Welcome to Timothy's first Internet Chat which was hosted by Hollywood Online in February 1997.
I have started this page with an interview Timothy and Fran Drescher gave in the same month as Timothy attended his first Internet Chat, as I think it makes a nice lead into it, so here then is the interview with Timothy's Internet chat to follow.
Scene from The Beautician and the Beast.
Los Angeles - Say it isn't so. Has Bond - James Bond really gone over to the other side?
Well, kinda. Timothy Dalton, the 'Bond' between Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan in The Living Daylights is starring as a Stalinesque dictator oppersite Fran 'The Nanny' Drescher in The Beautician and the Beast. And, in fact Timothy's Boris in 'The Beast' Pochenko, the fictitious ruler of the formerly Communist country of Slovetzia, would have been the perfect foil for Agent 007, at least in the Cold War days of author Ian Fleming.
Regardless, the English-theater-trained Dalton, who turns 51 next month, takes on a romantic comedy for the first time in a screen career that began with the memorable debut in 1968's Oscar-nominated The Lion In Winter. "Sadly I never really got asked to do comedy before," reveals the dashingly handsome Welshman. "The Rocketeer was amusing, and I did a movie called Hawks, which was a sort of black comedy, but as an out-and-out comedy in films, yes, this is the first one. Nobody's ever offered it to me. They all think I'm kind of a serious actor."
Truth be told, Timothy wasn't the first choice of executive producer Drescher, either. She wanted Kevin Kline for the role oppersite her own, a New York City beautician who inadvertently gets hired to tutor the dictator's children. "When Kevin Kline couldn't do it, we looked at the 'A' list of actors that was available and could play the part and we wanted him to have a certain power and presence about him," Drescher explains in 'Nanny'-like fashion. "When Timothy's name came up, it was like, I mean, James Bond certainly can do it, and a lot of woman I knew certainly perked up to him, and that was good. "My only intrepidation was 'Will he be funny?' In fact, he's really funny. Now, it makes me think that English actors can do everything. I don't know whether it's the training or that the English just have a good sense of humor, but Timothy was magnificent. "We do have great chemistry," Drescher goes on. "I loved working with him. He's very generous and sweet. He wasn't threatened by my position on the movie and he knew that I was very protective of him, wanting him to be as funny as possible and wanting to give him the better lines."
ACCORDING TO TIMOTHY DALTON, who initially might have had his own doubts about working with Drescher, the feeling is much more then mutual. "Fran is simply terrific," he says. "I think she's really wonderful. I knew her from her show, 'The Nanny,' and I knew that she was sexy, attractive and a terrific comedienne, but I didn't know how she would be in a movie, which is very different from a half-hour of one-liners. "But from the minute we started working, I knew that here was a woman who was an actress as well. One look in at her eyes and you knew that whatever choices she was making were positive. As an actor, it's the best thing you can have all of sudden, you're playing a game with someone who's really good and secure and solid. It's like a great game of tennis." "I think she's shown she can carry a movie," Dalton concludes. "There are so many more layers and depth required and, I think, fulfilled then you'd ever get in a TV show."
Another scene from The Beautician and the Beast.
For his part, working in a romantic comedy seems to have helped Dalton put his own career in perspective. "I don't mean to sound flippant," he says when asked how he choses his roles, Seriously, in what's known as my 'career,' I've always loved the work, and the first thing you must always look at is 'Do you think it is any good? Do you like it? Is there something in it that is challenging?' "Sometimes I think I might have taken that side of things too far. Occasionally, the risk becomes more important then the work. It's a kind of excitement that comes with trying to see if you can play James Bond after several other people or to do Rhett Butler (as he did in the CBS miniserias Scarlett.) "Well, I can't change now. I just want to do things I like and enjoy, and scripts that have value to me. I don't care if they're big or small parts, that's what I'll do."
Here is Timothy's very first Internet Chat which was hosted by Hollywood Online in February 1997.
HOL Nina: Stay tuned for actor Timothy Dalton!
HOL Nina: Dalton, who stars in The Beautician and the Beast with Fran Drescher, will join Hollywood Online for his first online chat! Dalton made his film debut in The Lion in Winter across from the great Katharine Hepburn. He also starred as the British spy James Bond in The Living Daylights and Licence To Kill! Dalton has based his career on playing charming leading men, from James Bond to Rhett Butler to Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre! His latest role is as Boris Pochenko in The Beautician and the Beast!
HOL Nina: Brought to you by Hollywood Online (keyword: Hollywood)!
