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Daniel Craig on James Bond role - `nothing on the table yet`

25-May-2005 • Casino Royale

Daniel Craig, who plays a nameless gangster in the British film "Layer Cake" that opens Friday in the USA, is hesitant about attaching himself to the biggest name in spy movies.

The actor is flattered that many consider him a frontrunner to play the next James Bond but downplays the interest shown by Eon Productions, the studio behind the successful secret-agent franchise.

"There's a lot of smoke and very little fire at the moment, and there's nothing really to say," Craig says. "I've spoken to [Bond producer] Barbara Broccoli, but ... nothing's been put on the table yet.", he told the Seattle Times.

He admits that the 007 attention is most likely owed to his latest screen role in "Layer Cake," in which he plays a nattily dressed fellow who consorts with drug lords, outsmarts criminals and romances a nubile young lady played by Sienna Miller — who, incidentally, is involved with another Bond contender, Jude Law.

Even if Craig is offered the role, he's not certain he'd want to enter the spy business.

"There's an awful lot of pros and there's an awful lot of cons," Craig says. "But it's a big commitment to make to something that I hadn't got a really huge amount of ambition about doing — meaning [playing] James Bond."

He's also concerned with what he feels is the role's reduced emotional challenges that were once present in the earlier films.

"You'd have to flip the whole thing on its head. It's a big machine and it makes a lot of money, so why would you change something that's making you lots of money?" he says.

Of course, stepping into the signature tux is a daunting prospect judging from the less-than-popular receptions for previous Bond actors. Beginning with a thumbs up sign, Craig illustrates the actors' alternating successes: "It goes Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig?" he says, ending on a thumbs down. "I don't really want to get the rap for destroying that franchise."

Thanks to `Satorious` for the alert.

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