Fresh off the set of Steven Soderbergh’sâ âLogan Luckyâ where he plays a character named Joe Bang, Daniel Craig was still sporting the platinum blonde hair as he bonded with his fans in a way that one might not expect from the actor with the reputation for being âpricklyâ with fans and media. What might surprise the casual fan was just how warm, humble and candid Daniel Craig really came across, and with a self-deprecating sense of humor.
About his âpricklyâ reputation: âIâm not at all! I love my job and I celebrate what I do! But, Iâve always had pretty strict rules about privacy, so when that line gets crossed, I get pissed off.â Of paparazzi and living in the public eye, âItâs incredibly unnatural!â He added, â2005 was the year the Internet went âbah-bam,â and suddenly I was very exposed online.â
Naturally in a 90-minute forum, the conversation will cover the gambit. Daniel Craig was born on a stack of beer crates in the city of Chester, England. His grandfather was a master tailor, his mother an art teacher, and his father was the landlord of two rowdy pubs in Cheshire. With a background like that, you would think Craig was almost destined to become an actor portraying the worldâs best-dressed brawler. But, Craig will be the first to refute any reputation as a pub-scrapper. âNormally, what happens in bar fights is you get two guys who are really drunk and get really exhausted really quickly, swing a couple of times and start gasping for breath.â Craig can recount being approached by self-proclaimed tough guys looking to get into a âdick swingingâ competition. âIâm an actor! Itâs not real!â
A self-proclaimed âmassive Sean Connery fan,â the 48-year-old actor described his early days of sneaking to the local cinema where they showed third run movies. He cited Blade Runner as an early influence, as well as Harrison Ford as an actor, and laments the current generic, focus-group-driven nature of the film industry today.
Craig spoke at length about current projects, including the Broadway production of âOthello,â in which Craig will be starring in, that Barbara Broccoli will be producing, as well as the upcoming TV series, âPurityâ currently in production, which is based on the novel by Jonathan Franzen. When asked what drew him the character of Andreas Wolf, Craig look bewildered and responded candidly, âHave you read the book? Itâs fucking great!â
Of course, there was no escaping the current political landscape. While Craig confirmed he had donated to Bernie Sandersâ campaign and was a Hillary Clinton supporter (âIâm with her by the way.â), even the most ardent Trump supporter couldnât feel offended by his mild criticisms. âYou canât run a country like a business. There are losses, and businesses wouldnât put up with that. But those losses are there for good reason; we need to pick up the slack and we have to look after people.â
Craig was asked why at this stage of his career he would take an uncredited role as a stormtrooper. He once again looked confused, saying, âItâs fucking Star Wars!â
His introduction to the role of Bond has to be one of the most unlikely in cinema history. When a good friend passed away, Daniel was one of the pallbearers at the funeral. It was there that a mutual friend came up and introduced herself. That friend was Barbara Broccoli. Six months later, Daniel was invited out for âa cup of tea.â From there, it took a year and a half of deliberation before he would be crowned the new James Bond.
Craig was carefully diplomatic when asked about where the Brosnan era had left the Bond franchise. âI canât actually raise my eyebrow, I have to use my hand.â He admitted that if the script for Casino Royale had been similar to the last few films, he would have turned it down. It was Craigâs request to be part of the creative process that prompted him to accept the role and make history.
When the subject of Craigâs future as James Bond finally arrived, the actor was eager to clarify his âslash my wristsâ comments. âThey say that shit sticks and that has definitely stuck to me. But, that was the day after I finished filming. Itâs like youâre 20 yards from the end of a marathon and someone asks if you want to do another one, youâd say âfuck you!â
Finally, Craig was asked about the next Bond film. âWhere does that conversation stand?â He replied bluntly, âIt doesnât.â
He explained that it wasnât his intention to make any announcement at this time, and continued, âThereâs no conversation going on, and genuinely because everybodyâs just a bit tired.â
With that, the floor was opened up for questions, and right out of the gate, one Bond fan pressed Daniel on the issue of continuing the role, and asked what is most tedious about making a Bond movie? Daniel discussed how physically demanding it can be, but continued, âThe things I get to do on a Bond movie, there is no other job like it. And if I were to stop doing it, I would miss it terribly.â
He was then asked about âSpectreâ, and if throwing his PPK into the Thames and driving off into the sunset represented the end of his character arc? Craig replied, âThe answer is, Yes,â but continued on, âAt that moment, thatâs what he thinks. But, it always says, âTo be continuedâ at the end, doesn’t it?â
As the enjoyable evening was reaching its conclusion, yours truly had the opportunity to approach the microphone and ask one question: âDaniel, thank you for everything you have brought to James Bond. Is there something that James Bond has given to you? Something that you have taken away from being James Bond that may have surprised you?â
Daniel Craig literally clasped his hands together with a childlike smile and said, âThere is a garage upstate somewhere with an Aston Martin in it!â
To hear the interview in it entirety, check out the link below. (Sorry for the poor audio quality.)