They say that third time’s the charm, and that could not be more true for actor Daniel Craig’s third go around as James Bond in “Skyfall.” Many are calling the latest 007 adventure one of the best of the series, and by now there should be no doubt that Craig is the best actor to play Bond since Sean Connery. Craig goes on record about how he prepared to portray Bond this time around and of the rules broken in the long running series.
At a recent press conference, Naomie Harris (who plays agent Eve) noted that Craig works a 15 hour day on set and then spends another 2 hours doing physical training. Craig talked about how he trained for “Skyfall.”
“I’m not a fighter. I pretend to be one. It’s bulls–t boxing,” Craig said. “I had to do a lot of running in this movie, which I hate. I did a lot of sprinting and running. Bond doesn’t usually walk through a room. … On paper it looks very easy: it says Bond goes from A to B and he goes from B to C. But he goes from A to B at a lick. He runs down the stairs, he runs up the stairs, and you have to do 10 takes at a time.”
One big question people had for Craig was how many of his own stunts he did for “Skyfall.” He wasn’t about to fool anyone with his answer.
“I get a kick out of it,” Daniel said of the action scenes. “I don’t do all my stunts-I’d be lying if I said that. But I like the fact that occasionally that you’ll see on screen that it’s my face and it’s me. And I think audiences hopefully appreciate that. At least, I really hope they do.”
Craig, however, did participate in one hair raising stunt which takes place at the movie’s beginning in Turkey.
“My first day on the train was just about learning how to stand up. The train was going about 25 mph, but it’s not the speed that matters, it’s the side-to-side motion,” Craig said. “Then when we get over the bridge, it’s a 300-foot drop over this ravine. They all said, ‘Don’t look down!’ And I tried not to.”
With this particular Bond movie, Craig was determined this time to bring 007 back to the basics. In other words, it was time to bring back the gags and the gadgets.
“I always had a plan in my head, however tenuous it was, that when we did ‘Casino Royale’ – that was the beginning – we had to set a tone. Then we finished the story in ‘Quantum of Solace’ and wrapped it all up. The third one would always be about bringing in the classic Bond,” Craig said. “The characters, the people that really make a Bond movie a Bond movie. That was my only desire.”
There is one rule that Craig freely breaks in “Skyfall,” and that is that Bond is seen crying. Some will say that it is an unbreakable commandment for 007 to shed tears over anybody, but ever since “Casino Royale” the rules for how to make a Bond movie have been broken out of necessity. Things needed to be reinvented in order for Ian Fleming’s famous secret agent to remain relevant in this day and age. Even when Craig jokes that Bond is “sweating,” he makes it clear that he and the filmmakers are looking to break the rules of the fifty year old franchise.
“Of course we did, that’s what we’re supposed to do. We’re supposed to mess around with it,” Craig said. “It’s interesting: You said he cries, other people I know said he doesn’t cry, it’s open. But it’s an emotional scene.”
There’s also no forgetting Mr. Fleming whose books gave life to this long series. As time goes on, the filmmakers and whoever plays Bond remain dedicated to portraying the character as closely to the books as they possibly can. At the same time, Bond is a complicated kind of secret agent.
“We always go back to Fleming when we sit and discuss, and if you look at the novels, he’s so conflicted,” Craig said. “Fleming tries to kill him off. He gets really pissed at him. And he’s a killer. He kills for a living. It’s a very dark place he goes to.”
Daniel Craig is contracted to do at least two more movies as James Bond, and he is not about to part with the role at this time. Here’s hoping that he lasts even longer than that as he is the best actor to inhabit the role of 007 since Sean Connery.
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Naomie Harris on Playing Eve in ‘Skyfall’
Jay Stone, “Daniel Craig on playing Skyfall’s ‘complicated’ Bond,” Canada.com, November 5, 2012.
John Boone, “James Bond in Action, in Love and…in Tears?! Everything You Want to Know About ‘Skyfall,'” E! Online, November 9, 2012.
Stephen Galloway, “‘Skyfall’ Star Daniel Craig Reveals the Downside of Being James Bond (Q&A),” The Hollywood Reporter, November 8, 2012.
Hollie McKay, “Bond Turns 50: Daniel Craig says ‘Skyfall’ is ‘classic Bond,’ wishes next 007 ‘good luck,'” Fox News, October 24, 2012.