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Daniel Craig brings traffic to a halt at spectacular Australian premiere in Sydney

05-Dec-2006 • Casino Royale

James Bond Daniel Craig brought traffic to a halt in Sydney last night at the Australian premiere of the new 007 movie Casino Royale.The first blond Bond wooed up to 400 fans gathered outside Sydney's State Theatre - reports The Daily Telegraph

Craig stopped traffic when he crossed the road to greet screaming fans, signing autographs and posing for photographs.

He appeared shocked when a regular punter introduced herself as an old school-friend from Hoylake in England's north-west.

"No way," he exclaimed.

With writing for the 22nd Bond film under way, Craig didn't dismiss bringing the blockbuster franchise to Australia for filming.

"There is always a chance," the 38-year-old said on the red carpet.

"We could go anywhere, that's the fabulous thing about Bond. Certainly, if it gets written into the script I would be here (Australia)."

Joined for the red carpet walk by his girlfriend Satsuki Mitchell, Craig said playing a "more human" Bond was a welcome challenge.

"I had a chance to totally rediscover him, work him out," he said.

"He's a little bit more human, but that's because he has to fall in love. You see other sides of him."

Asked if he felt vindicated, Craig simply said, "I don't think in that way".

He also slammed critics who rubbished him as Bond, saying "criticism, whatever it was, was annoying".

Making his debut as the sixth James Bond, Craig follows in the footsteps of previous stars Pierce Brosnan, Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton.

Film-makers considered more than 200 actors from around the world for more than two years before settling on Craig.

Published in 1953, Casino Royale was Ian Fleming's first Bond novel and is the 21st James Bond adventure in the most successful franchise in film history.

Hailing from Chester in the UK, Craig had his first major role in the BBC television drama Our Friends In The North and made his film debut in The Power of One in 1992.

His big break in Hollywood came alongside Tom Hanks in Road To Perdition in 2002.

He has since played poet Ted Hughes opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in Sylvia, and headlined Layer Cake, which co-starred Sienna Miller.

Craig also appeared in Steven Spielberg's Munich in 2005 and will be seen in the sci-fi thriller The Invasion, next year.

Casino Royale director, Martin Campbell, said fans wouldn't be disappointed with the latest movie.

"The best James Bond film ever is what they can expect," Martin said.

Casino Royale opens nationally on December 7.

Click here to watch a brief video report from the premiere (YouTube)

Thanks to `annita` & `spoleweski` for the alert.

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