In “No Time to Die” Daniel Craig once again saves the world. It is his last performance as James Bond – and hopefully just the beginning of our ADAM THE MAGAZINE cover heroe.
With a budget of 250 million US dollars, ”No Time to Die“ is the most expensive Bond film to date and Daniel Craig’s last. For 14 years the 52-year-old was the official secret agent 007 – and in many people’s opinion the best of all. That could not have been predicted. During filming for “Casino Royale” in 2006 outraged fans took to the streets and called for a boycott. They demanded a new, better casting of their favourite agent. Craig, according to widespread prejudice at the time was too ugly to play Bond. His face was allegedly too broad, his mouth too thin, his nose too bulbous – and in general, he was too blond. Craig, in turn, refused to dye his hair black and pacified the sceptics with simulated calm that they should wait for the result and then judge. “I had given 110 percent from the outset, claimed Craig, and then that became 115.” The decision for the part preceded unsettling discord: “I was afraid I would ruin my career.” But then he forced himself on, out of fear that he would otherwise end up in a pub drunk asking himself the most tormenting of all questions: What would have been if… and if only I had.
Daniel Craig with his gas flame blue eyes reinvented James Bond; he gave him a soul. For the first time in history Bond had a back story wound, a trauma, a past, this Bond loves, cries and almost dies. That makes him vulnerable and as such more attractive than all his predecessors. Craig’s Bond is broken and still stronger than every Bond before him. The British actor gave up smoking for the role – a battle! – and put on 20 pounds of muscles. We marvelled at him for the first time in “Casino Royale”, getting out of the water in short, blue swimming shorts. A balancing act that could have virtually deteriorated from super cool to ridiculous, but then Daniel Craig would not be Daniel Craig. Nevertheless, he did feel like a performing monkey: “Acting is at its best when you don’t have to be concerned with your outward appearance – that’s not possible with Bond.”
Daniel Craig first grew up in Liverpool, later in Hoylake with his mother and his stepfather in an artist’s environment. As early as the age of six he was interested in acting. He learnt his trade at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. He was a waiter and helped in restaurant kitchens to makes ends meet. He had his first commercial success in 2004 in “Layer Cake”, in which he played a drug dealer. One year later he played in Steven Spielberg‘s five times Oscar nominated work “Munich” about the Olympic assassination attempt in Munich in the seventies. Then came “Casino Royale”. When he heard that he had been accepted for the part, he immediately went out in search of a bar and had the barman mix him his first pull through Martini. In 2008, two years later, the sequel “Quantum of Solace” by Marc Forster was released in cinemas, but it did not manage to continue the success of its predecessor. In the same year, Craig appeared in “Defiance”, which caused contention among critics. His performance in the American Stieg Larsson adaption “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” was remarkable as the investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist alongside the equally wonderful Rooney Mara as the justice-seeking hacker, who is the driving force here and virtually occupies the “Bond part”. Ultimately she is the one who breaks the baddie’s neck as well as all those who get in her way in the meantime.
The slightly greying Craig finds he is too old to play the current Bond. He took it easier during filming, partly for the sake of his wife, Rachel Weisz, who refers to the Bond set as a boxing ring. He has had too many wounds already. Fittingly, Bond is in retirement in “No Time to Die” and enjoying the sweetness of not doing anything on Jamaica, when an old friend from the CIA asks him for help. A kidnapped scientist has to be rescued. Bond obliges. It is the famous “last job”, which is larger and more dangerous than anything before. Producer, Barbara Broccoli, does not want to answer the question of how the story around James Bond should continue: «It’s horrible to even think about it.» But everyone knows too well, Daniel Craig has raised the bar incredibly high.
Brief filmography – an excerpt:
“The power of One” (1992) by John G. Avildsen
“Elizabeth” (1998) by Shekhar Kapur
“Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” (2001) by Simon West
“Road to Perdition” (2002) by Sam Mendes
“Layer Cake” (2004) by Matthew Vaughn
“The Jacket” (2005) by John Maybury
“Munich” (2005) by Steven Spielberg
“James Bond 007: Casino Royale” (2006) by Martin Campbell,* BAFTA award nomination
“The Golden Compass” (2007) by Chris Weitz
“James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace” by Marc Forster
“Defiance” (2008) by Edward Zwick
„Cowboys & Aliens“ (2011) von Jon Favreau
„The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo“ (2011) von David Fincher
„James Bond 007: Skyfall“ (2012) von Sam Mendes
„James Bond 007: Spectre“ (2015) von Sam Mendes
„Star Wars: The Force Awakens“ (2015) von J. J. Abrams
„Knives Out“ (2019) von Rian Johnson, *Golden-Globe-Nominierung
„James Bond 007: No Time to Die“ (2021) von Cary Joji Fukunaga
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