HOL Nina: Welcome to Hollywood Online, Timothy Dalton! We have plenty of questions for you already!
TIM DALTON: Good evening, everybody!
HOL Nina: Dr J No - starts it off with this one...
Question: Do you plan to return as 007?
TIM DALTON: No
HOL Nina: Scusi Mel is curious about your stage career...
Question: So when will you be "Broadway Bound"?
TIM DALTON: That's an interesting question. I've just come back from New York and have been talking to a couple of producers there with regard to doing something soon. What, we're not sure yet, but I'd love to appear on Broadway.
HOL Nina: Blonde582 likes your comedy style...
Question: You seem like you enjoyed yourself while making the Beautician movie, will you do more comedy?
TIM DALTON: Yes, we had great fun making Beautician. One of the reasons I took the role is because I'm rarely offered comedy. I really do want to do more.
HOL Nina: Jim007bond (great name!) asks you this...
Question: You have, like Richard Burton, devoted much of your work to film; do you sincerely prefer the film medium or has the lure of money and large audiences made film more attractive then the stage?
TIM DALTON: Well, film certainly reaches more people. And if you're interested in sharing your stories with people, film is a great medium in which to do that. But I don't have a particular preference for either medium as an actor. If it's a good story that I care about and think it will mean something to an audience, then it can be film, TV or the stage.
HOL Nina: Jim007bond returns with this one...Question: What effect has playing Bond had on your personal life? Do you, for example, now want your drinks shaken, not stirred? :-)
TIM DALTON: I don't think I have ever had them shaken or stirred in the 1st place. Bond is a very powerful image known the world over. I once made a documentary on wolves and went to live with some eskimos near the North Pole and when I arrived, they all came daltoning out to greet me saying "It's James Bond, James Bond!"
HOL Nina: Nancy1936 asks you about another famous role, that of Rhett Butler...Question: Loved you in Scarlett, were you intimidated by the part?
TIM DALTON: Not by the part as given in the script. Certainly by the potential reaction to my performance in it by people who had loved Clark Gable, and I loved Clark Gable, too. Thankfully, this story was not a remake of 'Gone With the Wind,' but a sequel.
HOL Nina: Nancy1936 returns with one to test your diplomatic skills....
Question: No offense to Fran but how did you stand the voice?
TIM DALTON: I thought the voice worked wonderfully in the role. How was that for diplomatic skills!
HOL Nina: Jim007bond has another one....
Question: After watching 'Masterpiece Theater' and other British imports for years it seems that every third person in England is a brilliant actor. Why is acting so much a part of the English character?
TIM DALTON: I don't think any country in the world has a monopoly on talent. I think the best movie actors in the world are American. But in England, we are brought up generally with a lot of theatre training, and I think that is recognized in Hollywood, and when an actor is required for an "acting role" producers often think of the British.
HOL Nina: Phyl bar remembers the wolf documentary...
Question: I saw you howling with the wolves in Alaska. It sure looked like fun!!!! What is your favourite movie you've acted in?
TIM DALTON: I think every movie that I've ever done seems to me to be part of my flesh and blood. Whether they've been good or less good...One of my recent favourites is a movie called The King's Whore, a very disturbing story about love and obsession.
HOL Nina: A true-blue fan, Anna867, wants to know....
Question: What are you doing on Valentine's Day?
TIM DALTON: I've been invited to what I hope and believe to be a very lovely Valentine's party.
HOL Nina: Scrptr is curious....
Question: Did you have a good time working on Flash Gordon? That is one of my favourite films....MING THE MERCILESS.
TIM DALTON: Well, I did. It was one of my favourite films, too. It did wonderfully well around the world. It was the #2 film in Europe, but for some reason - possibly spaceships that were red and gold, it didn't seem to do too well in the States.
HOL Nina: Yes, we like our spaceships red, white and blue :-)
HOL Nina: Ursula132 has one for you...
Question: I loved you as Mr Rochester. But how did you manage to get the part for an 'unattractive' man?
TIM DALTON: By suggesting about 12 other actors for the role instead of myself.
HOL Nina: Yuloc has a question about your first film The Lion in Winter.
Question: What was it like to start in film with such actors as Peter O'Toole and Hepburn?
TIM DALTON: It was incredible! At the time, I think I was too young and naive to realize how special it was. They were fantastic, I learned a lot from them, and they helped me enormously.
HOL Nina: Smurphy84 returns to your Bond days....
Question: How many stunts in the James Bond movies were done by yourself?
TIM DALTON: I was involved in every single one. I must have been crazy....!!!!
HOL Nina: Kvelez348 is curious....
