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Martin Campbell talks more about Casino Royale

21-Mar-2007 • Casino Royale

Casino Royale director Martin Campbell recently spoke to USA Today about the release of Daniel Craig's debut outing as 007 on DVD.

Q: Casino Royale is the second Bond film you've directed (the first was 1995's GoldenEye). In the end, how does Daniel Craig stack up to Pierce Brosnan and other Bonds?

A: The truth is they are two very different Bonds. Very different Bonds. GoldenEye was simply Bond in the traditional sense. It was just really a continuation of what had gone before, whereas Casino Royale, in tone, it certainly goes back to the tone of the books, which I find very different to the way movies portray Bond. So I think to compare them is impossible because of the different tones of the two movies. Both are terrific actors as Bond.

Q: Among the extras on the DVD is one about casting the new Bond. How tough was that?

A: I think in the end we tested eight actors for the role and Daniel was one of those. Although, there was no test on (GoldenEye) because Pierce Brosnan was a slam dunk at the time. Daniel came in with such criticism, that of casting a blond Bond. Actually, he fits into (author Ian) Fleming's description of Bond far more accurately than any of the other Bonds.

Q: Another of the DVD extras focuses on the stunts and effects. Was there one thing that Daniel Craig did that surprised you?

A: Action is much trickier than it seems. It's always given a bad rap. The thought is, for an actor of Daniel's ability who's by and large done much more esoteric, if you will, sort of independent performances … for him to sort of go headlong into what is a movie that involves an awful lot of action that there is a real learning curve for him. To begin with, he committed himself wholly to it. It did take him a little bit of time, but at the end of the movie he was totally comfortable with it. Probably what would have taken me 10 to 15 takes probably took one or two. He very quickly learned over the course how to handle himself with action. And he looked fantastic as well. … Both (Craig and Brosnan) are extremely good at action.

Q: Even on the behind the scenes segments on the DVD, some of the stunts look pretty precarious.

A: The truth of this is you can't put any actor in any sort of danger. First of all, it's very stupid and, secondly, the insurance company won't let you do it because a twisted ankle would shut you down. (On above-ground stunts), Daniel was wired up but nevertheless he had to get to the top of that building and it does involve more than just slipping in the odd close-up and cutting to the stunt double. He had to go very high, a few hundred feet off the ground. He didn't complain, but we're all a little terrified of it when it involves heights. But he was always safe at all times and he knuckled down and did it.

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