British Television Interview that Timothy conducted at the Young Vic Theatre in London when he was starring as Cornelius Melody in the play A Touch of the Poet in 1988.
Timothy is interviewed by Cathy McGowan.
The above photograph of Timothy has been taken from when the following interview actually aired on British Television.
Cathy: "When you decided you'd like to be an actor how old were you?"
Timothy: "Well I guess I always wanted to be ever since, you remember those Saturday morning pictures where you could get in for three pence or sixpence or so? I can always remember being really captivated by the magic and the excitement and the fantasy of what we were seeing on the screen."
Cathy: "You've had a very versatile career, what part have you liked playing best?"
Timothy: "I've liked them all, when you're involved with something you can't help but commit to it totally. I am very proud of Jane Eyre because I think that was I don't know, well I think it is a bit arrogant to say so but it was, it was really good. I was very pleased once upon a time I was in America and I discovered it was the New York Times 'Pick of the Week' on the Arts and Entertainment Channel."
Cathy: "I think really that your looks have got in the way a bit of you?"
Timothy: "Well you know everybody gets cast based on how they look. I mean if you're a short fat man you get cast for short fat parts. If you're something else, I mean obviously your physical sense of being does shape or channel how your cast. I mean if I hadn't looked like I do look maybe I wouldn't have got any of the parts I have got so I can't complain."
Cathy: "Well like the part with Mae West you mean, oh do tell everybody how you got that part, that's terribly funny."
Timothy: "Well I don't know how I got it."
Cathy: "You do? She rang you up didn't she?"
Timothy: "No she didn't"
Cathy: "Well what happened then?"
Timothy: "I just got a call from my Agent who said, sit down in a chair while I tell you this news, you've just been asked to go to Hollywood to play Mae West's leading man in a film." (Timothy laughs) "Well as this was only a few years ago it's quite astonishing."
Cathy: "But you went?"
Timothy: "I did, not half, I mean I wouldn't miss that chance, not a good film but one, one, one for the collection I suppose.
Cathy: "You also did a lot of mini-series things I would have thought that you wouldn't have done very much. Like you did something with Farrah Fawcett, you've done Sins."
Timothy as Damien Roth in his episode of Charlie's Angels called 'Fallen Angel.'
Timothy: "Well I did a special of Charlie's Angels once and I did Mistral's Daughter and Sins and Centennial and The Master of Ballantrae yes."
Cathy: "But people would consider those kind of, a bit, you know, from the other stuff you do?"
Timothy: "Yes they would but I think that's a very blinkered point of view. As I was saying earlier if you are an actor a professional working actor there's a whole world out there and it's all got to be looked at. It's all got to be seen, it's got to be challenged, hasn't it?"
Cathy: "Does money influence you, Timothy?"
Timothy: "Well of course it does, if you're broke you need it, you've got to work for money."
Cathy: "You've never been broke have you?"
Timothy: "I have been..."
Cathy: "You've never been the sort of actor whose sort of been having to do stuff because you need the money?"
Timothy: "If... I was very fortunate I mean after The Lion in Winter, that opened up to me a career in films, and so, there was always the luxury of being able to turn stuff down that I have not wanted to do."
Cathy: "When you were offered the part of Bond, was it a hard decision for you to play that, did you have a lot of thoughts about what it was going to do to your life?"
Timothy: "Well not really I read the script it has all the potential to be a really good exciting adventure story, well, how, you know? If you're going to do, if you'd say yes to the same kind of thing in any other circumstance, why not say yes to it in this. I mean, the Bond films are the best of their kind, they are wonderful."
Cathy: "Did you have to shape up for James Bond?"
Timothy: "Just as much as I shaped up for Cornelius Melody."
Cathy: "It's obvious that you don't do those stunts because you're not fit for it, so who did them for you?"
Timothy: (Timothy's still laughing) "It is fair to say that it's a highly professional skilled team of stunt men working on the movie, but I was involved in most of them."
Cathy: "Now what does that mean?"
Timothy: "Well it means, it means it's..."
Cathy: "Someone just sort of opened a car door and kind of it just slowed down and you hopped out or what?"
Timothy: "It kind of sort of means something along those lines yes, but I don't like talking about the stunts because...because you don't... I mean if you go into a cinema and you wanner watch a marvellous film that's going to take you away into a fantasy land you don't want to know the nuts and bolts of it."
Cathy: "Well I do that's why I am asking you?"
Timothy: "Yes well that's our secret."
Timothy smiles and a scene is shown from The Living Daylights.
Cathy: "The thing that I would have thought you would have found most difficulty in was not the stunts, was wearing those clothes, the suits..."
Cathy: "You know the suits and the way you were dressed up?"
Cathy: "I've never seen you ever dressed up in a suit, and collar and tie."
Timothy: "Well I mean most of the time we managed to get sort of casual shirts and jackets in Bond, there was the odd suit."
Cathy: "Well I mean my image of you now..."
Timothy: "In the office and so on."
Cathy: "Is of a sophisticated looking bloke in it and I know you're not."
Timothy looking sophisticated in The Living Daylights.
Timothy: "Did that work?"
Cathy: "I think it did yes, I mean it impressed me."
Timothy: "Good." then Timothy smiles shyly and says "Good" again.
Cathy: "Because you don't really like dressing up very much do you?"
Timothy: "I've never been bothered about that really so long as you are clean and neat and don't smell I think you're alright."
Cathy: "I don't think you smell and that..."
Timothy: "Fashions never been something I think fashions a con..."
Cathy: "Do you? Why?"
Timothy: "Because it influences people away from what they'd probably be most happy with and makes them spend an awful lot of money looking probably in a way that doesn't ultimately suit them."
Cathy: "Tim, can you go down the local pub and have fish and chips and lead a perfectly normal life like you were doing?"
Timothy: "Of course yea, in a regular sense it has not made the slightest difference. I mean you know... people in the street...."
Cathy: "Give me some examples about that now I mean for instance can you go down..."
Timothy: "I was just going to."
Cathy: "Oh sorry, all right come on then give me some examples.." Cathy laughs
Timothy: "People in the street treat you with the same respect they'd like to be treated themselves and are perfectly nice and sensible and good and friendly and nobody bothers you because they wouldn't want to be bothered themselves, that's good and right."
Cathy: "Have you bought a bigger car, or have you...."
Timothy: "No I've still got the same car I had beforehand. I've got the same house I had beforehand and I am very happy."
Cathy McGowan and Timothy Interview (c) Copyright BBC's Newsroom South East Programme 1988. All Rights Reserved.