Question: Mr. Dalton, what projects are you currently working on now?
TIM DALTON: I'm not working on anything at the moment, but I have 2 projects coming out. One is a film for Showtime called Field of Blood (was renamed The Informant) directed by Jim McBride, and it's an IRA story set in Belfast. The second is called The Reef, (was renamed Passions Way) an Edith Wharton story for CBS.
HOL Nina: Dr J No returns...
Question: Is it true that you read all the James Bond novels cover to cover for preparing for the role as James Bond?
TIM DALTON: Absolutely! At the time, not only myself but the company wanted to return to a more purist and serious approach to the Bond movies. They started from the books, so that was the place to go.
HOL Nina: Kate Elsa asks about your online fan clubs....
Question: There are some sites on the Internet that include info about Mr. Dalton, including photo's script pages, and autographs. From Mr. Dalton's perspective, does he find any of this intrusive? Does he have any control over it, such as copyright restrictions?
TIM DALTON: I think probably some of it is intrusive because some of the facts are incorrect. I do not have any control over it, neither do most other actors, I suppose. And I don't believe anyone has ever called any representative of mine to either ask permission or ascertain any facts.
HOL Nina: 02babl2fl has a difficult one...
Question: Is it a burden being so darned good looking? Do the woman drive you crazy?
TIM DALTON: Well, what a question. As an actor, I don't play short, fat parts, though sometimes I wish I did. On the other hand, I guess it does have it's advantages. I don't know if it's politically correct, but who on occasion hasn't been driven crazy?
HOL Nina: Phyl bar is curious...
Question: In the movie Hawks, did you wear a wig, or dye your real hair all those colors? I loved the movie!!!!
TIM DALTON: I think it's a really special movie. Sadly, one that the distributors didn't consider to be commercial. It's important, and I've received some of the most moving and heartfelt letters from that film. I didn't wear a wig. The hair was dyed and given bald patches prosthetically.
HOL Nina: WCWSUXX2 wants to see more hair-raising acting....
Question: You've acted on Tales From The Crypt before. You did a very good job, will you ever do it again?
TIM DALTON: That would depend. Those films are made within 4 or 5 days, working sometimes until 2 or 3 in the morning in order to get finished. I had fun doing mine, but we would have all loved more time.
HOL Nina: TURNER416 wants to know...
Question: Hello, Tim. Did you get along well with Fran in this new movie?
TIM DALTON: Loved her! Strong, committed, sexy and a great comedienne.
HOL Nina: BONHO is curious...
Question: So Tim, what was it like working with the famed producer W 'Hawk' Koch, Jr?
TIM DALTON: He was great. One of the best hands-on producers I've ever worked with.
HOL Nina: MASH20 is curious...
Question: I have a question about your name. Are you of Russian descent?
TIM DALTON: Do you think 'Dalton' is a Russian name? Anyway, the answer is no. My grandmother's family is from Brooklyn, New York, and on my father's side, my grandma was from Naples, Italy.
HOL Nina: Homefront wants to know...
Question: I must ask, are you married?
TIM DALTON: No.
HOL Nina: Homefront returns...
Question: Do you live in America or England?
TIM DALTON: Both. I'm an American resident, but also keep a home in London.
HOL Nina: MerryTX wants to know...
Question: The King's Whore was one of my favourite movies too, were you very disappointed that it didn't do very well?
TIM DALTON: The original European version was really quite long. Miramax liked the movie and bought it for the USA. We cut it down to approximately 2 hours, at which length I think it worked superbly. So did they. However, economics dictated at that time it would be more profitable to release it on video. Yes, I would have loved to have seen it in the cinerma here in the USA.
HOL Nina: Callie62 wants to know...Question: What would be the role you want to conquer most now that you have acted in so many genres?
TIM DALTON: Usually the ones that I've just come out of the cinema having seen someone else play. The great thing about movies is you never know what's going to get written next.
HOL Nina: Estar Mar wants to know...
Question: Jane Eyre and that charming film with A. Edwards where you both are so ill. You are great in those 'emotional roles' I wish you were in more...You?
TIM DALTON: The film with Anthony Edwards was the Hawks, the movie we talked about earlier. I'd love to be in more movies of any kind, comedy or emotional drama.
HOL Nina: KVelez348 wants a sequel to your latest comedy...
Question: If Beautician and the Beast is a hit, which I believe it is, will you and Fran Drescher do a sequel?
TIM DALTON: I've always been a little wary of sequels. I never liked to do the same thing twice. I guess it would depend on the script and the people.
