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For Your Eyes Only: interview with Michael Gothard

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Jun. 1st, 1981 | 12:00 am

Marvel Super Special Magazine: For Your Eyes Only on-set report, including an interview with Michael Gothard.

This came out in 1981.

[Contessa Lisl’s] killer in For Your Eyes Only is a cold-eyed assassin called Emile Locque. Played by Michael Gothard, Loque is the film's equivalent of such past villainous henchmen as Red Grant in From Russia With Love and Mr. Wint in Diamonds Are Forever. Gothard is no stranger to cinematic evil – during his career he's played a vampire (in Scream and Scream Again), helped to burn Oliver Reed alive in The Devils and stabbed Simon Ward to death in The Four Musketeers. But he's suffered a lot of on-screen retribution himself.

"I've been killed in so many different ways on both the large and small screens," he said wryly. "I've been hanged, stabbed, strangled, shot, immersed in an acid bath, crashed on a motorcycle, killed by a 10-year-old boy by a vicious blow to the spine, drowned and – on one memorable occasion – stabbed and drowned simultaneously.1

It's quite a challenge to try and make an impact with a character as restrained and quiet as Locque. I had to act in a sort of straitjacket but I certainly did my best to make him into a menacing and evil presence. Audiences usually remember the Bond villains, and their henchmen, so I'm hoping I won't be an exception."

1 Some of these on-screen deaths are ones we know about:
As Mordaunt, in "The Further Adventures of the Musketeers", he was stabbed and drowned simultaneously.
As John, in Michael Kolhlhaas, he was hanged.
As Kodai, in Stopover, he was shot.
As Keith, in Scream and Scream Again, he was immersed in an acid bath.
As Terry, in Up the Junction, he crashed on a motorcycle.
As Hansen, in The Last Valley, he was killed (or at least maimed) by a 10-year-old boy inflicting a vicious blow to the spine.

That leaves three deaths unaccounted for: stabbed, strangled, and drowned.

If, as Michael says, these deaths were on film or TV, this is rather puzzling. There are only two known productions in which these deaths could have occurred:
- the Thirty Minute Theatre play, The Excavation, in which he played Grady, a witness who has committed perjury.
- the episode of Menace, Nine Bean Rows, in which he played Pip, the younger brother of a returning mercenary.

It is unclear which death belonged to which character, and in what production the unaccounted-for death occurred.

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