The original men from Uncle: We didn’t know they were making it into a film and we’ve never heard of the stars

David McCallum and Robert Vaughn had no idea their cult 60s TV series was being turned into a movie and had never heard of Armie Hammer or Henry Cavill, the actors who are playing Illya Kuryakin and Napolean Solo on the big screen

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David McCallum and Robert Vaughn, the stars of cult 60s TV spy drama The Man From Uncle, admit that until recently they’d had no idea the series was being turned into a film and had never heard of the Hollywood actors who are reprising their roles at the cinema.

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“I didn’t even know there was a movie coming out,” British actor David McCallum, who played Russian agent Illya Kuryakin, reveals in the new issue of Radio Times. “Nobody said anything to me about it and I’d never heard of the two stars! But I’m delighted and I wish them every success.”

Robert Vaughn, who was Kuryakin’s American partner Napoleon Solo at the original United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, says the same thing: “I live in the country and it’s not easy for me to get to movies. I don’t know much about it and I don’t know the actors who are in it.”

Having since seen the movie at a private screening, however, McCallum has praise for both director Guy Ritchie and for Armie Hammer, who plays the character that launched McCallum’s career. 

“Guy Ritchie and his writers have done an excellent job and have produced an exciting, original action movie that pays great tribute to the work Robert Vaughn, Leo G Carroll [head of UNCLE Mr Waverly] and myself did back in the 60s, ” says McCallum. “But at the same time it stays away from what we did and creates something original. Armie Hammer has done a wonderful job as Illya Kuryakin and I’ve completely fallen in love with [female lead] Alia Vikander!”

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Read the full interviews with David McCallum and Robert Vaughn in the new edition of Radio Times, available in shops and on the newsstand for iPad and iPhone from Tuesday 4th August