HOL Nina: The Manicurist and the Monster, perhaps? :-)
HOL Nina: Callie62 returns...
Question: Of all your past roles, which character, do you feel, is the most like Timothy Dalton?
TIM DALTON: I never feel like any role is like Timothy Dalton. There's always something of me in every role, otherwise I couldn't make it believable. But when I sit in a cinema watching a movie I've been in, I always think of the character as 'Him' - not me.
HOL Nina: BONHo wants more laughs...
Question: Now that you've wet your feet with comedy, are you going to be looking for more roles with a sense of humor?
TIM DALTON: I've always tried to bring humor into a role wherever possible - or allowable; Hawks, The Rocketeer, etc. Comedy is wonderful. If people laugh, you know you're giving them a good time. Of course I'd love to do more comedy.
HOL Nina: Kumpe is curious...
Question: Mr Dalton, do you have a fan club? Where we can send you mail?
TIM DALTON: I don't have a fan club. Anything to do with Beautician can be sent care of Paramount.
HOL Nina: SaturnBab liked your role as Boris Pochenko...
Question: Do you find it enjoyable to be able to play obnoxious characters such as the one in The Beautitican and the Beast?
TIM DALTON: The great thing about playing 'the beast' is that you have to spend a lot of time finding out what's nice and good in him.
HOL Nina: Since you have played many literary characters, DANA08096 is curious...
Question: Do you have a favourite book that you would like turned into a movie?
TIM DALTON: I guess if I told you that over the Internet, someone would steal the idea, so forgive me.
HOL Nina: LOL :-)
HOL Nina: Jim007bond returns once again...
Question: What question would you ask Ian Fleming if you could talk to him as we are talking to you?
TIM DALTON: I'd ask him to write his own movie script of the James Bond movies, and I'd love to know his reaction to all the JB movies that have been made. I might even ask him for a martini.
HOL Nina: Spedoligh asks for advice...
Question: What advice would you give to an aspiring actor?
TIM DALTON: Don't!...But if you do, commit to it, go for the truth imagination and insight, and realize, that it's often luck rather then hard work or talent that gets people places. Sorry!
HOL Nina: STIX96 inquires about The Beautician and the Beast...
Question: I work at a movie theater, and we like to tell our customers special little tid-bits, usually funny, about movies we have. Just wondering if there was any funny things that happened during the filming?
TIM DALTON: Making the film was funny. It's not the answer you want, but every minute of every day, everyone around you and yourself is working to turn the ordinary into the amusing. So we all had a lot of fun.
HOL Nina: Curlie102 is curious...
Question: What was it like to work with the kids in The Beautician and the Beast?
TIM DALTON: Well, I figured that if Liza and Adam had a kid, I'd be playing grandfathers. All of them were wonderful. They each brought their own unique quality to the movie, and if they hadn't been likeable, there would have been no reason for Fran's story and mine to work.
HOL Nina: Jip Lee wants to know...
Question: A lot of actors say that they can't stand to watch themselves in the movies or read their reviews. Do these things bother you?
TIM DALTON: Only if they're bad. I watch my movies because I figure that's how I can learn.
HOL Nina: Phyl bar wants to know if you have the urge to go behind the camera...
Question: Have you ever directed any movies? Are you interested in this aspect of movies?
TIM DALTON: No, I've never directed. I've thought about it. I believe I would be good with actors, but there are so many great movie directors, men and women of real vision, I'd hate to cut my teeth on a project that I loved, I don't believe that I would come up to their standard.HOL Nina: MerrTX returns...
Question: Where would a fan send mail not dealing with Beautician?
TIM DALTON: I've just heard over my shoulder 'anywhere but Paramount.'
HOL Nina: We have time for one more question, from Curlie102...
Question: If you could choose any thing to do as a project, what would you like to do?
TIM DALTON: When I was a kid, I always wanted to make a movie of 'Crime and Punishment.' Now, I want to do work, whatever it is, that makes me happy, challenges me, and hopefully that means something to the audience that is sharing it.
HOL Nina: Thank you for joining us tonight, Timothy Dalton! We hope you can come back soon!
TIM DALTON: Thanks everybody! I just lost my virginity on the Internet.
HOL Nina: LOL :-)
OnlineHost: (c) Copyright 1997 Hollywood Online; licensed to: America Online, Inc.
First picture from The Beautician and the Beast (c) Copyright Paramount Pictures.
I would very much like to thank Carol who sent me the hard copy of this internet chat with Timothy back in 1997. Which has enabled me to type it up, for you all to read - Love Deb.