His big acting break came four years ago in a Showtime series, "Robin Hood." He also appeared in "The First Olympics--Athens 1896," "The Lords of Discipline" and "The Boy Who Had Everything." "La Veneziana," a film he made in Venice with Laura Antonelli, was the "top-grossing film in Czechoslovakia in 1988," he reports with a snicker.
Although "The Secret Life of Ian Fleming" may turn Connery into a romantic lead, it will not provide him with many action credentials.
"What I love about this film is that I never hold a gun and I never hit anyone--except a Russian countess, and she deserved it," he says.
"We're not making a Bond film," Fairfax insists. "We do have a scene where Fleming leads a raid on a German-occupied part of Norway, with his men landing in miniature submarines and scaling impossible heights. But this is a portrait of a man who escapes the shackles of his tremendously oppressed and cloistered upper-class life. It's not about hardware."
Nor is it about car crashes or big special effects. As producer Aida Young points out, "We haven't got the Bond budget, dear."