In 1962, the world watched the birth of a new kind of hero: a womanizing, martini swilling 007 with impeccable style, a fleet of luxury cars, and an arsenal of campy gizmos and gadgets. ‘The name’s Bond, James Bond.’ Sean Connery delivered the famous catchphrase in the inaugural 007 flick, Dr. No and the bar was set sky high for Bonds to come. Considered the consummate Bond, the world had high expectations for any post Connery actor daring enough to take on the role.
Fast-forward 44 years and enter Daniel Craig. Physically unlike any Bond before him, the actor with the impressive stage and screen portfolio initially turned down the role of 007 because ‘it didn’t have a script and he couldn’t say yes without one.’ A pivotal career move for the British born actor with the classical theatrical training, Craig as James Bond transported the 007 franchise into a whole new realm.
With a fresh take on a decades old film protagonist, Craig’s raw portrayal of James Bond is refreshing and exciting. He melds the unwavering, callousness of a 007 with the very real human boundaries of emotional and physical labours. Thanks in part to his 007 predecessor Pierce Brosnan, the world welcomed both Craig and a new era of Bond worthy of the likes of Sean Connery. “Go for it,” recommended Brosnan. “You’ll have the ride of your life.”
THE NEW BRAND OF BOND
When 47 year-old Daniel Craig became the sixth actor to take on the iconic role of 007 MI6 Agent James Bond, he had his work cut out for him. Aside from having to consider the impact that playing the world’s most notable spy would have on his career, the 5’ 10” theatrically trained British born actor with the blond hair, captivating steel blue eyes, and perfectly chiseled biceps was physically unlike any Bond before him. 007 groupies and film critics alike had determined that Craig was the wrong man for the job.
Dubbed the “Blond Bond,” Craig shouldered the skepticism and assumed the re-incarnation of James Bond with the professional bravado and fortitude that he brings to all his roles. “Nobody knows more than I do how important this is to some people,” he stated. “So, it’s my job to get it right.” And boy did he nail it. Released in 2006, Casino Royale became the highest grossing Bond film to date and set the tone for the new era of Bond with Craig at its helm.
The debate continues as to who has played the best Bond. Having grown up in a household where Sean Connery ruled as the brash badass, 007 Agent with the Teflon exterior – forgive me dad – my money is on Craig. Unlike the Bonds before him, save for Pierce Brosnan who brought a touch more vulnerability to Bond in Die Another Day, Craig’s version is by far the most believable.
With filming well underway for the fall release of Spectre, the twenty-fourth installment in the Bond repertoire, Craig will again deliver a more approachable human quality to the character who we have since seen fall in love, be beaten and bleed, deviate into darkness, and even shed a tear. Chalk it up “to the steely, brutal, uncompromising charisma of Craig,” commented Boyd Hilton, TV and Reviews Editor, Heat Magazine. “He may not look much like Ian Fleming‘s conception of Bond but through the sheer unrelenting single-minded brilliance of his acting,” he is Bond.
Born Daniel Wroughton Craig on March 2, 1968, in Chester, England, Craig grew up near Liverpool, where he enjoyed going to the theater with his mother and sisters. Many of his mother‘s friends were actors, and he felt drawn to the profession.
Having completed theatrical schooling and following a number of reputable screen roles, including the love interest to Angelina Jolie‘s character in the action film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Craig landed the lead of a charismatic coke dealer in the 2005 crime drama, Layer Cake. Hollywood took note. It was around that time that rumours began to surface that Craig would be cast as the next 007, James Bond. Critics and skeptics came at the actor hard and fast: diehard Bond fans set up a website criticizing Craig as too blond and too old.
However for Craig, assuming a role is based on the complexity of the character that best allows him to excel as a performer. When opportunity presented itself, he welcomed the chance to reboot Bond as a multi-dimensional, complex character who has a license to kill but harbours dark demons and conflicting emotions. “When I accepted the job to work on Bond, I genuinely did it to change my life,” he explained. “I knew that it would flip everything on its head… I‘ve never made movies for money—I‘ve always made them because I truly wanted to do them.“
Boasting an already impressive resume of stage and screen performances including Munich, Defiance, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, this Craig as Bond fan is thrilled. Craig, Daniel Craig has signed on to do another James Bond film following the October 2015 release of Spectre.
So, what do former Bonds think of the blond, blue-eyed Craig as the 007 re-incarnate? “I think that he [Daniel Craig] is the Bond. He’s quite brilliant,” said Sir Roger Moore. “To me, he looks like a killer. He looks as though he knows what he’s doing. I look as though I might cheat at backgammon.”
“Daniel Craig.“ Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 03 Mar. 2015 “Has Daniel Craig Eclipsed Sean Connery as James Bond.” The Gaurdian, 2015. Web. 03 Mar,2015. “Roger Moore on Why Daniel Craig is the Best James Bond Ever …” TIME, 2015. Web. 03 Mar, 2015.