Daniel Craig is a sensational actor and we appreciated him taking time out of his busy schedule to sit down with us and talk about the challenge of becoming the new Bond, working opposite Eva Green, and his plans for 007ís future. Here's what he had to say:
Q: So, did you let yourself go after you wrapped production?
DC: You mean physically let myself go or mentally let myself go? I did a little bit of both after it. I went on holiday and let myself go in lots of ways. But that was just because we were in France and eating good food and drinking lots of wine. And I have kept up going to the gym, but not quite as intensely as I was doing it during the film.
Q: Have you had time to breathe yet?
DC: It wasnít like that because we went straight into long-lead press, a junket for a week, where I actually had to go talk about the movie just as we finished it. And it was one of the most bizarre experiences because I hadnít given it any thought. Iíd been just working. People were going, ĎWhatís it like to be Bond?í And I didnít know. I still donít really know. And then we went on holiday. So itís kind of never stopped. As much as I went away on holiday, the phone was ringing every day and we were discussing stuff about how we were going to do this and how weíre going to do that and what the next stage is. Itís a full-time job. Itís a good job, though.
Q: We heard you indulged in several vodka martinis when you got the role. Were you a fan of the drink?
DC: No, no. Believe me, a good one; nothing is like it. Iím not bad at mixing them, either. I used to do that in pubs, in bars. Iím quite particular about them.
Q: You had to go through a lot to get the role and youíve had to deal with the press and internet since getting it. Why did you want it?
DC: There are simple answers and thereís no kind of bullshit attached to it. The script was great. I got it and I read it and I thought, ĎIíd be a fool not to have a go at this.í Hindsight is a very easy thing to say, but I was going, ĎIf I donít do this, youíre going to regret not having a go at this,í because he is one of the biggest, iconographic [characters] in movie history. And Iím an actor. This is what I do for a living. If I donít take on challenges like this, then whatís the point? Work was going well. Itíd been going very well for me and Iíve been very happy with what Iíve been doing. And I so didnít
expect it to happen. I had other kinds of plans in my mind, maybe, what I wanted to do and how I wanted to carry on, but this came along and Barbara Broccoli is very persuasive. She made me an offer I couldnít refuse.
Q: How different at the end of the day is something like Bond vs. The Mother?
DC: It is and it isnít. Youíd be surprised, really. The biggest difference on a movie set like that is when you walk on and youíre doing a huge stunt sequence. Then you get an understanding of how big the scale is. You see many more people on set. But when youíre [doing a] dialogue sequence, when Iím doing it with Eva or Iím doing it with Mads, itís scaled down. Youíre trying to do the same thing as I was doing in The Mother. Youíre just telling a story and youíre acting with other people. I donít differentiate between the two, and that was important when we were doing the film. I didnít want us to shoot two movies. I didnít want to shoot an action movie and a love story, or whatever the story (part of it) was. I wanted it to be absolutely seamless. I wanted it to be so that I could see the storytelling going on in this.
Q: What was your most grueling stunt?
DC: They were all pretty grueling, but I think the Madagascar sequence at the beginning, because of all the running involved. I picked up injuries, strained muscles. I wouldnít classify myself as a professional athlete in any way, but I understand now a little bit more about how professional athletes are constantly working through pain. And painkillers go a long way.
Q: How pleased were you that this is a low-tech Bond adventure, light on the gadgets?
DC: It was not a debatable issue, and that was from all of us. That was from Martin. That was from Gary Powell, the stunt coordinator, and Barbara and Michael. It was NOT a debatable issue. We are making a movie here which is that any gadget, any kind of effect that happens, is part of the storytelling. You see at Miami Airport there are a lot of planes landing. They were there to sort of say, ĎWeíre in Miami. Here are the planes.í We couldnít have planes landing in the back of shots, so we had CGI to give us that. But nothing that you see in the movie, stunt-wise, is not happening. Itís all happening. And if itís not me doing, itís someone else doing it, and theyíre getting hurt. You also find out what itís like falling down a flight of stairs. It feels like youíre falling down a ****ing flight of stairs. And thatís what we wanted to feel. We wanted to feel the pain, the pain in it.
Q: How likable or not did you want your Bond to be?
DC: I didnít go out to make him likable. I didnít go out, going, ĎPlease like him.í I wanted him to be somebody who changed. I did not want him to be the same person at the beginning of the movie as he was at the end. And, for whatever reason, and I wasnít thinking beyond this movie at the time, I was thinking that if we ever do do another we need to have somewhere to go. I wanted to see a fallible human being, somebody that made mistakes, somebody who an audience watches and goes, ĎThis might not turn out good. This might turn out really bad.í And sometimes it did.
Q: How many are you signed to do?
Q: How tough was the torture scene to shoot?
DC: It was the simplest, easiest scene in the movie to shoot. I hate to say it, but it took a day. It took a day of shooting. It was on the page. Mads is a fantastic actor. We figured it out together. I sat in a corner and listened to some music and got myself into the idea. We both had a discussion. I said to myself, ĎThe one thing I donít want to do, even though he is in this position heís in, is have him lose.í He cannot lose. Even though he knows heís going to die, he must never let it go. Martins, Mads and I just sat down, talked about it, thought how we were going to do it and just got on with it and shot it. It was remarkably easy, apart from one [incident]. We had a hard bottom on the chair, obviously, because I wouldn't have been able to do it otherwise. And it cracked at one point. I left the room rather [hastily]. I just like [jumped] eight feet in the air [and yelled] ĎStop!!í
Q: What were you listening to?
DC: I was listening to the Clash and to the Foo Fighters. Vivaldi? No. The Four Seasons? No. It was just some good guitar music.
Q: Was there a point where, hearing the negative Internet and tabloid buzz, you took those comments to heart?
DC: Look, I will not lie to you about it. It affected me. It affected me and I went, ĎYou know what? What can I do? I canít answer it.í I canít start getting on Internet sites and go (he makes whining noises). I get it. I get the passion that people feel for this, and I understand it. But I make films. Normally, when I make a film, we wait until we get to the premiere or we wait to the time when the press screening happens, and I start getting reviews. So it was like, ĎSee the ****ing movie. Watch the movie and then you can say what you like about it. But just watch the movie.í Thatís my answer. Thereís no point in getting into tit for tat arguments about the way I look.
Q: Women at the screening gasped at your body, in a good way.
DC: Thank you.
Q: Can you talk about the James Bond workout you did?
DC: It was just nothing special. I went to the gym, I pushed weights and I ran about. It was intense. I mean, I had to do it every day. I was doing an hour and a half, maybe, every day. We increased the weight quite rapidly because that was the only way I was going to build up. I had a high-protein diet. And at the end of the workout Iíd do 20 minutes on the bike to try and keep the fat down. Thereís no real secret to it. You can find it in any heath magazine. I had a good trainer, which helped, someone encouraging me.
Q: Youíre signed for two more and you just said you want this to be a beginning for Bond. So what are the next steps?
DC: I think weíve set up the idea now that thereís an organization out there that needs to be sorted out, and heís sort of got a sense of revenge. He wants to go and get them, so thatís his spur. Everybody has sort of said, ĎThis is how he becomes Bond.í I think the process is still happening. That idea that we have the finished article? We havenít yet. Weíve got somebody whoís still maybe too headstrong and doesnít always make the right decision. I want to take on what weíve set up and I think weíve made a good movie here, and I want to make another good movie. I donít want to let the ball drop.
Q: Why does it work more for you that heís fallible?
DC: Because I think itís dramatically much more interesting. If I play any character I want to see a weakness within them, because I want to see how they cope with that, how they dealt with it. I donít want to watch two-dimensional characters when I go to the cinema. I want to watch rounded people make decisions, and I canít believe that theyíd make a decision that theyíre Teflon-coated. That doesnít interest me.
Q: How do you think the action-adventure landscape has changed since the last film?
DC: Weíve got a number of things. People have mentioned the Bourne series, which are superb movies. Theyíre pretty gritty. But weíve had those kinds of movies for years. If you think about Get Carter and think about the Michael Caine spy movies that were done during the 1960s. Those have always interested me. I think Bond had a lot of that in the beginning, then it sort of was lost, and then it came back again with Timothy Dalton. A lot of influences from movies I put into the work I do. The landscape has changed in the world, politically, but I donít know if weíre any less confused than we ever were. Thatís what I think is enduring about the character is that he kind of seems to know the answer. At least he knows where the bad guy is and he goes and gets him. I think that, as a piece of escapism, thatís what I want to see in my Bond character. I want to see a guy who knows what heís up to.
Q: How is His Dark Materials going?
DC: Thatís fantastic. Those are three of my favorite books, the Philip Pullman trilogy. Just the timing worked out. New Line came and said, ĎAre you interested?í And I was interested. I think they are fantastic childrenís books. I think theyíre about love and theyíre about growing up and theyíre about how, as adults, we should see the world, and how, for children, growing up is one of the biggest struggles, one of the toughest things youíll ever do.
