A film about George Lazenby, Australia's only James Bond, is about to debut at SXSW

Photo: George Lazenby. Picture: Eon Productions

If the trailer is anything to go by, the first good movie with George Lazenby in it since his first one is almost ready for release.

Lazenby is the only actor from outside the British Isles to have played James Bond, and it remains one of the most unorthodox casting choices in cinema history.

In 1969, he was 29, and had moved from Goulburn, NSW, to sell cars in London. He got lucky and landed a modelling career, then one day found himself getting a haircut at a barber alongside Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli.

Broccoli, looking for a replacement for Sean Connery, recognised him from a TV ad, and gave him a screen test. Lazenby sealed the deal when he accidentally punched a stuntman in the face during his audition.

Alone, that’s enough material for a decent movie. But Lazenby’s life lurched from stardom, to scorn, to celebrity weddings, cameo appearances and eventually, cult status as critics eventually gave the only Bond movie he ever made, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, the recognition it deserved.

Yes, Lazenby gave his lines away awkwardly, his Bond hit too many women, and dressed unrealistically loudly for a spy. But “O.H.M.S.S.” is gritty, and exciting, and stands head and some very broad shoulders above most of the bloated pantomimes that almost derailed the franchise in the 80s and 90s.

Photo: Lazenby on set. Picture: Eon Productions

The best was yet to come, however, when the kid from country NSW walked away from a six-movie deal that would have made him a millionaire.

“Becoming Bond” tells his story, and will debut at the SXSW festival this weekend. It looks like a romp – a mix of documentary and narrative starring Josh Lawson (House Of Lies), former Bond girl Jane Seymour and Lazenby himself.

Hulu’s just dropped the trailer for it:

“Becoming Bond” will get a full release on Hulu in May.

Meanwhile, in London, the MI6 wants everyone to know you don’t have to a brawly hunk to be a spy.

It’s just launched a new recruitment drive aimed at breaking the stereotype in a bid to find spooks who can “think outside the box.”

“There is a perception out there that we want Daniel Craig, or Daniel Craig on steroids,” MI6 spymaster Alex Younger said.

“He would not get into MI6.”

Here’s the new pitch appearing in British cinemas at the moment:

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