God save the queen. And get her a razor for her five o'clock shadow.
The stuntperson who was featured during that showstopping moment in Friday night's Opening Ceremony when Queen Elizabeth jumped out of a helicopter with James Bond was a better actor than you ever knew. A closer look reveals it was a man dressed as the queen and pulling the cord on the parachute.
Gary Connery, above right, is a 42-year-old stuntperson who has appeared in British television shows and popular movies including the "Indiana Jones" series. He's a jumping daredevil, having set the record for highest free jump and making close to 1,000 skydives in his career.
[ Photos: Best and worst dressed of the Opening Ceremony ]
Connery was tasked with playing the queen during the ceremony, a role which included jumping out of the helicopter and landing precisely on a nearby bridge and, perhaps more dangerously, wearing a tiara and pearls.
The stuntman said he "thoroughly enjoyed dressing up as queenie" and that the experience of performing at the Opening Ceremony was "unsurpassable" and "absolutely stunning." As the picture above shows, "parachute pants" are worn by more than MC Hammer.
Connery did a wonderful job but something's nagging at me. Danny Boyle's Opening Ceremony was intended to be a triumph of egalitarianism. Yet they still needed a man to play the role of a queen? I'm not saying they needed to find another 86-year-old willing to jump out of a helicopter. But surely there were plenty of women who would have looked more regal in that salmon, v-neck dress.
And can we take a moment to appreciate that the man who accompanied a faux James Bond on a jump has the last name Connery? It's almost too perfect. (Checks to see whether the actor who played James Bond has the last name Tudor.)
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- Arts & Entertainment
- James Bond
- God save the queen