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Daniel Craig says `Quantum` was a harder Bond than `Casino`

08-Nov-2008 • Quantum Of Solace

He may have the same impeccable styling and plum-in-mouth accent as Britain's serious and suave lady-loving spy, but Daniel Craig is far from cool, calm and collected - reports the Daily Telegraph.

While on screen and in magazine shoots Craig's always-serious expressions make him seem like he could kill someone just by looking at them, in the flesh the man who has taken over the macho MI6 mantle is warm, self-deprecatingly funny and even exhibits endearing moments of dorkiness.

Asked whether he felt any concern about being typecast as James Bond, the 40-year-old offers an impish grin.

"Well, it's too late now, isn't it,'' he says. "I think there are worse problems.''

He even suggested just days ago that Obama's historic win in the US election could pave the way for a black Bond.

"After Barack Obama's victory I think we might have reached the moment for a coloured 007,'' Craig said.

The actor admits he felt anxious about his second appearance as 007 in Quantum Of Solace (alongside new Bond girl Olga Kurylenko), following the record-breaking success of Casino Royale in 2006.

"I don't feel it was easier on this one - it felt harder,'' he says. "The weight of expectation with this movie has been so great because there was such success with the last.

"But that's better than the other way around - which would have been a nightmare. It would have screwed us up.''

Craig's designer suit is accessorised today with a black sling supporting his shoulder after surgery to help repair damage done during the film, which features twice as many stunts as its predecessor. His other injuries included having to get eight stitches on his face and lopping off a fingertip shooting one action scene.

"I just wanted to survive the movie,'' he says. "The sets are often dangerous so we had to be on the ball all the time.''

His love of the Bond franchise began at age six, when his parents took him to see Live and Let Die - Roger Moore's first Bond movie.

"It was fantastic,'' he says. "If people get half as much pleasure as I got watching Live And Let Die I'll be very happy.''

Craig kicked off his film career in 1992 as a racist, grudge-holding Afrikaner in the big-screen adaptation of Australian author Bryce Courtenay's best-selling novel The Power Of One, with his resume long on risky roles in British independent films before hitting Hollywood's radar with a supporting role opposite Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

The actor - who speaks in the same upper-class accent as the super-spy but is less eloquent _ reveals Bond-spoof franchise Austin Powers was a factor in shaping his Bond debut, Casino Royale, and sequel.

While many earlier Bond films featured comic lines with a kitsch, campy feel, Craig's 007 has a more serious tone.

"The fact is the Austin Powers films kind of blew the whole thing up - they took all of the cliches and the jokes and they put them all into one movie,'' he says.

"Consequently, when we came to do Casino Royale we had to be very careful because the cliches have been fooled around with - and are incredibly funny - but we couldn't put the old cliches in without earning the right to do them.''

It's been much harder for Craig to have a quiet drink since his profile sky-rocketed with Casino Royale.

"It has obviously affected my life in a really positive way - I've got a lot more privileges in my life and I can go places, but I've also lost privileges,'' he says.

His sudden rise to international superstar has seen Craig become very protective of his private life, perhaps due to his pre-Bond education in the voracity of the British press when he became a man-of-interest due to his flings with two paparazzi favourites - supermodel Kate Moss and actress Sienna Miller.

While his long-time girlfriend Satsuki Mitchell, an American producer, has accompanied him on the red carpet, he rarely speaks about his rumoured fiancee.

The only moment where Craig becomes both shaken and stirred is when asked what his 16-year-old daughter - from a short marriage to Scottish actress Fiona Loudon - thinks of Dad being Bond.

Craig quickly shoots an if-looks-could-kill glare with his piercing, cornflower-blue eyes before answering curtly.

"I'm not going to have that conversation with you - sorry, that's my private life,'' he says, diplomatic but dry.

Daniel Craig and Olga Kurylenko are in Sydney for the movie's Australian premiere in Sydney on Saturday night.

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