"I can't talk to you. I'm all tied up," laughed David McCallum. And he was, literally, tied up.
Wearing a brief pair of shorts and bound by heavy electric wiring, David was having a tough timer from breaking up in laugher on the set of---what else---"The Man From UNCLE." It's a sample of what's coming up this fall---a lot of sex, and beefcake by the guys instead of the usual cheesecake from the girls in the James Bond films.
The script gal and some of the regular makeup gals and wardrobe people on the set kidded David (or were they kidding?): "I've been waiting to get you like this for a long time," said one as she ran her finger up his naked back and he wriggled helplessly, tied to a metal pole for a wild segment you'll be seeing this season in which David Opatoshu, as a mad scientist, tries out his mummification formula on the near-naked David.
Before the prop men tied up David, he carefully adjusted his shorts---making them even briefer by rolling down the top. "Ahem," we coughed as we stood alongside. "Looking for trouble with the network censors?" He just winked at us.
"Just going in for a little more realism," he smiled. We noted that he seemed to be in good shape for a guy who has little time to get out of a sound stage.
"That picture this summer didn't hurt," he reminded us of "Around The World Under The Sea." But the tan had faded inside the studio walls and the makeup people had to cover him from head to toe---minus a small span---with the brown gook.
The wires were wrapped around his legs, thighs, chest and arms and pulled tight. "Tighter," said David. "You want it to look real, don't you?" he asked them. They reluctantly pulled the wires tighter. And for the ensuing time required for the takes, David never complained about the difficult, uncomfortable position.
"I was never quite so relaxed," he told us, "as earlier this week when I did the Andy Williams show." (In this one he really shows his comedic talents by voice-syncing to Judy Garland---who also guests.) "I hope I can do more---I love variety," he added.
We wondered how it felt playing to a "live" audience, compared to his year's work in front of the inanimate cameras. "It was so refreshing to have an audience," he said. "I love it." How did it compare to the "live" audiences when he made his personal appearances? we wondered.
"In those cases," he laughed, "I was only 'defending' myself."
While David was thus uncomfortably imprisoned, we also told him there had been more queries about the fact wife Jill wa often seen around without him---with Charles Bronson, plus Sally Kellerman. He shrugged his bare shoulders. "I don't care what people say, we're friends." Sample of David's generosity was evident to us when we bumped into him at the L.A. harbor, where he was saying goodbye to his housekeeper---whom he had given the summer off and a trip back to England, for the service given the McCallums during the past two years here. We couldn't help thinking as we watched David wave goodbye to her---wouldn't he like a chance to get away---on a big ship---with nothing to do. "Nope," he smiled, "I like to do things, see people." He also plans to stay here and take out US citizenship.