Daniel Craig Explains Why There Was A Five Year Gap Between Bond Movies

Last week, No Time to Die, the 25th James Bond movie, was delayed until November. But it seems as if some publicity demands were already in place for actor Daniel Craig, who is playing the British super spy for the final time. Despite the film's delay, Craig hosted Saturday Night Live this past weekend and also appears as the new cover star of GQ magazine, where he gave an in-depth interview explaining why there has been a five year gap since the previous Bond movie and the many injuries he's sustained while playing the character. Read on for some highlights below.

List of Daniel Craig Injuries Sustained While Playing James Bond

Craig was 37 when he was cast as the world's most famous spy. He's 52 now, and during his tenure as Bond, the longest of any actor, he experienced a significant number of physical injuries. (Not to mention the psychological turmoil of being the public face of a franchise in which the scripts are often written on the fly.)

While making 2008's Quantum of Solace, Craig tore the labrum — the connecting cartilage — in his right shoulder during an aerial stunt. When he jumped through a window in Italy, he hurt it again. "I was just nervous and overcooked it," he told GQ. "At that point, my arm was kind of useless."

Not long into production on 2012's Skyfall, Craig ruptured both his calf muscles, forcing him to participated in rehab while making the movie. "It's not about recovery, because you know you can recover," he said. "It's about psychologically thinking that you're going to do it again."

But Bond is nothing if not a British icon, so Craig adopted his homeland's stiff upper lip mentality and came back for more. While making 2016's Spectre, the star jacked up his anterior cruciate ligament during a fight scene with Dave Bautista's Mr. Hinx. "I was like, 'Dave, throw me, for Christ's sake....' Because he was being light with me," Craig said. "So he threw me, and God bless him, he just left my knee over there." (Bautista didn't escape that interaction unscathed, by the way.)

That injury meant that Craig spent the rest of Spectre's production wearing a knee brace that had to be hidden in post-production. "That was a drag," he said of the experience. No kidding. Perhaps his hyperbolic comment that he would "rather break this glass and slash [his] wrists" rather than play Bond again in the wake of Spectre is a bit more understandable:

"I was never going to do one again. I was like, 'Is this work really genuinely worth this, to go through this, this whole thing?' And I didn't feel...I felt physically really low. So the prospect of doing another movie was just like, it was off the cards. And that's why it has been five years."

Daniel Craig on James Bond's Arc Through His Five Films

The GQ piece is the best history of Craig's involvement with the iconic role that I've seen, so I highly encourage you to carve out a few minutes to read the entire thing. I'll leave you with one more excerpt, in which Craig talks about the arc of Bond during his entire run as the character:

"The biggest ideas are the best," he told me. "And the biggest ideas are love and tragedy and loss. They just are, and that's what I instinctively want to aim for." After the death of Vesper Lynd, he wanted Bond to shut down, lose everything, and over the course of several adventures, gradually find himself again. "I think we've done it, with No Time To Die," Craig said. "I think we've got to this place—and it was to discover his love, that he could be in love and that that was okay."

No Time to Die arrives in UK theaters on November 12, 2020 and in US theaters on November 25, 2020.