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interview: Patrick Bauchau, “Scarpine”

Patrick Bauchau is probably best remembered by Bond fans as the suave and ultra cool Scarpine, Head of Security for Max Zorin, in A VIEW TO A KILL. In the film he gets to rig a horse race against Bond, eventually knocks him unconscious and assists in trying to drown him, feeds Klotkoff to the propellers, sets fire to San Francisco City Hall, traps Bond and Stacey in a burning elevator shaft, guns down dozens of miners, drains a lake, floods a fault, aids Zorin in creating an earthquake that will kill millions and tries to splatter Bond up against the Golden Gate Bridge. Scarpine is as bad as they come. But what kind of person is Patrick Bauchau? Unlike his alter-ego, I found Bauchau (and his wife) to be quite nice, charming and very friendly.

Patrick Bauchau (pronounced “beau-show”) was born in Brussels and raised in Belgium, England and Switzerland. His father, Henry Bauchau, a Flemish writer, served in the Belgian underground during the war, ran a publishing company and was the head of a finishing school in Switzerland. His mother, the late Mary Kozyrev, expatriated from Russia and at one time ran both the publishing company and the finishing school. Patrick attended Oxford university on an academic scholarship and holds a degree in modern languages. He speaks English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Walloon. He also knows a bit of Flemish and Russian which he learned as a child.

A VIEW TO A KILL was his first major film; a big break of sorts. His agent, Jean Diamond, knew the location work of the film would eventually lead the project to Paris and Chantilly, France, and suggested Bauchau meet with Cubby Broccoli in London for the role of Scarpine. `When I first met the producers, there was little to the role; no characterization,` Patrick said. In fact, the role was actually written as an Italian henchmen. Many fans assume that the name Scarpine was based on the scar that Bauchau had on his left cheek, a scar which, by the way, was not real and had to be reapplied
every day. In actuality, the name Scarpine is Italian and means “little shoes”. At first “they [the producers] wanted me to play him with an Italian accent but after a few attempts at it, word came down to do it straight”. Therefore, the Italian background and accent went right out the door, much to his disappointment. He was looking forward to playing an ethnic character. Although he wouldn`t get his chance here, the Tom Clancy thriller CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER would open up the opportunity to do for that film what he hadn`t been allowed to do for A VIEW TO A KILL.

When asked to recollect his experiences on the set of A VIEW TO A KILL, Patrick was both gracious and honest. “It was very enlightening…a great experience. I felt like part of a family” he said of the atmosphere that Cubby Broccoli was famous for fostering on the set. But there were some things that even Cubby`s good nature couldn`t overcome: the nasty June 27th, 1984 fire that burned The 007 Stage to the ground. Though the studio was rebuilt in time to accommodate the massive sets needed for A VIEW TO A KILL, particularly the mine sequences, it did take its toll on the cast, who
at times could do nothing but wait in boredom until their set was ready for shooting. “At times it was like biting my nails, waiting for something to happen,” Bauchau explains. “France went smoothly. Iceland went smoothly. San Francisco went smoothly…but London went on forever.”

At one point during the filming of the zeppelin sequences, Patrick fell asleep while the cameras were shooting. The cast and crew played a joke on him, by all gathering around him, staring at him and bringing the camera in for a close up shot. Patrick was in a bit of shock to eventually wake up and find a hundred people, and a couple of cameras, all looking at him.

Fans who thought Zorin`s remark about the history of Chantilly Castle`s stables was just a joke have presumed wrong. Patrick`s lovely wife Mijanou told me how Le Prince de Condé built the castle and the stables to be even bigger than Louis XIV Gallerie des Glaces in Versailles. When asked why he was building such a large, palatial estate, Le Prince de Condé answered: “It`s because I`m going to be reincarnated as a horse!”

Patrick says that Roger Moore was the most relaxed person he ever met,
always playing backgammon with Cubby Broccoli (the producer) and always having a very funny and caustic joke ready. For their scenes together at the Chantilly Estate, they didn`t always know how to exit out of the scene, as Director John Glen was sometimes more interested in establishing the shot but not calling “Cut!” Patrick said : “I`ll go to the right!” and Roger said: “Ok, I`ll go to the left and I shall phone them for the rest of my dialogue.”

