Who: Daniel Wroughton Craig
Born: 2 March 1968, Chester, Cheshire, England
Daniel Wroughton Craig is an English actor. He has played British secret agent James Bond since 2006. Craig achieved international fame when chosen as the sixth actor to play the role of James Bond in the official series, replacing Pierce Brosnan. Though he was initially greeted with skepticism, his debut in Casino Royale was highly acclaimed and earned him a BAFTA award nomination, with the film becoming the highest-grossing in the series at the time. Quantum of Solace followed two years later. His third Bond film, Skyfall, premiered in 2012 and is now the highest-grossing film in the series, as well as the ninth highest-grossing film of all time.
James Bond (2006–present)
In 2005, Craig was contracted by Eon Productions to portray James Bond. He stated he “was aware of the challenges” of the Bond franchise which he considered “a big machine that makes a lot of money”. He aimed at bringing more “emotional depth” to the character. Born in 1968, Craig is the first actor to portray James Bond to have been born after the Bond series started, and after the death of Ian Fleming, the novels’ writer. Significant controversy followed the decision, as it was doubted if the producers had made the right choice. Throughout the entire production period Internet campaigns expressed their dissatisfaction and threatened to boycott the film in protest.
The 5-foot-10-inch (178 cm) blond Craig was not considered by some protesters to fit the tall, dark Bond portrayed by the previous Bond actors, and to which viewers had apparently become accustomed. The Daily Mirror ran a front page news story critical of Craig, with the headline, “The Name’s Bland – James Bland”. Although the choice of Craig was controversial, numerous actors publicly voiced their support, most notably, four of the five actors who had previously portrayed Bond – Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton, Sean Connery and Roger Moore – called his casting a good decision. George Lazenby has since voiced his approval of Craig also. Clive Owen, who had been linked to the role, also spoke in defence of Craig.
The first film, Casino Royale, premiered 14 November 2006, and grossed a total of US$594,239,066 worldwide, which made it the highest-grossing Bond film until the release of Skyfall. After the film was released, Craig’s performance was highly acclaimed. As production of Casino Royale reached its conclusion, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli announced that pre-production work had already begun on the 22nd Bond film. After several months of speculation as to the release date, Wilson and Broccoli officially announced on 20 July 2006, that the follow-up film, Quantum of Solace, was to be released on 7 November 2008, and that Craig would play Bond with an option for a third film. On 25 October 2007, MGM CEO Harry Sloan revealed at the Forbes Meet II Conference that Craig had signed on to make four more Bond films, through to Bond 25.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences extended a membership invitation to Craig in 2006. Craig sliced off the top of one of his fingers 12 June 2008, while filming Quantum of Solace. The accident was one of a string of incidents surrounding the shoot, including a fire at one of the sets in Pinewood Studios, a car crash that left the stunt driver in a serious condition, and an Aston Martin skidding off the road and plunging into Lake Garda while being transported to the set in Italy.
Craig describes his portrayal of Bond as an anti-hero: “The question I keep asking myself while playing the role is, ‘Am I the good guy or just a bad guy who works for the good side?’ Bond’s role, after all, is that of an assassin when you come down to it. I have never played a role in which someone’s dark side shouldn’t be explored. I don’t think it should be confusing by the end of the film, but during the film you should be questioning who he is.” Craig has stated that his own favourite previous Bond actor is Sean Connery, but says, “I’d never copy somebody else. I would never do an impression of anybody else or try and improve on what they did. That would be a pointless exercise for me.” His own favourite Bond film is From Russia with Love. On a James Bond-centric episode of The South Bank Show, Connery divulged his thoughts on Craig’s casting as Bond, whom he described as “fantastic, marvelous in the part”. When told that Craig had taken particular note of his performances, Connery said that he was “flattered” and that Craig really gets the “danger element” to Bond’s character.
The 19 April 2010-release of Craig’s expected third Bond film (the 23rd overall in the series) was delayed, because of financial troubles with MGM, but the film (Skyfall) was released on 23 October 2012, and was part of the year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. No. On 8 September 2012, Bond producers announced Craig had signed on for two future Bond films and not five as previously reported. This would bring his total to five films, which would be two fewer than Roger Moore’s record of seven.
Craig’s latest Bond film is SPECTRE (2015).
Daniel Craig´s 007 production:
Casino Royale (2006)
Quantum of Solace (2008)
007: Quantum of Solace / James Bond video game (2008)
GoldenEye 007 / James Bond video game (2010)
James Bond 007: Blood Stone / James Bond video game (2010)
GoldenEye 007: Reloaded / James Bond video game (2011)
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