The success in relaunching the James Bond franchise with 1995’s crucial entry Goldeneye wasn’t merely built on Pierce Brosnan’s sterling debut as 007. He was the nucleus of a wide array of supporting actors who played equally memorable characters that took the stage in director Martin Campbell’s first turn as a Bond director. One of the most notable was actor Alan Cumming, who had a triumphant Bond audition, yet recalls that at the time, he was battling suicidal thoughts. 

Alan Cumming talks about the experience in his new memoir Baggage: Tales from a Fully Packed Life (via Insider), which is the follow-up to his previous memoir Not My Father’s Son. This time around, the legendary actor discussed how his career helped him navigate the personal highs and lows of his life. The latter is represented partially in his story of how his audition to play the weasley techno henchman Boris Grishenko was an act in more ways than one:

I had auditioned for the part the summer before on one of the darkest days in my personal fog. The day, in fact, when the shadow of suicide had entered my mental periphery. I was probably in the room about half an hour, chatting with the director, Martin Campbell, and one of the producers, Barbara Broccoli, but my feigning of enthusiasm, lucidity, and, especially, emotional balance in those 30 minutes may rank as one of my greatest performances ever.

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