Just the other day Spectre star Daniel Craig was still telling reporters that he would play James Bond as long as he was physically able. I guess nobody thought that he would be willing to make himself physically incapable to prevent that from happening though.
Doing the press rounds for the British super-spy’s upcoming 24th cinematic escapade, Craig told TimeOut that right now he would rather consider some self-cutting than strapping on the Walther again.
“Now? I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists. No, not at the moment. Not at all. That’s fine. I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on.”
“I haven’t given it any thought. For at least a year or two, I just don’t want to think about it. I don’t know what the next step is. I’ve no idea. Not because I’m trying to be cagey. Who the fuck knows? At the moment, we’ve done it. I’m not in discussion with anybody about anything. If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money.”
And that money option is still on the table as technically, Craig is actually still contracted to do another movie after Spectre, but it’s all just got a bit too much for him now.
“Well, I was contracted to do another one. That was all set up. But at the studio there was a real keenness to get it done as soon as possible. In fact, there was a conversation at one point that went: “Let’s film two movies back to back.” I just went: “You’re out of your fucking minds.” In the nicest possible way. They’re just too big.”
So if Craig is actually out, who does he think should take his place? Should it be the fan favourite Idris Elba or maybe the recently rumoured Damien Lewis? Craig has a very blunt response to that.
“Look, I don’t give a fuck. Good luck to them! All I care about is that if I stop doing these things we’ve left it in a good place and people pick it up and make it better. Make it better, that’s all.”
“Literally I’d say two things [to the new actor]. Firstly, it’s your decision. Don’t listen to anybody else. Well, do listen to everybody, but you have to make the choice at the end of the day. It’s your bed to lie on. And don’t be shit! Don’t be shit. You’ve got to step up. People do not make movies like this any more. This is really rare now. So don’t be shit.”
“Don’t be shit! Go for it. Embrace it. Some clichéd line like that. But no, just make sure you’re great. You’ve got to push yourself as far as you can. It’s worth it, it’s James Bond.”
One of the reasons why Craig is just about done with all things Bond now is due to Spectre‘s gruelling 8-month film shoot. That’s a whole lot of shooting, but according to the actor it’s worth, saying that if what returning director Sam Mendes produced on the record-breaking Skyfall was “Bond with bells on”, then Spectre is basically “same bells, different tune”.
“Skyfall” did really well and broke all sorts of records and was a massive success. Then we had to do another one – which for all of us, the director Sam Mendes included, felt incredibly daunting. What the fuck are we going to do? Once we started, we realised we couldn’t think about “Skyfall”. We had to think about this film.’
‘So if that was bells on, there’s more of everything in this film. It felt completely the right thing to do. We’ve got the character of Moneypenny back, and Q, and now Ralph Fiennes is playing M, so it was, like: right, let’s get all of them into the story. Things started building from there. Everyone’s been banging on to me about the gadgets. “Where are the gadgets?” Before it hasn’t felt right, and it’s not like we’ve made this one heavily into gadgets, but we’ve snuck a lot of stuff in. So, yes, it’s got more bells!”
Part of Skyfall‘s bells was a return of a slightly lighter tone that had been missing in the franchise since Craig took over the reboot with Casino Royale. So will that levity be making a return in Spectre? Well, yes, but just don’t expect this to return of the slapstick of the past.
“The humour in “Skyfall” was conscious. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t. I just think there’s room for it. Especially when you’ve got someone like Sam Mendes at the helm who is the truth police – and I’m the truth police too. We’re always asking: is this real? Then the humour can happen. But it’s not gag writing. They’re not the kind of movies I want to make. Really, really, really good gags are few and far between. Those writers are out there, but they’re rare. Look at people like Seth Rogen and people who make those movies, a lot of that is improvisation. They’re funny people and I’m not used to doing that sort of thing. But we’ve got people like Ben Whishaw and Rory Kinnear who are very easy with humour. But, yes, short answer: we tried to put more humour into this movie!”
Bond is undoubtedly a massive sex symbol, and as such Craig has to be very conscious of how he looks and dresses, which is something he really doesn’t care for.
“It’s a drag. The best acting is when you’re not concerned about the surface. And Bond is the opposite of that. You have to be bothered about how you’re looking. It’s a struggle. I know that how Bond wears a suit and walks into a room is important. But as an actor I don’t want to give a fuck about what I look like! So I have to play with both things. In a way that works, as that’s Bond: he looks good and he doesn’t give a fuck what you think he looks like!”
Unfortunately for Casino Royale, he really needed to give a f— what he looks like as that movie had him walking about in the surf in nothing but a skimpy blue swimming shorts. That image of him on the beach has become an iconic one, so does Craig ever see it and cringe or is he proud of it? And will Spectre be offering more of the same?
“I don’t look at it! I don’t look at it, weeping, going “Wasn’t I beautiful!” Everything like that has been a voyage of discovery. I was aware of what was needed to be Bond but it still goes against everything I believe in. You’ve met me a couple of times, I’m not very cool. I’m not the coolest human being. I wish I was, but I’m not. And I don’t pretend to be cool. But playing James Bond, you have to be cool, and what the hell is cool? You could write a dissertation on it! That was a big accident, that particular shot. I was pretending to swim in shallow water and then I stood up and walked out of the water! I was pretending to be cool by swimming, I thought it looked stupid and stood up and I walked off – and that was the shot!”
“Am I getting my kit off in this movie? Yes, I’ve been working out for six months. Of course I’m getting my kit off!”
Well, I’m sure that last line just brightened up somebody’s day.
Spectre opens in the UK on October 26, while we will have to wait an extra month to November 26 to see it locally.
Last Updated: October 9, 2015