Daniel Craig wanted to turn down Bond – then he read the script for Casino Royale and knew it was worth the gamble
Daniel Craig has spoken about how playing the world’s most famous spy has impacted his mental health.
“I didn’t really want to do it,” he said, reflecting on first being offered the role. “Because I thought I wouldn’t know what to do with it. I was going to get the script, read it, and say, ‘Thanks but no.'”
“My personal life was affected by being that famous all of a sudden,” he told Apple TV+ in new documentary, Being James Bond. “I used to lock myself in and close the curtains, I was in cloud cuckoo land. I was physically and mentally under siege.”
Craig continued: “I didn’t like the newfound level of fame. It was Hugh Jackman who helped me to come to terms with it and appreciate it.”
No Time To Die, released on September 30, is Craig’s final appearance as James Bond after he picked up the mantle from Pierce Brosnan with Casino Royale in 2006.
He ended up playing 007 in five movies in total. The others are 2008’s Quantum of Solace, 2012’s Skyfall and 2015’s Spectre.
“As far as I was concerned I was already more successful than I would ever be as an actor — I did not have a cool persona,” he said of the period before he took the role.
Craig was known for indie films such as 2004 British crime film Layer Cake and 2005 action thriller Munich before Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson called. He told Apple TV+ the Bond role wasn’t something he pictured for himself.
“I had done weird arty movies. It was a harder sell. And I didn’t really want to do it, because I thought I wouldn’t know what to do with it. I was going to get the script, read it, and say, ‘Thanks but no’.”
But then he read the script. “But little did I know, it was Casino Royale. The story was solid, the script was solid.”
Craig has generally received warm reviews for his portrayal of Bond. When Casino Royale came out, The Telegraph called Craig “an excellent actor, [who] has more than earned his Walther PPK”.
However, there was backlash after he was announced as the first-ever blonde Bond. At the time, an entire website was set up to campaign against him being blonde, as that’s not how the character was written in the original Ian Fleming novels.
No Time To Die had been scheduled for release in April 2020, and was the biggest Blockbuster to be directly affected by the pandemic, having rescheduled its launch date three times over the past 18 months.
— James Bond (@007) September 3, 2020
Following Craig, rumours are already spreading online about who may take up the Bond role next. Most of the hype is around Brigerton actor Rege Jean-Page. Addressing the rumours, he told GQ: “Well, of all the things you’ll read about yourself on the Internet, it’s one of the more pleasant and more flattering. But I take it and leave it at that, personally.”
Superman actor Henry Cavill is another name being banded around to take up the role. Addressing the rumours, he told GQ: “If Barbara [Bond producer Barbara Broccoli] and Mike [co-producer Michael G. Wilson] were interested in that, I would absolutely jump at the opportunity.”
There isn’t a whole load of information available about No Time To Die as yet, but we do know that the film is set five years after Spectre, and Bond is still with his love interest from that film, Dr Madeleine Swann, played by Léa Seydoux.
Scenes have been shot in Jamaica, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Italy and London. Speaking about the plot, Craig told Fandango it would be about “relationships and family.”
There are even rumours the famously single spy may father a child in the new film… But Bond purists, fear not: all the gadgetry and explosions are also back with full force.