Studio Asked Gladys Knight To Sell Out For James Bond Film, Her Response Was Priceless
For the 1989 film, James Bond 007 Licence To Kill, Gladys Knight was eventually chosen as the person to sing the film’s theme song after a deal with singer Eric Clapton and musician, Vick Flick, fell through.
She agreed to perform and record the theme song, but when the studio asked her to do this one thing, she laid down the law and made it VERY clear to every last one of them that she was not doing it. Gladys then told the studio and the film’s execs where they can shove their idea…
Mrs. Knight was honored that she was asked to sing the theme song for James Bond 007 Licence To Kill, but she refused to compromise her character to do it. What was she asked to do? The studio publicists had what they believed was a wonderful idea to have the soul music icon pose in publicity photos with a big gun in one hand and alcohol in the other. We know that sounds strange for them ask Gladys Knight to do that, but that’s what they did and here is what she told them:
“I’m going to tell you all now, I can’t hold that gun and I can’t hold that martini. I can stand up here with James Bond, but I cannot hold that gun.”
Gladys later told Jet that she was really sensitive to doing that because of the violence being promoted to our children at that time.
“With all of our kids and the gangs, people think they can pick up a gun and shoot people today.”
Therefore, she just wasn’t trying to hear that, nor be a part of it.
It’s good that Gladys stood up for what she believed in, even if it would have meant that she was not going to get that big James Bond check. While I can see legends, like Pam Grier or Tamara Dobson, portraying a tough gun toting, strong female character in one of those films, it probably wouldn’t have been a good look for the soulful Gladys Knight. Why? Because that is not who she is. So props to her for putting her personal morals before the dollar bills, although some argued that she would have just been portraying a character and not a reflection on her actual life, which is a also a good point.
ILOSM fam, if you were in that situation, would have chosen the money or your personal morals?