A lot of people love the Daniel Craig Bond films. Well, two out of three at least. Skyfall is by far the highest earning instalment of the franchise, being the only one to make a billion dollars worldwide (so far), whereas Casino Royale is responsible for breathing life back into the franchise, and is considered by many people to be one of, if not the best Bond film ever made (as voted for by people who probably haven’t seen too many other films in the franchise).
One of the things that a lot of people credit with this success is James Bond himself, Daniel Craig. After the lots-of-fun, plenty-of-cheese Pierce Brosnan films, the kick-some-ass, no-nonsense semi reboot starring Craig brought a lot of people back to the series, and it was the first generally well liked instalment since Goldeneye in 1995.
This was the Bond a lot of people wanted to see, a modern, troubled anti-hero, who didn’t make jokes. He was also the first actor to be nominated for a BAFTA in the role, the only noteworthy awards nomination for the role to date. Despite all of this, there’s a big reason I think Daniel Craig is the worst James Bond.
In a recent interview, Craig made some comments, that were admittedly taken out of context, but I want to discuss them anyway. When asked if he wanted to play Bond again, he said something along the lines of ‘I would rather smash this glass and cut my wrists’, and claimed that he would only play the role again if the money was right. So… that sounds bad, but first I’m going to defend him.
Being James Bond is a full-time job. It’s not just making the film, it’s the six trillion adverts, it’s the hundreds of interviews, it’s the rest of your life answering questions about the franchise. Also, he had a rough time filming SPECTRE, reportedly being injured on the set. But here’s the thing – being Bond should be worth all of that.
It’s often said of James Bond that all men want to be him, and all women want to be with him. ALL MEN WANT TO BE HIM. What does it say about the star of the films if he doesn’t want to be that man? What does it say if only four films in, he’s ready to commit suicide instead of take on the role again? And I believe he’s still got one film left on his contract, which means he’s intentionally trash talking the franchise so they won’t ask him back. During the casting of Skyfall, Sean Connery was approached to play the role of grumpy, gun wielding, Scottish grounds-keeper (so… himself). His answer? ‘It’s Bond or nothing’. That means that four decades later, and having retired from acting, he was still willing to return to playing James Bond. Of course, that’s a terrible idea, but that’s the way being Bond should be.
I may be slightly biased, as I haven’t been a huge fan of the Craig Bond films. Having said that, I think he’s an excellent actor, and he definitely has the potential to make one of the best films in the franchise. It’s just going to be hard for me now, as a life long fan of the James Bond franchise, to watch SPECTRE and appreciate him, or the film in general, knowing just how much he hated every second of it. Still, Alec Guinness hated Star Wars, and it feels like there’s a little bit of excitement for that franchise…
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