It’s tough being James Bond in real life

":James Bond? Never heard of him!"

“James Bond? Never heard of him!”

It’s one thing to be James Bond in a movie. It’s something else entirely to be James Bond in real life. Ian Fleming, of course, “simply stole” the name of the real-life ornithologist (1900-1989) while writing his first novel, Casino Royale, in 1952. The world-famous name has caused problems for some men ever since.

That, at least is the premise of a new documentary, The Other Fellow. The film was directed by Matthew Boyer, who told us about what prompted the project.

Am writing to show you a preview of a documentary called “The Other Fellow” about real men around the world named James Bond and how the popularity of the films and the character has affected their lives. It was shot in the leadup to the release of Skyfall, a period that heavily effects the day to day life of these real-life James Bonds.


The title comes from George Lazenby’s famous line in OHMSS “this never happened to the other fellow” – said in reference to his more famous predecessor Sean Connery. For the Bond’s in our film this seemed appropriate, living in the shadow of their famous alter ego.

We have ten Bonds from around the world who have had to deal with numerous Seinfeld-style problems (being banned from Facebook, dealing with the police, airport security and waiters) as a result of the name as well as more serious topics such as a James Bond in the Caribbean who was targeted and shot by the local police force – “the Guyana police still joke about it, they did what the KGB, the Russians, the Germans and everyone else was trying to do for years – shoot James Bond”.

Here’s the trailer for the documentary:

Of course, 15 years ago, when Tomorrow Never Dies was coming out, Heineken had a James Bond promotion that also featured real-life James Bonds. It’s still on YouTube: