Posted on Friday, October 23rd, 2015 by Jacob Hall
Daniel Craig is the best actor to play James Bond since Sean Connery, but the two of them have more in common beyond providing audiences with a stellar 007. Connery famously hated playing the world’s most popular movie spy, famously saying “I have always hated that damned James Bond. I’d like to kill him.” Over the past few weeks, it has become obvious that Craig has similar feelings for the character.
Much like how being under a constant spotlight drove Connery to leave the series after You Only Live Twice (a reporter once followed him into the bathroom), the amount of media attention being lavished on Craig during the press rounds for Spectre appear to have completely and thoroughly broken him. “You want James Bond?” he theoretically snarls, his breath smelling of vodka martini, “Let me tell you about this James Bond you love so much!”
Read just how much Daniel Craig hates Bond after the jump.
The folks at Sony‘s marketing department already had an all-hands-on-deck situation when Craig started talking about how he’d rather slit his wrists than play James Bond again. Now, they have to deal with this brutally honest interview over at The Red Bulletin (yes, Red Bull’s online magazine), where Craig tells everyone what he really thinks about the most iconic action hero of the past century. The discussion gets off to an auspicious start with this genuinely hilarious exchange:
What could we learn from James Bond that would help us in our day-to-day lives?
[Thinks for a short while.]
Holy shit, Daniel Craig.
And it gets even better! Or worse, if you’re a member of Sony’s marketing team. When asked about Bond’s skills with the ladies, Craig took this softball question, dropped it on the ground, and proceeded to stomp it into the dirt:
But let’s not forget that he’s actually a misogynist. A lot of women are drawn to him chiefly because he embodies a certain kind of danger and never sticks around for too long.
Did… did the actor playing James Bond did just call the character a misogynist? In public? That label has been attached to the character for decades, but it’s the kind of thing the Bond producers have always managed to skillfully dodge. Enter Daniel Craig, who’s apparently tired enough of beating around the bush that he’s decided to burn down the bush with a Q-Branch flamethrower.
Craig gets one more jaw-dropper of the moment in this interview. Pressed about the kinder and gentler Bond of the past few years, Craig says that any progress is due to improved female characters sharing the screen with 007, not the other way around. But come for that line and stay for the one about Spectre co-star Monica Bellucci:
Bond has actually become a bit more chivalrous in the most recent films, hasn’t he?
That’s because we’ve surrounded him with very strong women who have no problem putting him in his place.
And this time you’ve gone one better, showing 007 succumbing to the charms of an older woman.
I think you mean the charms of a woman his own age. We’re talking about Monica Bellucci, for heaven’s sake. When someone like that wants to be a Bond girl, you just count yourself lucky!
Yes, a Bond actor just called out the character for rarely sleeping with women his own age. If this is Daniel Craig’s final outing as the character, he’s doing a mighty fine job torching every available bridge. That’s his prerogative, though. Craig is a smart guy and a fine actor. This awareness of the role he’s playing may very well be the reason he’s so good at playing it. In the rest of the interview, Craig is eloquent and thoughtful, especially when he talks about the difference between a hero and a role model:
Don’t confuse role models with heroes. My heroes are very personal to me. Both my grandfathers fought in the Second World War—one was in Germany, the other with the Royal Air Force in Siberia. But let’s not harp on about that. They hated talking about what was a terrible time. We should respect that.
There is nothing plastic or phony in this interview. Craig refuses to smile and nod and be pleasant to sell his movie. Grumpy Daniel Craig (and that seems to be the only mode he’s in as of late) is the best Daniel Craig. He may not care for playing Bond, but he’s doing him an incredible service by forcing us to actually think about a character we’ve taken for granted for so long. Bond needs to be continuously deconstructed. The last time the Bond franchise fell into a safe, easy-going rut, we got Die Another Day. Craig is doing everyone a favor.
Sean Connery ultimately did return to the James Bond series after he was offered a then-record breaking salary of £1.25 million (which he then donated to charity). If Connery can get dragged back to a character he disdained, Craig can be enticed back, too. And the 007 movies will be all the richer for having him.
Spectre opens on November 6, 2015. Craig is apparently excellent in it.