Former top civil servant Sir Hayden Phillips tells how he landed Bond role

·2-min read
Sir Hayden Phillips is in the new Bond film (Twitter/ Radio 5 Live)
Sir Hayden Phillips is in the new Bond film (Twitter/ Radio 5 Live)

A former top civil servant has told how he landed a role in the latest Bond movie after giving shelter to the director a decade ago when he was stranded in Britain at Christmas.

Sir Hayden Phillips, 78, worked in a number of roles including in the Home Office and Downing Street in an illustrious career.

At one stage he was Permanent Secretary at the heart of government.

However, in a twist he has been drafted in to play a part in the espionage thriller No Time to Die which was premiered tonight at the Royal Albert Hall.

He told Radio 5 Live that he had hosted the director of the latest in the Bond series Cary Joji Fukunaga after a volcanic dust crowd grounded transatlantic flights in 2009.

Phillips told Radio 5 Live: “I think it’s unusual for a former civil servant to find himself in a Bond film it was firstly down to my daughter’s friendship with the director… I don’t pretend I got this role on acting merits.

“Secondly in 2009 Cary was unable to spend Christmas with his family so he stayed with us. I asked him if I could be in his latest film Jane Eyre and as I was his host and he is a polite young man he said yes, of course.”

Phillips said he had a few lines in Jane Eyre and as they have been friends over the years the director called him into action for the Bond movie.

He said: “The action is gripping but my role is silent. I marched up to Daniel Craig (on the set) and introduced myself and told him that I’m not an actor. He whispered to me ‘Hayden, I am not sure I am either’. I thought that was very good.”

The film No Time to Die is on general release from 30 September.

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