A new documentary centered around the youngest actor to portray British agent James Bond 007 (and for only one film) is coming to Hulu this May 20th. George Lazenby, a car salesman from Australia, famously conned his way into the role by going to meet with producer Albert R. Broccoli, securing an audition by claiming he had acting experience in his native Australia, which wasn’t true. He was, however, able to pull off an audition that was good enough to convince fellow producer Harry Saltzman of his worthiness for the part, and thus On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) became the first Bond film without original actor Sean Connery appearing in the title role. Although audiences and critics had mixed reviews upon its release, OHMSS has, over the years, became one of the more favored entries in the Bond franchise. Incidentally, Lazenby is also the only actor to have received major recognition for his portrayal of the character, earning a Golden Globe nomination in 1970 for Most Promising Newcomer/Best New Star.
Unfortunately Lazenby would not go on to make another Bond film. His overbearing attitude to retain some degree of control over the character during filming and post-production caused word to spread that he was difficult to work with. The actor was also eager to show that, even though he was portraying a member of the government, he himself was a member of the ongoing counterculture movement. Lazenby grew his hair and sported a beard for the premier of the film, which further strained his relationship with the producers. As a result, Lazenby was not asked back for another film, and Sean Connery stepped back into the role for Diamonds Are Forever (1971) before being permanently replaced by Roger Moore in Live and Let Die (1973).
Becoming Bond chronicles the story of Lazenby and his brief encounter with the most famous spy in cinematic history. The film, however, is not strictly a documentary. Instead, an interview with Lazenby is interspersed with recreated scenes from his life. Actor Josh Larson stars as Lazenby, along with Kassandra Clementi, Landon Ashworth, Jeff Garlin, Jake Johnson, Jane Seymour, and Sofia Mattson making up the support cast. Filmmaker Josh Greenbaum wrote and directs the film, which will debut at this year’s SXSW Festival. It will be available on Hulu beginning on May 20th, so be sure to check it out!