`I will keep doing Bond movies until my knees go` says Daniel CraigThe Independent
caught up with Daniel Craig to talk about the release of 'Defiance' on DVD this month, and also to talk a bit about the future...
Daniel Craig suffered horrendously at the hands of the press while making Casino Royale. Dubbing him "James Blond", the tabloids had a field day at his expense. All sorts of nonsense was claimed â that he couldn't drive a manual car, that he was afraid of guns and even water. It didn't help that when Craig arrived, via speedboat, for his first press conference, he wore a life-jacket. Forced to take this beating in silence, his revenge may not have been as swift as anything Bond might administer, but it was just as effective. Bolstered by enthusiastic reviews, Casino Royale took almost $600m around the world. His second outing, last year's Quantum of Solace, though less well received, raked in almost as much.
When we last met, just as the producers were beginning to look for a replacement for Pierce Brosnan, I asked him if he was interested in playing 007. "It's one of those roles that would be difficult to ignore because it is iconic but I don't know whether or not it's where I want to take my career," he said. "If something like that was to happen, if an actor accepted that, then that's it."
Well, of course, that's the position he now finds himself in. Though bullish enough to believe it's all been for the better, he maintains that things haven't changed dramatically. "I do get more offers. Or at least I get to see more scripts. But they're just as crap as they were before. There are only so many good scripts out there, genuinely. Somebody doesn't suddenly give you a golden key that opens this door and all these scripts are sitting there, that nobody else has seen. You might get a better look in, but there's still the work to do. I'm not the only actor out there and a director still needs convincing that they'd want me to be in their film." He stops to give this some thought. "I wish there was a golden key to some cupboard with 10 good scripts in it."
Interestingly, unlike many actors of his stature, Craig does not possess a production company primed to pump out vanity projects. "If I was going to produce a film, then I'd form one," he says. "But it sounds like I'd need an office. I didn't get into acting to have an office!" Surely, though, his name now gets films made? "Well, you'd think that but this was a real fucking struggle," he says, referring to Defiance. "This isn't a romantic comedy. If I'd picked a nice romantic comedy, I think it would've been easier to raise the money for it." Then again, for all his much-vaunted "phwoarr" factor, Craig is never going to be the sort of lightweight player who pops up alongside Jennifer Aniston in a love-fest. It just wouldn't feel right.
Even before he was picked to play Bond, Craig had been under threat from the tabloids. "I've had various members of the press knocking on my family's door at various hours of the morning. I hate to say but my father has lots of guns..." He shoots me a sly grin, just to let me know he's joking (I hope). Perhaps because he recently bought a multi-million-pound pad near Regent's Park, he prefers to stay there with his partner than be bothered by the London celebrity scene. Not a frivolous soul, unlike those of his peers who feel a desperate need to be snapped, he simply avoids the venues that draw hoardes of paparazzi. "If I get caught," he says, "it's unusual."
Outside of this, Craig's only plan for the foreseeable is to spend time with his family. "I don't see them for months, so I have to go back and reconnect with my normal life and make sure they still like me." As for Bond, he won't be drawn on the subject of how many he's prepared to make. "If people still want to see these movies I'll keep doing them for as long as it takes, or until my knees go, whichever happens quicker!"
But do creaking joints mean his days in action roles are numbered? "Well, I'm not going to look at playing a trapeze artist," he grins. Don't bet that he couldn't, though. Right now, Daniel Craig's confidence is sky-high.
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