Mumbai: Daniel Craig is perhaps the only Bond, apart from Pierce Brosnan, who had an established Hollywood career before he was cast as 007. Craig starred as Angelina Jolie’s love interest in Lara Croft Tomb Raider, but the performances one remembers are the ones he delivered in Road to Perdition, Layer Cake and more recently, in Steven Speilberg’s Munich.
It’s clear however, like all the actors who played Bond before him, his career may always be defined by this one character. In an exclusive interview to Gyanguru’s entertainment editor Movie Guru, new Bond Daniel Craig talks about the occupational hazard of playing 007.
Movie Guru: Daniel Craig, welcome to the show.
Daniel Craig: It is good to be here.
Movie Guru: Where were you, what were you doing and how did you react exactly when you were told you were the next Bond?
Daniel Craig: It’s an old story, but I think that it’s quite a good story. I was shopping, I was buying food and I got a phone call from Barbara Broccoli (producer) and she said ‘hi’, I said ‘hello’. She said, ‘over to you kiddo’ and that was it and then, I went and got drunk on vodka martinis because I thought that was the thing to do.
Movie Guru: The tabloids have not been easy on you, has it ever been upsetting?
Daniel Craig: It was tough for a while, but we were making the film and the great thing is that the support I was getting from everybody on the movie was just second to none. So, just stuck my head down and got on with it.
Movie Guru: The agenda for Casino Royale was to reinvent the Bond franchise and also to make this one more realistic. Was that what got you interested in the script?
Daniel Craig: It certainly picked my interest, but until you see the script, it’s just a lot of lovely things to say. It was worried that it wasn’t a question of totally reinventing it because nobody feels more protective about it than I do and I didn’t want to mess around with it so much that we were not making a Bond film. What was first and foremost on our mind was that we had to make a Bond movie as best as we could, but adding to it more about his character and about who he is and how he makes mistakes and gets through life.
Movie Guru: One of the things that was decided quite early on was that there would be very little digital effects, which means that a lot of the stunts that we see is actually you doing them.
Daniel Craig: A lot of them are not me doing them because can’t physically do them because the insurance company does not allow mw to do things, probably for my own safety. What’s important is that we see that there are people doing them and what we see when we see cars turning over, see people jumping from great heights and hanging from a150 feet in the air, which was me occasionally, it’s a human being doing it. And there is no green screen, it is absolutely shot at the location.
Movie Guru: And you really bruised yourself in this film?
Daniel Craig: Yes, a bit, yeah.
Movie Guru: Where would you like to see the Bond films really going from here, now that they have gone a little more realistic?
Daniel Craig: The realism is a fantasy realism. We are still in a Bond world and these things can happen only in a Bond world. I want to see the next Bond movie bigger and better than this one, that’s the simple answer to that.
Movie Guru: You are contracted to do the next one, do you have any idea where it’s going?
Daniel Craig: Not yet, no. I hope we will take it on straight from the end of this one, but we’ll see.
Movie Guru: This one’s a lot more violent and a lot more bloody than the previous Bond films, is that a good thing?
Daniel Craig: It depends which way you look at it. I feel that the violence in the movie is necessary it is a part of the plot and it is a part of the story we are trying to tell. And we don’t hold back from it because first of all, we are making a Bond movie and Bond movies have always been fairly violent. If you look at the early Sean Connery movies, they were very violent. What we do is that we try and show the consequence of the violence, we try and show the repercussions of it and that’s more emotionally engaging and therefore, you emotionally connect to the people involved and care more. That is I think less violent in a way than actually not showing blood or people being hurt in movies.
Movie Guru: How many languages do you speak?
Daniel Craig: I speak non-violent and English is just about possible…
Movie Guru: In India, you are going to be speaking – apart from English – three regional languages (Hindi, Tamil, Telegu).
Daniel Craig: That’s fabulous news.
Movie Guru: Best of luck, thank you for joining us.