The Swiss premiere for Casino Royale took place in Zurich on Thursday, 16 November. James Bond fan Christian Wiedmer reports on the grand event for CBn…
Swiss Reception For 007
Daniel Craig at the Swiss Premiere of Casino Royale in Zurich, 16th November 2006
Written by Christian Wiedmer
The fan base of the new 007, Daniel Craig, isn’t big enough yet to cause a serious traffic jam in Zurich. It was there, at the Abaton Multiplex Cinema, that the glamorous Swiss Premiere of Casino Royale took place.
After many years, it was the first time that the leading man of a Bond movie gave Switzerland the honour to be present at the premiere. It was not only Daniel Craig that the fans and press awaited, Bond girl Caterina Murino and director Martin Campbell, along with producer Barbara Broccoli, were set to attend the event as well.
James Bond, half Swiss
Since the beginning of the saga, Bond’s relationship with Switzerland is a special one. First of all Bond’s mother was Swiss. Very often, Bond movies have been shot on Swiss locations (Goldfinger, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me, A View To A Kill and GoldenEye), and since Ursula Andress’ Siren-like appearence in the first Bond movie Dr. No, Swiss actors continued to play various roles in the franchise. However, no one came close to Ursula’s part. In Casino Royale singer-actor Carlos Leal (member of the pop group Sens Unik) played a tournament director. This premiere looked as if 007 returned to his second home.
Long before the guest’s appearence on the red carpet, one of the most precious assets from the movie received an honorary place in front of the Multiplex’ entrance–the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Of course, nobody really expected 007 to get out of that car. It took another hour of waiting in the cold and the James Bond Theme playing, when Daniel Craig and his entourage finally arrived. An attack of hysteria among the fans broke loose. The actor was cheerful and relaxed, one could easily see a profound satisfaction on his face, giving countless titbits of interviews to the waiting press, and signing one autograph after another on whatever the shrieking fans gave him. Craig made several general remarks about the movie. Those who hoped to get a glimpse on Craigian wisdom would leave in disappointment. Yes, he was very satisfied with the result, he said. No, the torture scene didn’t affect Bond’s manhood, he even could have children, if he wanted to. And off he was to the next microphone, listening to the same questions over again.
The Sacrificial Lamb
Italian actress Caterina Murino almost got unnoticed when she arrived because of the extreme stir that Craig had left. Murino explained how proud she was to be part of the Bond universe: “It was for me a great experience as woman, and a great experience as an actress to work with Daniel Craig. I think it’s the best Bond movie ever made.” With her heavily Italian accented English, Murino continued to describe Solange, the character she played in the movie: “She’s more independent, it’s less cliche of a Bond girl. She is just a woman, and I tried to give to this role all the feel of a woman, the emotion of a women, because she is very upset. Her husband is very bad. I hope a lot of women can relate her to their real life.”
Next came director Martin Campbell and his new wife Sol E. Romero. Another Swiss connection, more on the private side this time, as Romero is half Swiss too. The couple married in Lausanne on 6th October 2006. The tabloids reported on the event back then, making some candid remarks about the fact that the bride’s family didn’t want to show up on the ceremony.
The Best James Bond Movie
Most people, especially the press, didn’t notice the moment when producer Barbara Broccoli walked over, showing no sign to come close to a microphone or autograph book, just smiling when somebody announced her name. On the other hand, Martin Campbell seemed to enjoy every moment he spent on the red carpet, kissing his young wife as often as he could. He had every reason to be proud of the movie, and it showed in a brief interview he gave to me.:
How was it for you to direct a second James Bond film?
It’s really good. It’s a different James Bond, it’s a new one most of the time.
Will you do another one?
Oh, I don’t know. I have no idea. We’re going for a honeymoon, actually. That’s what we are gonna do. Yes, I may be, maybe I will.
The next one?
I don’t know, if I will do the next one. But we’ll see.
Was it frustrating to deal with the situation of having a new actor and a bad press?
Not for me. Because I knew it was all rubbish. But for him it must have been tough. You know, we haven’t even showed any part of the movie and they were already killing him, you know. When you see him now, he’s absolutely terrific.
It’s the best Bond film.
Of course, it is. What else would it be? I directed it. (laughs)
Why should everybody see this film?
Why? Because it’s the best Bond film. You just said. It’s exactly why you should see it, yeah.
Why did you choose this kind of Bond song by Chris Cornell?
Well, because I love it, I think it’s almost hard rock; it’s really good.
How do you collaborate with composer David Arnold?
Well, I give him a fair amout of latitude. We go through every scene, we talk about the side of the tone [that] should be. He does demos, music demos. We listen, and then we alter it slightly and adjust it. That’s what becomes the score of the movie.
Just never expect an in-depth analysis by an interviewee on such occasions.
Among the local celebrities another renowned Bond personality arrived just on time: Tina Turner, performer of GoldenEye and resident near Zurich. Everybody seemed to be happy. After the film’s premiere the Bond people, along with the celebs, went over to Zurich’s party place No. 1, the Kaufleuten.
My special thanks to Nora Brechbuhl from Buena Vista International (Switzerland).