Sir Roger Moore, who died this week at the age of 89, achieved fame and fortune with a gun in his hand.
The English actor played many roles in his life, but none came close in stature to his time as James Bond ― a beautiful, talented, dangerous hero of a man who lived life with his signature Walther PPK gun always within sight and on the ready.
Between 1973 and 1985, Moore would play the iconic character seven times ― a number only matched by Sean Connery. But despite his close association with the Bond franchise, Moore actually came to hate guns at a young age, and especially despise the way society glorified men who wielded them as he got older.
“I regret that sadly heroes in general are depicted with guns in their hands.”
“Of course I do not regret the Bond days,” Moore once said, according to BBC.
“I regret that sadly heroes in general are depicted with guns in their hands, and to tell the truth I have always hated guns and what they represent.”
In his memoir, My Word Is My Bond, Moore explained that his feelings on firearms were born in childhood. As a young kid, a gun once “blew up in [his] hands, which deafened [him] for a few days.” Then, as a teenager, a friend shot him in the leg with a BB gun.
The fear from those incidents carried over over into adulthood. As Bond, Moore would “clench [his] eyes” as he squeezed the trigger of a fake gun ― “an old Gary Cooper trick,” he said.
While filming 1974’s “The Man With the Golden Gun,” director Guy Hamilton wanted More to embrace the idea of a more violent Bond.
“That sort of characterization didn’t sit well with me,” Moore wrote in his book. “I suggested my Bond would have charmed the information out of her by bedding her first. My Bond was a lover and a giggler, but I went along with Guy.”
When he sat down and watched the last of his seven Bond films ― 1985’s “A View to a Kill” ― he found himself disgusted by the level of violence.
“That wasn’t Bond,” he later told Reuters.
“I played every role tongue-in-cheek because I don’t really believe in that sort of hero.”
“I am happy to have done it, but I’m sad that it has turned so violent,” he said in 2008.
Later in his life, Moore became “completely opposed to small arms and what they can do to children.” He had a hard time even looking at photos of his iconic pose with a Walther PPK gun.
Moore received some criticism for his portrayal of Bond as a sillier, funnier man than many of the actors who came before or after him. But Moore said that was more than intentional.
“I played every role tongue-in-cheek because I don’t really believe in that sort of hero,” he said in 2001.
He added, “I don’t like guns.”