Queen Elizabeth's Olympic Stunt Double Calls Experience 'Unsurpassable'
The Queen made a spectacular debut as Daniel Craig’s latest Bond girl at Friday’s London 2012 Opening Ceremony, but who was the brave stunt double that had the unique honor of playing the Queen as she skydived from a helicopter alongside 007? It is none other than Gary Connery, until now most well-known for being the first skydiver to safely land without a parachute — jumping from 2,400 feet in a wingsuit and graciously landing on a pile of 18,600 cardboard boxes.
Connery has worked on films such as Indiana Jones and Johnny English Reborn, but he called the Opening Ceremony stunt one of the most memorable experiences of his career. “What an occasion, what a thing to be involved in, absolutely stunning,” Connery told The Huffington Post. “I think this one is probably unsurpassable. It will hang in my memory until I become senile and can’t remember it any more.”
Connery, who made the jump alongside fellow skydiver Mark Sutton doubling for James Bond, was sown into a replica of the iconic salmon dress worn by the Queen during the ceremony prior to boarding the helicopter. Connery and Sutton trained for months in anticipation of the event and did not disappoint as they jumped from 800 feet over the stadium. Connery’s one regret? “I really wanted to keep the dress, but I wasn’t allowed,” Connery told The Daily Mail. “It would have looked great on a night out.”
The stunt was only one sequence in Danny Boyle’s daring film, which also sees the Queen (the real one) greeting 007 at Buckingham Palace. "Good evening, Mr. Bond," she says before heading to a helicopter with Craig and corgis trailing. “She’s very sharp. You didn’t have to tell her anything twice,” Boyle revealed, adding that she also “got along with James Bond very well.” Boyle’s inspired vision, albeit bold, was well received by the Queen and her crew, who took to the idea with humor. The 'Queenie,' as Connery affectionately calls her, was also said to enjoy her first acting experience.
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