The effect the long waits took on the cast would not surprise some of the fans, and most of the harsh critics, who felt the whole production lacked punch. Grace Jones was a “true delight”, Bauchau remembers, but as for 007 himself, Patrick felt “Roger…knew this would be his last and didn`t seem too interested in the film.” The production schedule seemed to affect even veteran actor and Oscar winner Christopher Walken. As the shoot wore on, Walken seemed to “slump into a daze”. Patrick didn`t immediately see the film when it came out because he was busy shooting another film. But
he did see it later and thought it `good, but not among the best,` a reason he attributes, partially, to the technical issues surrounding the fire.

I asked him if he`d seen any of the Bond films since the release of AVIEW TO A KILL and he gave a very thoughtful, deliberate, and perhaps insightful answer. He said that he had seen Timothy Dalton`s films, but had not seen the “American Bond films.” I laughed a little bit and asked him to clarify what he meant by “American Bond films” since Brosnan is a proud Irishman. Bauchau feels that the Brosnan films are a “Hollywood Bond” production, and lacked the style and coolness factor of Sean Connery, whom he really likes.

Bauchau`s work cuts across so many different genres that it would be remiss of us to not mention some of the highlights of his very successful post-Bond career. He`s dabbled in Drama/Horror with two different shows: BLOOD TIES and KINDRED: THE EMBRACED. `TIES` was an ambitious project from the mind of Richard Shapiro, one half of the dynamic duo Shapiro team (the other half being his wife, Esther). Together, they were responsible for such fare as DYNASTY and it`s spin-off THE COLBY`s. In 1991 they set out to revitalize the genre of nightime dramas, a genre that had been considered to be defunct, with DALLAS, DYNASTY, THE COLBY`S and FALCON CREST all either off the air or about to be cancelled. BLOOD TIES was the story of wealthy,
warring families who just happen to be vampires. BLOOD TIES was a very
compelling, captivating, well acted tv-pilot that turned and twisted the notions of soap operas and night time dramas. But the Shapiros had problems with the FOX Network as well as Aaron Spelling and the proposed drama was thus cancelled. KINDRED: THE EMBRACED fared no better.

Bauchau`s other big name projects have included two different Tom Clancy projects: CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER and OP CENTER. In `DANGER`, Bauchau played Enrique Rojas, a rival Columbian drug lord to the main villain, so thoroughly that he was virtually unrecogonizable. Bauchau came upon the part because his neighbor isn`t just a neighbor; he`s a friend. And his friend isn`t just any friend; he`s a director. And he`s not just any director: he`s big name director Phillip Noyce, who has directed projects such as SLIVER, THE SAINT and PATRIOT GAMES. For the past four years Bauchau has played Centre operator SYDNEY on the hit NBC show THE PRETENDER. Ironically, one time Bond actor George Lazenby appeared on THE PRETENDER as Jarod`s father, and came back for the season finale.

George and Patrick are good friends on and off camera.

So where is Patrick going from here? NBC has not renewed THE PRETENDER after four years, but there is interest from TNT, which will begin airing the show in syndication in September 2000. But Patrick is hardly wanting for work. His schedule is very full this summer, with an expected shoot in Montana for an upcoming movie, as well as starring in the new Jennifer Lopez psychological thriller THE CELL, which is due to open August 2000. He even hints that STAR TREK may be in his future, in one form or another. Though no formal discussions have taken place, and the future of STAR TREK is up in
the air in terms of both the television series and feature films, Bauchau alludes to some interest on their (the producers) part towards him. “I`d love to do STAR TREK. I`m interested in that and I think they are interested in me,” he said.

Patrick has lived in Los Angeles since the mid-80`s as a matter of practicality; so much of his work was taking him to Los Angeles. He divides his time between projects there and projects in France, not neglecting the European cinema. Often, he and Mijanou spend the hiatus months of THE PRETENDER in France. They have one daughter, Camille, and Mijanou is the sister of famed screen legend Brigitte Bardot.

007Forever would like to thank Patrick, Mijanou and the webmaster of www.bauchau.com, Deb Stewart, for arranging their busy schedules to talk with us.

For more information on Patrick Bauchau, you can visit his official website: www.bauchau.com.