The actor presents the latest chapter of 007 “No Time To Die”, then he will leave after 15 years. Together with him Lea Seydoux: “Daniel made it more accessible, he humanized it”
“I couldn’t be friends with 007, I don’t want to spend time with a killer. But I don’t judge the characters I play, I find a way to like them, ”says Daniel Craig via zoom. Five years later Spectre, left the tuxedo in the closet, in No Time To Die we find 007 retiree in Jamaica fishing, sunbathing … But so, without action, he is a fish out of water and an old friend of his from the CIA drags him into the usual “mess”. And he asks Daniel Craig for help, in his fifth and final performance. It takes little to get back on board the glorious Aston Villa DB5, in the tight hairpin bends of Matera where he was happy and in love in the arms of Madeleine, the psychologist played by Léa Seydoux. “Shooting in those alleys – says Craig – was fantastic, we were careful not to do any damage, I hope I left good memories”.
But can love and adventure coexist? “The character of Madeleine – says Léa – here is much more developed, you understand where she comes from, her childhood complicated, her father was a murderer and she suffered from it, and then she doesn’t trust people, like James Bond, they two have several things in common ». Could she be friends with 007? “It’s intriguing. And Daniel made it more accessible, he humanized it ». A few years ago she told us that she didn’t think of becoming a Bond Girl: “Yes, I’ve been doing this job for 16 years and I’m more familiar with auteur cinema while 007 is pure entertainment. It is difficult to make a cliché, even if Ursula Andress was not already a doll, but the women at the beginning of the saga were creatures that had to satisfy men. Instead today, with Me Too, there is a need for strong roles with which girls can identify. The Bond Girl has evolved and plays a central role in this film. My favorite is Eva Green, because she was a villain, because she betrays James Bond even if there is a relationship between them, it’s a paradox, but I don’t like black or white roles ».
But will she continue? “Who knows, maybe …”. And here (at least so it is rumored, because to avoid spoiling the film we talk about it without seeing it) a spectacular chase, a wild race to save the whole world from a destructive nuclear weapon. The head of the secret services, M, (Ralph Fiennes), got a program that was conceived for a good purpose out of hand. Postponed many times for the pandemic, the 25th of the series is released for Universal on September 30th in 750 copies: No Time To Die. The preview will be held on the 28th in London, at the Royal Albert Hall: it will be as usual a Royal affair with Queen Elizabeth’s family. Who played herself, in the video of the Olympics directed by Danny Boyle, when Bond arrived at Buckingham Palace: «It was a surreal moment – recalls Craig – the queen was happy, sweet and very professional. What did we talk about? Of dogs ». In the first images of the new chapter the menu is the familiar one: explosions, spectacular bays, tropical plants, ship sinking. Barbara Broccoli, historical producer, explains that the themes are “trust and betrayal”. Possible mission: to free a scientist from his kidnappers, on the trail of a mysterious criminal armed with a new and dangerous technology.
Says the new director, Cary Joji Fukunaga: «There is a new enemy, more dangerous, sly and powerful than the Specter». Fukunaga a Hollywood Reporter said 007 was a rapist in Sean Connery’s time. Daniel, what do you think: “Well, we need to contextualize Cary’s opinion, what was acceptable in the 1960s is not today. Times have changed”. Daniel Craig was chosen from a shortlist of hundreds of candidates, including Clive Owen, Hugh Jackman and Coline Farrell. The media were initially disappointed, they called him James Blando. They attacked him before they saw him. The first blond James Bond, they said, forgetting about Roger Moore. The boxer’s nose, the well-trained physique. It lacks the charm and charisma of 007, they said. And even, for a spectacular scene with a crane: he suffers from vertigo. Until then he was not seen as a protagonist: he was just a good actor. “I got a lot more than I expected, I wasn’t considered cool, cool. I had made strange and arthouse films, not persuasive. I didn’t want to do it 007, I didn’t think it was my thing ». A grumpy type. It felt like a counter-current engagement. But Barbara Broccoli has always believed in him, “it is as if an inner light leaked into him”.
«When I accepted I said to myself Let’s roll up our sleeves. I wanted Bond to look like a killer, as it comes out of Fleming’s books. At the same time I gave voice to her inner world, which she had never done before. We made it more real and intense on an emotional and dramatic level ». He gave a modern and introspective edge: «If success was a revenge on the skeptics? They don’t think in these terms. 007 always arouses great passions, I had no way of changing my mind, there was nothing I could do but give my best ». Compared to his humble origins, he has come a long way … He smiles: «Yes, but my family was not so poor, there was not much money, this is true. I am grateful for what I have had from life ». But what did 007 leave you after fifteen years? «I would say what this experience left me. It was a collective creation with fantastic people ». Everyone remembers the dramatic dialogues to dampen the tension. The turning point was in a joke against a cliché and a stereotype. When the barman asks him: “Do you want the martini shaken or mixed?”. And he: “Do as you please, what do you want me to be interested in.”
He spent fifteen years with 007. They retrace themselves in the documentary Being James Bond. First time, Casino Royale, 2006: “People were expecting a disaster, but instead they rejoiced.” Follow Quantum of Solace: «We suffered from the syndrome of the second film, there was a scriptwriters’ strike, it was shot without a script. The story was a bit confusing. A good movie came out. Fame shocked me, there were those who climbed trees in front of my house. I closed the curtains. I didn’t know how to handle it ». Skyfall: M16 boss Judi Dench dies was yet another new beginning. Adele, the Olympics, Buckingham Palace. With Javier Bardem in blond highlights looking at his bibs in admiration, 007 makes a gay allusion: “Who makes you think this is my first time?” Spectre: «On set I broke my leg. I didn’t avoid the action scenes, I pretended to be quiet, I had to climb over windows, jump from a ledge, I was tied to a cable, but I was physically conditioned. I was really convinced it was over. When they asked me if I would make another Bond again I replied, I’d rather break this glass and slit my veins. But let’s be honest, I can be as indifferent as I want but it’s hard to leave this role. It was a great fortune. He gave me more than I could dream of ».
September 24, 2021 (change September 24, 2021 | 17:17)
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