bruce was calling the shots. Raymond wrote the cheque. After lunch, the typhoon warning had been taken down, and Bruce took me to the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank to cash the cheque, then took me to his tailor, and had they fit me for a suit, which they made the same day.

Bey Logan: How did Krishnamurti come into it?.

George Lazenby: When we were in the car, Bruce was talking away about his Philosophy, and so on, and he talked about the fact that there would never be peace in the world until we got rid of different religions, because different religions caused chaos, and I said “That’s not you, that’s Krishnmurti”. He was surprised I knew Krishnmurti, and even more impressed that Id actually been to visit Krishmurti in India. After that we were like Brothers, I was with him at breakfast, lunch and dinner, because soon he knew I had to go back to London, where my wife was going to have a baby.

Bey Logan: How specific was he about the plans he had for you?.

George Lazenby: I was going to be in Game Of Death, and then, the way he talked about it, we were going to be in a whole string of pictures together. He told me that id be playing good guys, and that He’d never kill me off in his films. He’d call me at three in the morning, and say “What about this idea?”, and id be half asleep going “What…?”!. In the morning I could remember a word he’d said!. He told me not to worry that I'd never studied Martial Arts, he’d teach me.

Bey Logan: How did you find Bruce character, at that time, with his regards to dealing with other people?

George Lazenby: He was a very strong-willed person, very sure of himself. He wasn’t someone you wanted to mess with. One day, he asked Raymond Chow to pick me up, and Raymond sent Golden Harvest Executive Andre Morgan instead. When he arrived, Bruce got Raymond on the phone and said “Next time I ask you to pick up George, you pick him up yourself”! He never forgot the way Hollywood treated him, the way they didn’t trust a Chinese guy to star in a film. I was there in his house in what turned out to be the last days of his life, and he had Warner Bros calling him on the phone everyday, begging him to sign a three picture deal, and he was turning them down. Huge money. They were offering him whatever he wanted, but he insisted that he had to make it on his own terms. He really was the biggest star in the world when he died.

Bey Logan: You were still in Hong Kong when he died?

George Lazenby: Yes. I was there, waiting for him in the restaurant with Raymond Chow. For years, no one knew I was there, because no-ever asked me about it!, obviously Bruce never come and I went back to my hotel, and, the next thing I know, someone called me “Bruce Lee's dead” I couldn’t believe it.

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  • Another interview - Nick Clarke on Sep 17, 2017, 11:54 AM
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