Universal Exports' latest chat is with Sri Lankan film superstar actor/director/producer Albert Moses who has had parts in two Bond films: The Spy Who Loved Me and Octopussy. Read on to learn about Mr. Moses' film career: from the “Carry On” films, to Bond, to Granada’s Sherlock Holmes television series, to MIND YOUR LANGUAGE!
Are there any locations in your native Sri Lanka that you think would suit the epic sweep of the Bond movies?
Oh yes, in Sri Lanka the beaches are a treat with miles of golden sand lined with coconut palm trees, fishing villages spread all along the beaches. The sea is so crystal clear with shades of blue and green and the sky is eternally blue. It is simply a paradise on earth. It will beat the Bahamas any time. No wonder they call it the Pearl in the Indian Ocean.
If you go inland, the country side is so beautiful, meandering rivers, green hills and valleys full of colour with exotic blooms. Filming there will also be much cheaper because of the exchange rate of 175 Rupees to a pound sterling. There is also a thriving film industry there to help with finding the right location and the people are so friendly and speak good English, so there is no shortage of local talent. All in all, a perfect country for Bond.
Albert Moses Face Card
You have appeared in a number of classic British institutions: the Bond movies, the Carry On films and the Granada Sherlock Holmes TV series. How significant do you think Britain's cultural output has been on a world stage?
Britain stands upper most in its cultural output and indeed its contribution is very significant. I can bravely without any doubt say that Britain leads the world in Cultural output.
Do you see the Bond movies you appeared in as highlights in your successful career?
There were so many favorite memories - particularly with Roger. Such a funny guy and so loved by all his fellow actors.
Do you take the charge of racism in the Bond movies seriously? For instance, some critics have complained that Octopussy is offensive towards Indians. Do you see any truth in this?
I don't think there is any racism in Bond movies. The stories are such that there is bound to be cultural clashes and misunderstandings written in to add spice to the story lines but there is no intention of any racism.
Perhaps, the critics complain about Octopussy may be referring to the line, where Bond (Roger Moore) while handing over some Indian Rupees to Sadruddin, played by me says "this will keep you in curry for sometime." Perhaps this may be considered a racist remark by the critics. To me it was a joke.
If you were asked to do another Bond film, would you say yes, and which part would you ideally like to play? After playing one of Bond's allies, perhaps a villain? Which Bond film would you have really liked to star in?
Albert Moses and Roger Moore on the set of Octopussy
Of course I will say “yes” to another Bond. You hit the nail on the head, I would love to play a villain, I could bring in a bit of humour too to the part with my experience of playing Ranjeet Singh in 47 episodes of the situation comedy MIND YOUR LANGUAGE, which had a viewing figure of 16 million in the UK and sold to 32 countries. A villain with a touch of humour will go down well with Bond fans.
The part of Kamal Khan in Octopussy would be my choice to star as. I would have added a bit of Indian panache and charm to it.
Are you able to tell our readers what it was like to work with “Cubby” Broccoli? Was he accommodating to your needs?
Cubby Broccoli is a gentleman, Very kind and considerate, so is Barbara his daughter who literally took charge of Octopussy during its shoot in India. They are a great family, so committed to the success of Bond and those who appear in it.
Are you a Bond fan, if so do you have a favourite film?
I am indeed a Bond fan and have the entire collection. It is so difficult to have a favourite film. They are all different in many ways. Each one has its own attraction.
Albert Moses, Roger Moore and director John Glen on the set of Octopussy
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What are your thoughts on Louis Jourdan’s portrayal of Kamal Khan in Octopussy?
Unfortunately, not being an Asian, Louis Jordan was at a disadvantage playing an Indian, so naturally the Indian charm was not there. It was a wonderful part for an Asian actor, then I may be prejudiced due to the fact that I would have liked to play the part.
How were you approached to be in Octopussy? Did you test for the role?
I had to go for two auditions for the part before being offered the role of Sadruddin. My having appeared in The Spy Who Love Me was a plus. Of course when I was cast for the role of Sadruddin the British agent in India under cover as a taxi driver, there was no other Indian agent but Sadruddin. The role of the Indian agent was split later on.
What was the most enjoyable experience about your role in a Bond film?
The most enjoyable experience, as far as I am concerned was when I lost control of the Three Wheel taxi [in Octopussy] and crashed it on set. There was no damage.
You’re also cast in the latest Carry On film titled Carry On: London set for release this year. Is there anything that you can tell us about your character?
The script of Carry On: London is being re-written so I am unable to give any details of the character, but it is certainly a funny character.
Who is your favorite James Bond?
Who's your pick for the next Bond actor?
A word from the interviewer:
It is my pleasure to thank the very kind Albert Moses for all his assistance and willingness to complete this great and insightful interview. I will also thank him gratefully for allowing us to use his exclusive Octopussy photo. Thank you very much, Albert! I would highly recommend you visit Mister Moses’ official site at www.albertmoses.com.
Questions written by Allan Johnstone, Andy Bragg and Adam Farrington-Williams.
Buy Albert Moses' Bond Movies
The Spy Who Loved Me