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An Interview with Robert Davi

We’ve been doing a bit of celebrating this month, to mark Bond’s fiftieth anniversary on film (and the release of Skyfall). Actor Robert Davi, who played the villain Franz Sanchez in Licence to Kill, was kind enough to get in contact with us about a piece we published covering the character, and politely volunteered to ask a few questions about the film. Davi has been a remarkably recognisable screen presence since the eighties, with roles in iconic movies like Licence to Kill, The Goonies, Die Hard and the hit television show Profiler.

He now manages his own film (Sun Lion Films) and music production (Sun Lion Records) companies. In 2007, he made his directorial debut with The Dukes, and launched a professional singing career in 2011. You can check out his Sinatra-inspired work at Davi Sings Sinatra, with some great testimonials. (Quincy Jones knows music, and his endorsement is worth more than mine – although consider mine offered as well. Check out a sampler here.)

The opportunity to ask Davi some questions was too good to pass up. It was a delight to be able to put some of my questions to him, and Davi was very generous with his time in answering quite a few of the more tangential and nerdy ones – a great insight into the construction of, I’d argue, one of the more fascinating Bond villains.

Non-Review Review: Licence to Kill

This post is part of James Bond January, being organised by the wonderful Paragraph Films. I will have reviews of all twenty-two official Bond films going on-line over the next month, and a treat or two every once in a while.

Licence to Kill is the Bond movie that almost killed the franchise. The gap between the release of this movie in 1989 and GoldenEye in 1995 is the longest period that the film series has been left dormant. Although the legal issues surrounding the series hardly helped ensure the British secret agent’s return to the big screen, there’s also the fact that this movie was something of a box office dud in the States. (Although it was quite successful elsewhere.) Licence to Kill is perhaps the most divisive of the Bond movies – even more so than On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Detractors see it as a poor attempt to emulate Miami Vice, indulging in ridiculously over-the-top violence and darkness for the sake of darkness. Fans argue that the movie is a lot closer to Ian Fleming’s original novels, and feels more like the recent relaunch of the franchise – it’s a perfect bedfellow with Casino Royale or Quantum of Solace. My opinion is somewhere in the middle.

Bond always uses protection in bed…

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