Jeffrey Wright now joins David Hedison as the only actors to have portrayed the role of ally Felix Leiter twice in the James Bond franchise.
In a new interview with blackfilm.com, Wright discusses his return in Quantum of Solace, working with Daniel Craig once again and whether he’ll be back for Bond 23 and beyond.
‘I was excited to be part of the first one and then to carry on the role and pick up where he left off was just a pleasure,’ said Wright in regards to returning from Casino Royale.
Quantum of Solace goes on to develop the relationship between Leiter and Bond,’ he states. ‘There is a kinship between the two of them that we continue to discover because they are similar in many ways. They are guys who are very much alone in their world. It’s a murky environment in which they operate and there are few people that they trust. They found a trust in one another and we try to explore that further. Outside of MI6, Leiter is Bond’s only consistent ally. He’s played a critical throughout the history of the Bond films.
Lending itself nicely to the onscreen relationship between Bond and Leiter was the fact that the two had worked together in past on Casino Royale (obviously) and The Invasion.
He says: ‘This is the third film that Daniel and I have worked on together and I enjoyed working with him as an actor and I enjoyed his company. We both look at acting in similar. We’re serious about it and we enjoy it and when we work together, we try to create interesting scenes. People seem to respond to the friendship between Leiter and Bond and we try to build on that.’
‘Leiter is a mysterious character and he moves in the shadows and I like that,’ Wright added. ‘The fact that the character is unknown gives him a mysterious quality. I enjoyed coming in during fragments of the film. It’s Bond’s story and Felix is supporting.
When asked to compare the directorial styles of Martin Campbell Royale and Marc Forster Quantum, Wright said: ‘Marc comes from a different type of filmmaking to some extent with films like Monster’s Ball and The Kite Runner but he brings his own signature to the Bond franchise in a way that’s fresh and original. There’s a stylistic quality to this film that is contemporaryand edgy and that’s a result of Marc’s vision. At the same time, he was going for realism in the acting surrounded by the high flying action adventure in the Bond films and the combination is quite stunning.’
He also stated that if the producers wanted him back once again, he’d have no hesitations.
‘I enjoy doing these films. They are big budget films, but there is a quality of humanity on the set that I like. There are very little egos involved and it’s a very comfortable environment to work in; and I’ve been a fan of the Bond franchise since I was a boy. As long they want me to continue as Leiter, I’m open to returning.’
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