Alan Cumming ‘felt suicidal’ before James Bond audition


Alan Cumming has revealed that one of his “darkest moments” came on the morning he auditioned for GoldenEye. Warning: contains mentions of suicidal thoughts.

Cumming played Bond villain Boris Grishenko in the 1995 film, a role which propelled him to Hollywood stardom.

But in a new interview, the Scottish actor admitted that he was at a low point when he auditioned for the role.

“It was one of the worst days of my life actually, the actor explained to CBS Mornings.

“I felt really, really, really low. I just now think, oh you poor little thing, you could’ve said: ‘I am feeling suicidal today.’”

GoldenEye was a pivotal moment in Cumming’s Hollywood acting career, and he later went on to act in a number of big-budget blockbusters and cult classics including Spy Kids, Josie & The Pussycats and Burlesque, as well as the cult classic Spice World: The Movie. He’s also enjoyeda hugely successful theatre career on Broadway and the West End.

Discussing his new memoir, Baggage: Tales from a Fully Packed Life, Cumming said: “That’s something I realised when I was writing, like, oh my God, Hollywood saved me.

“I have this sort of mantra, which is ‘Cancel, continue.’ When something bad happens I think, OK that happened, we can’t change that, let’s move on.”

Baggage: Tales From A Fully Packed Life is the actor’s second memoir following 2014’s Not My Father’s Son, which detailed on the violence he experienced as a child at the hands of his father.

“When I was 28, I suddenly remembered all this stuff from my childhood,” he said. “It’s still with me, I still get triggered by things. And we all have baggage, we all have trauma.”

“No one ever fully recovers from their past,” he writes in Baggage. “There is no cure for it. You just learn to manage and prioritise it.”

The new memoir will cover more of Cumming’s illustrious and diverse acting resumé. “There are very few actors who can say they made back-to-back films with Stanley Kubrick and the Spice Girls,” he quite accurately points out in the book.

Fans of the actor, who also runs Club Cumming, the notorious queer bar in Manhattan’s East Village, will be relieved to hear he may yet have a third book in him as there are still major milestones in his career he has yet to write about – including his iconic turn opposite Julianna Margulies in legal drama The Good Wife.

“I didn’t even mention my time on The Good Wife, and that role completely changed my life because I played a middle-aged man in a suit! And I am a middle-aged man,” he told Parade.

Baggage: Tales from a Fully Packed Life by Alan Cumming is out now.

Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). ​Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.





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