Trina Parks is just super isn’t she? I mean really super. I reached out to Trina and asked if she had time to answer a couple of questions regarding her role as villainous henchwoman Thumper in Diamonds Are Forever, and God bless her she replied. (Please find the interview below).
Setting the scene
I personally love the scene where Bond walks into Elrod House, the villa of Willard Whyte, and is soon ‘accosted’ by Bambi and Thumper (played by Trina Parks). It’s definitely a James Bond Location on my wish list.
As Martijn Mulder so poignantly states in his book On the Tracks of 007 ‘If you didn’t know any better then you’d think it would be a Ken Adam set‘.
It’s an audacious design by architect John Lautner and embodies Free Architecture, where nature and architecture are combined.
This look was achieved by Lautner who decided to excavate the soil when building the house, but kept the rocks in place. These rocks are part of the interior of the house and run straight through the walls and windows.
I’ve look at the recent comment thread and it looks like the place is still under renovation. By all accounts you can visit the house during Palms Springs Modernism Week that are held every year. The next one being in February 14-24, 2019.
Bond initially thinks his luck is in as he is greeted by the amorous Bambi and Thumper. Thumper is sprawled out on some of the rocks in a fetching yellow bikini inside the house and Bond being the gentleman helps her down.
But Bond is soon in soon in peril as Bambi and Thumper turn on Bond and toy with him, flipping him back and forth in a Cirque du Soleil-esque killing ritual.
Bond is thrown into the concrete domed pool but comes out on top as he overpowers the acrobatics of Thumper and Bambi. Here below is the e-interview with Trina Parks, celebrated dancer, choreographer and teacher. Enjoy.
On average how many James Bond related emails/interview requests, screenings etc hit your inbox on a weekly basis?
On a monthly basis, it would be about 2-3
Have you ever been back to the Elrod house where you filmed the fight scene to Diamonds are Forever?
Yes! I’ve been to the El Rod house many times. To several ‘James Bond’ events, at the house. I lived in Palm Springs CA, from 2002 -2015.
Did you manage to take any souvenirs away with you from the movie? The bikini perhaps or some other memorabilia?
No, I didn’t even take my bikini! I probably could have taken the bikini, but by the time I finished shooting, the costume people and others (make up, etc) were either packed up or packing.
Of course my assistant stayed. I learned from that, to ask to keep what costumes, jewellery, or whatever I could. I was given the dress and jewellery and the faux fur wrap (see below) from the ‘Black Bond Women Tribute’. The dress and shawl is from the designer that works for Essence Magazine.
Can you still remember where you were and what you were doing when you found out that you were going to be cast as Thumper?
I was in Los Angeles, I remember getting the call and my agent telling me to come to the agency the next day, to sign the contract!
Best dressed Bond is Sir Sean Connery! Nothing significantly happened to Sir Sean’s costumes. We had to change, after the pool shot. Which was done, the last day or 2, of shooting.
Do you think you could still come back to the franchise?
I would like to be, in another ‘Bond’ film. I’m asked that question a lot too. Its up to producer, Barbara Broccoli.
Have you ever had any chance encounters/meet ups with anyone from Diamonds Are Forever years after?
Lana Wood, Bruce Glover & I, have done several autograph shows together. Lana and I, have also done personal appearances together, in the USA & England.
What is an average day like for you now outside of the Bond world?
Besides being an actress, I am a master dance instructor. In 2016, I’ve written a ‘Black Dance History Lecture & Demonstration’ program. I’ve presented it to 12th graders, up to senior citizens!’ In 2010, I created, wrote, directed, choreographed and costumed, the “Black & Brown Anthology”, an educational & entertaining musical production.
Finally Trina Parks, your favourite Bond movie or scene outside of Diamonds Are Forever.
I liked “LIVE & LET DIE”, because I have 2 dear friends in it. Gloria Hendry & the late Geoffrey Holder (who I’ve worked with many times).