Q: What direction are you going with your character?
DC: A fine direction. Heís single-minded. Heís not unlike the one Iím playing at the moment. Heís singled-minded in trying to achieve something, because he believes that without a little change in the world then it wonít move on.
Q: Have you read the Fleming book?
DC: I read it. I read it. I read most of them. I read most of them and I watched all of the movies and then I kind of put it there. Thereís a huge history, a huge lineage of the books and the films, and to ignore it to would be stupid. So I soaked it up and just got as much of it [as I could]. I had them in my trailer. Iíd relax and stick on one and just check it out. I didnít want to miss a trick.
Q: What does your daughter make of you being Bond?
DC: I donít want to talk about my daughter, sorry. Her privacy is sacred. Itís absolutely sacred to me.
Q: What does your family make of it?
DC: Itís a huge deal. Theyíre very proud and seem to be very happy. Iíve been acting a long time now, so itís not like I havenít been doing things and they havenít noticed things and I havenít been getting a lot more press. This is a big deal, but this hasnít come out of the blue.
Q: How was the sinking house sequence to shoot?
DC: Chris Corbould, who was the special effects supervisor/set designer, is a genius, just a genius. It was on the Bond stage. There was 20 feet of water and this house. And it sank five, six, seven times a day, like that into the water. It was like a roller coaster and it was all computer-driven. Then it would raise out, weíd dry it off a bit and weíd do the scene again. I think it's a great sequence. Iíve ever seen anything like that before. Itís not the submarine base. Maybe there will be a submarine base next time.
Q: How different is this from everything else youíve done in terms of seeing it actually put together and sitting there in a theater?
DC: I donít know, really, how to say it. I think the finished product is quite extraordinary. Whatís interesting is that from the very beginning, ĎIf you include me in everything thatís going on, everything thatís going on in the movie, I will feel confident enough to be able to walk on that set and play this man.í And they, thankfully, as Martin did, involved me. Even though Iím certainly not responsible, I had a say in the look of the film, the feel of the film, the music. So I feel just immensely proud. Thatís the simple way of looking at it, I think.
Q: Do you worry at all about being trapped in the role?
DC: Itís a high-class problem to have. Itís a very high-class problem to have. There are worse things. I count myself very blessed to be in a situation like this. Iím not looking for a way of countering it. Iím just going to enjoy it for the moment, as opposed to looking at the negative.
Q: What if you play a wimp in your next role?
DC: A wimp with a heart. Maybe youíve got a good idea.
Q: Have you been in contact with past Bonds?
DC: Someone asked me the other day, ĎIs there a secret group?í We were trying to decide whether Iíd be kidnapped one night and get a bag pulled off my head and say, ĎOh, hi guys.í Pierce Brosnan has been very supportive. I met him last year at last yearís BAFTAís and heís just been great. He said, ĎGo for it. Youíve got to go for it.í And I hear through the press that other (positive) things have been said. Whether theyíre true or not, I donít know, but it seems to me that thereís been some nice things said, which helps.
*Heather Marks*Georgia Frost*Jessica Stam*
Sasha Pivovarova*Freja Beha
Q: Did Brosnan have any advice?
DC: Just ĎGo for it. Just go for it. Have a go, and youíll have the ride of your life.í
Q: No advice about weapons, women and cars?
DC: What? Weapons? Weapons, women and cars? I had some experience in that, so I
tried to put that in.
Q: Brosnan also said, in interviews after he was officially not going to do it, but before you signed on: Get a good lawyer.
DC: I already have one.
Q: Not to get into controversial territory, but whoís you favorite of past Bonds?
DC: Itís not controversial at all, because Sean Connery defined it. From Russia with Love is one of my favorite films. What he began there, what he started, and his physicality. He did it. And itís no reflection on any of the others. Itís just thatís where I look. If I think about Bond, I think about him.
Q: Have you seen the first Casino Royale?
DC: There was actually a TV movie, but of course Iíve seen the David Niven film. I thought it was a ****ing mess; what am I going to tell you? But it was meant to be. It was always meant to be. The producers of that, they deliberately got in all those directors. I think John Huston directed a bit of it. Orson Welles directed a bit of it. And then there were four other directors. Woody Allenís in it. David Niven. Peter Sellers. And theyíre all playing Bond. I donít know. Itís confusing. Itís good fun, but itís nothing to do with the book.
