Daniel Craig ('Quantum Of Solace')
'The Silence Is Broken'
Daniel Craig may be one of the world's hottest stars these days thanks to a certain secret agent he plays, but donning the 007 mantel hasn't been all smiles and roses.
Sporting a shoulder injury but a smile, the affable and eloquent British actor talked to us one-on-one about the pros and cons of being the world's foremost secret agent as his latest Bond adventure, 'Quantum of Solace,' a direct sequel to 'Casino Royale,' is about to take the world by storm.
So, obvious question first: what happened to your arm?! [Craig] "I got some surgery done six weeks ago to stitch me back up. I got a, I don't know, rotator cuff or something."
Were you surprised or knew in advance that this would be a direct sequel to a Bond movie? "It just seemed to me when we came down to it, and we all agreed that to my mind, at the end of Casino Royale, it was sort of the beginning of the story as opposed to the end of a story. He'd fallen in love, he'd had his heart broken, this organization that they'd discovered, they'd just sort of started peeling back the onion skins of. To do another movie and just sort of go, "Oh, there was this chick once," seemed to be the wrong thing to do. So it just fit. I don't know when the idea came up. I have no idea."
Is it a great acting challenge to play a more emotionally shut off Bond vs. the ultra witty Connery? "I would never do that because 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. I had to find out how I was going to do this and these two movies have tied that in for me. I'm now in a sort of situation, well I think we've wrapped up all the loose ends. We've solidified the relationship with M. We've solidified the relationship with Felix Leiter and we can do anything now. I think he's going to be probably a little more relaxed in the next movie but he had a deal to do, business to do."
Come on now, how much fun are you having as Bond? "It's fantastic. These movies are an amazing experience to shoot and they're an amazing experience to work with the people I work with. Marc Forster on this has been a joy to work with. I'm a big fan of his movies so I'd love to have worked with him on any other movie. The whole collaborative effort of making a movie like this, it's a big deal. It's a really, really big deal. There were 1000 people who worked on this movie. At any one time, I'll be working with 200-300 people. We shot this for six months. It's a long time since I've been on a movie set on the last day of shooting where the first AD goes, "Okay, everyone, ladies and gentleman, that's a wrap." And everybody looked around at each other and just went, "Okay, we've done something here." It was a huge thing and I think it's on the screen. I think it's up there."
Were you relieved that 'Casino Royale' turned out so well? "Of course, I was. I was amazed, stunned that it did so well, absolutely stunned."
Will there be a third part to this new Bond tail, perhaps? "I think we've finished, we've tail ended these. These movies stand up alone. They're two very separate movies, two stylistically separate movies but we've completed the circle in these movies. We can do anything."
Is there a line you worked with on the emotional vulnerability? "No, I don't know how - but again, that's that thing of saying I would be doing an impression of something that had been done before. I'm just applying what I know and with working with someone like Marc. We know about making movies. But it's a Bond movie and I think all the subtleties are there which you see: the music, the style, the whole thing, they're classically Bond. It's just we're f*cking around with it. It's enjoyable to do, but that doesn't mean we won't get more - - I feel now we're in a situation where I do genuinely believe we can have a submarine base in the next one. I'd love it. We could. Now that's going to be printed. "We're going into..."
You could sleep with more women?! "I could do, yes," he wryly smiles.
Would you like a ski chase in the next one, perhaps? "I'm not a very good skier, Jesus. I think my Bond actually slides down the hill on a blanket I don't think there's a lot of that going on."
How were the stunts this time? "We set the bar on Casino so we had to try and achieve and try and make these different but as good. And things have moved on. Special effects have moved on. We certainly didn't want to make this a more CGI based movie but the plane sequence which insists that we have CGI. I think the freefall sequence was incredible to do because we went and learned to freefall. We had a conversation about the freefall sequence. I was like, "I've never seen a good one." I think they're always kind of naff? There's obviously people freefalling and then they have a closeup of somebody with a hair dryer. That always seemed to me the way, and they always last about five minutes longer than they should."
"So I said, "It has to be quick. They have to look like they're falling out of the plane." And someone came up with the idea there's this 200 mile an hour vertical wind tunnel where people go and learn how to freefall and you can do it. So Olga and I went and rehearsed for about a week on it and we stuck a camera, a guy cameraman with a small camera flying with a controller. We had 20 digital cameras around and I think just, you look at it, it was hell, but it looks like we're falling out of an airplane."
Will there be another SPECTRE? "Well, I think we've set that up. There could be. I genuinely, I don't like films that tie everything up at the end. I like an open ending. I want an audience to go away asking those questions and hopefully they'll continue asking those questions into the next movie we do."
How important is it to choose other un-Bond-like characters? "I don't consciously try to choose un-Bond-like projects. I mean, I certainly wouldn't go and choose another spy. That would just seem to me - - because I could go away and say, "Okay, I'm going to do something completely the opposite of that." That seems to me to be counterproductive. That just means that I'm just going to be, "Oh look, it's a response." I'm not a reactionary person so I wouldn't go, "Oh Christ, I've done that. I must do something to counterbalance that." That's not my job."
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