Sean Connery filming in Prague – and telling Skoda jokes

Sean Connery in Prague, photo: CTK

The Scottish actor Sean Connery may be approaching his 72nd birthday but he is still a major film star. Right now he is in Prague to begin shooting a film called the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. At a news conference on Friday the original James Bond was asked what were his impressions of the Czech capital.

Sean Connery in Prague,  photo: CTK

"My first impression is I like the space in the town. I'm overlooking the river, which is beautiful. We're rehearsing here for one week since I arrived on Monday. There's some beautiful architecture...I have no sense of the geography, yet. Everything has been work since I arrived, but tomorrow I'm going to play golf."

And speaking of sport, football's World Cup is currently reaching its climax; has Sean Connery - a well-known Scotland fan - had time to watch many of the games?

"Well, I haven't had a great deal of time to watch but we did see the match with Turkey and Brazil. Unfortunately, Scotland for the first time in years didn't qualify. And it was a great disappointment that England didn't win."

And I think we can safely assume that comment about England was a bit of wry Scottish humour. One of the biggest films of the year has been Lord of the Rings. Sean Connery turned down the role of Gandalf - does he now regret that decision?

"Ah, no, I had never read Tolkein, and the script when they sent it to me I didn't understand...bobbits, hobbits. I still haven't seen the film...I will see it. Ian McKellen I believe is marvelous in it, but he'd also read the book."

And you may remember Radio Prague reporting last August that there were reports that Sean Connery was considering doing advertisements for the Czech car-maker Skoda. Whatever became of that idea?

"I was interested but first of all I'd never seen...I mean let's face it Skoda was not a great car. When they sold the car they used to have built in rust, you didn't have to wait for it. Seriously, I was not going to do a commercial about a car until I could at least sit in the car, drive the car. They sent me a faxes but they were all black...if I could not connect nor see, there was no way I was going to do it. I saw one when I came to London and very impressed by the car. They have had a fantastic response. Unfortunately no one can afford to buy them here."

We have to point out that Skoda cars are actually relatively affordable here in the Czech Republic.