As Daniel Craig’s first outing as the world’s best known secret agent gets set to hit the small screen, the actor talks about his challenges while shooting Casino Royale and stepping into the shoes of such iconic 007’s as Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan.
There was some backlash when you were announced as Bond. Did you just ignore all the negative talk?
I’d be lying to you if I said I ignored it. The horrible thing about the Internet is that it’s like a drug. I could have obsessed about [the negative press], but I figured, ‘What’s the point? There’ll be another story tomorrow’. I’ve got important things to think about.
After you got the role, did you look at the previous Bond films for ideas?
Look, I’ve got the box set and I went through them religiously. I had to, you know, for tips. I just wanted to go through them and there was stuff that Sean [Connery] did and stuff that Roger [Moore] did. Just [helps] to have a mental note of it, so that when you are doing stuff, there is some continuity.
How did you want audiences to see Bond?
I wanted the audience to have to think about why Bond does what he does.
Casino Royale is the movie in which the playboy James falls in love...
With the character of Vesper (Eva Green), you have this woman that you can believe that James Bond would fall in love with. She changes the way he looks at the world. When we meet him, he’s all the things that Bond has always been — selfish, single-minded, an egomaniac — and this woman just knocks him for six.
It’s loosely based on Fleming’s first Bond novel, published in 1953. How do you update a 55-year-old book for a modern audience?
Well, it’s still a cracking story. There’s a fabulous subtext going on underneath that there’s another power out there that is controlling everything.
I really loved that idea because it gives it a very modern feeling to it. The bad guys that we are dealing with are money men, and they are trying to control the world through terrorist activities; it’s fabulously relevant. Since nothing is as it seems, where do his loyalties lie?