Day One Of Being James Bond Was A Dangerous Mess For Roger Moore

Roger Moore's James Bond might be known for his eccentric take on the British superspy, but the outlandish antics extended far beyond the screen. In fact, the actor's shot at playing Bond was nearly over before it began thanks to an accident that occurred several days before filming began for "Live and Let Die," the first of Moore's Bond films.

Apparently an avid writer, Moore kept a diary throughout the film's production that was meant to be published before "Live and Let Die" was released (via Barnes and Noble). The beginning of the book almost seemed to set up Moore (the actor, not his character) as the heir to Sean Connery's Bond — smooth, sophisticated, and cool. In an excerpt published in the Daily Mail, Moore describes how he was picked up from the airport in multiple cars, then met with director Guy Hamilton over oysters and martinis (an ironic detail considering the fact that Moore's Bond apparently had the most expensive alcohol taste). Unfortunately though, Moore's smooth charm came to an abrupt halt when he tried to rehearse his moves for the big screen, only to find himself a blundering klutz.

So much for suave

It's no secret that the average Bond — especially Sean Connery's Bond — is known for being suave and cool. Since Moore, like Connery himself, was understandably nervous about taking over the legendary mantle, it was essential that he practice lines and stunts. After all, no one expects to see James Bond struggling to steer.

Fans of "Live and Let Die" probably remember the exhilarating boat chase scene where Bond is shot at, maneuvers sharp turns, and even jumps over land. It's the type of high-stakes spectacle that's exciting to watch, even though you know that Bond will inevitably escape just about any situation. Unfortunately though, the boat chase scene was seared into Moore's memory for other reasons: according to Moore's "Live and Let Die" diary, the actor spent his first day as Bond rehearsing the stunt, only to injure himself in a crash. The 007 site mentions that Moore accidentally crashed his ship into a boathouse — a detail omitted from the diary — and ended up chipping his tooth. The actor's own account also mentions that he ended up in the hospital and found himself limping for days afterwards — not exactly the ego-boost we'd wish upon any new Bond, even if injuries often come with the role.

Fortunately, not all was lost

If you don't remember Moore limping and wincing his way through "Live and Let Die," don't worry — they didn't just edit everything out. According to Moore's records, the next couple of days were spent filming the boat scene, allowing the actor to remain seated. That being said, it certainly takes guts to immediately return to a stunt that had just sent you to the hospital — Roger Moore may not be James Bond, but his bravery is worthy of the role.

Unfortunately though, even once filming began, the team didn't exactly face smooth sailing (puns aside): while Bond sets are often accident-prone, it seemed to be especially difficult to create the iconic scene in "Live and Let Die." Since many of the boat stunts were extremely dangerous, the production team decided to do test runs with dummies first (via 007). On the third day of filming, one of the test boats leapt out of the water and crashed onto the shore — luckily, no one was injured. But with such a commitment to finding the right (i.e. moderately safe) stunts, it's no wonder that the final scene has stuck around in so many minds. It's also not much of a surprise that 17 out of 26 boats were destroyed throughout the scene's creation (via 007) — though to be fair, the chaos of the scene was a great precursor to the rest of Moore's James Bond films.