George Lazenby is the lone wolf of the James Bond franchise.
The only actor to play the British agent just a single time, Lazenby was picked out of nowhere by producers Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to replace Sean Connery. The latter quit the series following his fifth turn in the role in 1967's You Only Live Twice.
An Australian model with no previous acting experience, Lazenby impressed the producers enough to win the part and star in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service. But although he was offered a lucrative contract to play Bond for several more films, Lazenby walked away and Connery was lured back for one more mission in Diamonds Are Forever.
So what happened? A new documentary called Becoming Bond aims to explore just that. Utilizing interviews with Lazenby himself and re-enactments starring actors such as Jeff Garlin and Jake Johnson, the movie sets out to tell the story of how Lazenby got the part and then threw it away, effectively sending himself back into obscurity. Here's the trailer:
As for On Her Majesty's Secret Service, if you haven't seen it before, you owe yourself a chance to watch it. While not as successful at the time as the Connery pictures (although contrary to popular belief, it was not a box-office bomb either), OHMSS now often ranks near the top of the list of Bond fans' favorite entries. It's one of the few 007 films to feature a genuine emotional arc for Bond, and while Lazenby is a bit awkward in the role, he demonstrates a lot of potential that was sadly never realized in any further Bond outings.
Becoming Bond premiered this past weekend at South By Southwest and will arrive on Hulu on May 20.