Daniel Craig’s F-bomb littered Esquire interview was very revealing about graphic and implied violence in David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Dec. 21), the thin political veneer of xenophobia in Cowboys & Aliens (July 29), the weirdness of doing performance capture for Steven Spielberg’s animated The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (Dec. 23), and his impassioned world view of the crumbling middle and lower classes.
But, of course, he had little to say about Bond 23 (Nov. 9, 2012), except to reaffirm his delight that old pal Sam Mendes (Road to Perdition) is directing his third installment: “[People] want to know everything and I’m going, I’m not gonna fucking tell you!…We can talk about anything else, and hopefully it can be made interesting.”
And yet we can glean a few tidbits from my own previous conversations with Craig, and from the likelihood that Bond 23 will be a radical departure, and from reading between the lines here about what animates Craig (“Not everybody’s happy with their situation!”), and from the sly nature that he brings to the role. No, not necessarily that new bride Rachel Weisz (his co-star in Dream House, Sept. 30) is going to be the next Bond girl or Bond super baddie.
But certainly this will be Craig’s first fully-formed 007 — more comfortable in his own skin, ready to take on his license to kill with more discernment and maturity, and no longer just “a blunt instrument.” And perhaps with a little more pleasure in his profession, including more of that gallows humor under pressure that Craig enjoys so much: “[Bond] likes making a joke when it’s inappropriate and it gives him a kick, and, hopefully, that gives us a thrill. But you can’t force gags like that,” Craig told me.
That said, don’t suddenly expect the effortlessness of Connery either. For better or worse, Craig’s Bond is a post-modern 007 operating in a post 9/11 world. “There are a couple of simple equations that you can apply and that I have always applied to the work anyway,” he suggested. “And that has to do with fallibility, which is much more dramatically interesting. Hopefully, at the end, we ultimately see that [Bond] was right: that there was a grander plan, there was something that he was thinking about, then we’re going to be covered. But during the movie it should go either way.”
Can’t wait to see how Bond 23 unfolds next year in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Bond franchise.