Q: When did you do Infamous?
DC: I did that at the beginning of last year, way before [Bond].
Q: Youíre going on a publicity tour with Bond, then going back to work on The Golden Compass. Eva is in that, too. Do you have scenes together?
DC: No. Maybe if there is a third movie, if we do the third book of the trilogy, we will have scenes together. But not in this one.
Q: You and Eva have wonderful chemistry in this. What can you say about her?
DC: I know there was a lot in the press about who was going to do this and whatever. When she came in there was no decision for me. She brings to it something special. Sheís got a mystery about her, anyway, Eva, and the character had to have a mystery. Sheís beautiful and, well, she can act. Thatís the really important thing. It needed to be someone who I would think he could fall in love with, and Eva does such a fantastic job. I mean, sheís the heartbeat of this movie. And that was crucial that we got that love story going because then everything else sort of slots into place around it. She was great and we had a lot of fun together.
Q: What was it like working with Giancarlo Giannini?
DC: Well, heís fantabulous. Giancarlo is very naughty, all the time. He likes women. (laughs). He was very funny all the time. Heís a live wire. He brings a really, really fantastic atmosphere to the set. And heís a pleasure to work with.
Q: How are you going to balance everything from here on in?
DC: This is a big deal. I canít construct it. You canít make that happen. It will happen or it wonít happen, and itíll ride on the fact whether or not thereís stuff out there and how people perceive this movie. Those are things I havenít planned, but Iím doing what Iíve always done, which is read scripts. Iím hopefully going to make a movie next year with my best friend, which is about growing up. Itís small. Iím doing it because I love the script. I havenít got suddenly this producerís hat on now, going, ĎWell, if you do this you must do this and do this.í Iíll kind of take it as it comes.
Q: You donĻt have a producerís hat on now, but do you want to producer and/or
DC: Iíd love to, yeah. I kind of consider myself a moviemaker and thatís the natural extension of that. Iíd love to start producing movies. Somebody asked me the other day whether Iíd direct a movie, and I said, ĎNo f**king way.í I mean, Martin, on this job, he was the first to arrive on the set and the last to leave, and thatís what a good director does. Heís in control. But producing would be interesting.
Q: Women like your body, as we discussed, but what do you think of your ***?
DC: I canít see it! Every time I turn around it disappears. Iím not looking at my ***. Where are you going with this??!!
Q: Do you worry at all about putting on too much muscle, being too big?
DC: Yeah, there was, but you canít really gauge that. Iíve always worked out, and when I push weights Iíve got genes there. My uncles and things are all big. My grandfather was 6-foot-2 and big. The only intention with that was when I took my shirt off I wanted it to look like what he was capable of doing. Itís a hit and miss thing. Itís not an exact science. Itís a silly thing you get into. I was like, ĎOh my God, Iíve bench-pressed 180 pounds.í You can only go so far down that road and then youíve got to drag yourself back to life and sort of say, ĎItís not my existence.í
Q: You do have to look good in a dinner jacket?
DC: Well, there you go. And those two things often donít mix, so I had to be careful about it. I know (costume designer) Lindy Hemming had me at one point. I came in and had a costume fitting at Brioni and I came back like a month and a half later and Iíd been working quite intensely. And she just went, ĎOh, Jesus Christ, weíre going to have to let this out.í But, actually, we worked it out in the end. The way she designed it made it look pretty good.
Q: We heard about the card games during breaks. Who was the better player, you or Mads?
DC: Ah, who do you think?
Q: What about shooting the three weeks of poker?
DC: Itís tricky. If you tried to shoot this table here, youíd have to shoot everybody, and thatís what it was like at that table. What we did and what was really essential was the fact that we made the scene about the battle that was going on, and because of that I think the scene works really beautifully.
Thatís a testament to Martin and to Stuart Baird, the editor, because itís really tricky to get that intensity. The cards are important, whatís on the table, but not everybody understands cards. Itís funny, we were watching the other night and obviously there were a couple of hands that went down where people were like, ĎWow.í We got some gasps in the audience because they were good hands. But actually itís not important. The important thing is whoís winning and, actually, who screws the other person. And I get him in the end. "Casino RoyaleĒ opens in theaters on November 17th.
*Heather Marks*Georgia Frost*Jessica Stam*
Sasha Pivovarova*Freja Beha
Last edited by Hanne; 05-12-2006 at 03:51 AM. Reason: please see tfs guidelines - profanity