In an interview in today’s thelondonpaper, James Bond composer David Arnold has spoken about the unique casting process for the latest 007 film, Casino Royale.
The search for the sixth actor to play the world’s famous spy was a notoriously public affair, in which the media rampantly speculated on every aspect of the worldwide hunt, which ultimately saw Daniel Craig land the role.
“I was there for the casting,” Arnold told thelondonpaper. “We screentested three people and we did music for all of them. It wasn’t a reading – they were shot on set, properly lit, in costume, with cast, and Martin Campbell directed them. Daniel was the one who really made you sit up.”
“[The other two] were terrific, but very different. Henry Cavill was more traditional and Sam Worthington was very young. But I think Barbara [Broccoli] had her eye on Daniel for a long time.”
While composing is, according to Arnold, a particularly lonely task (“You’re locked in a room and you have to write so much in a day, or else you don’t get to the end. And you do it to the exclusion of all else until it’s over.”), the work has been very steady. “In the last nine months I’ve had five days off. Amazing Grace went into Casino Royale, which went into Venus, which went into Hot Fuzz.”
But the rewards are gratifying. “I’m thrilled when I hear my music coming out of a shop doorway – I feel like ringing someone up. That’s the beauty of it, when it goes out into the world. It stops being about me in a little room and finds a life.”
Arnold also offered some sordid trivia for fans of Little Britain‘s David Walliams, a friend of the composer’s: “It was his birthday party, and I’d just finished the mix. So I played [the Casino Royale theme] to him and he decided to choreograph his own opening title sequence to it. It didn’t involve full nudity – we got down to the underpants – but it probably wouldn’t have taken much.”
You Know More Than My Name?
Arnold also contributed to last Sunday’s Observer‘s 50 Greatest Film Soundtracks feature, including his evaluation of John Barry’s classic score to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which clocked in at number 20.
Stay tuned to CBn for all the latest Casino Royale coverage.