1. Daniel Craig On Pushing James Bond Forward

    By Devin Zydel on 2009-03-21

    Just as Quantum of Solace debuts on DVD and Blu-ray around the world, the Herald Sun has posted an extensive interview with Daniel Craig where he discusses exactly what went into making the 22nd James Bond adventure.

    ‘It’s Like A Whack In The Face’

    ‘Fast as hell,’ is Craig’s quick reply when asked to briefly sum up just what exactly Quantum of Solace is all about.

    James Bond in 'Quantum of Solace'

    ‘It’s like a whack in the face and I think that’s what we needed. It takes the story on, it deals with all the unfinished business from Casino Royale plus we’ve booted it up–the stunts look amazing, the locations look fantastic and there’s not a lot of time to breathe. Next time we’ll do something more lyrical,’ he adds with a laugh.

    Compared to a bullet by director Marc Forster for its breathtaking pace and location hopping, the latest 007 film was all about retaining certain ‘Bondian’ traditions, but also pushing things forward. Describing the overall style of the film, Craig commented: ‘I think the language of film has changed and I think the audience perception has changed. Have you seen that terrific series Mad Men? It’s great and I look at that guy (Jon Hamm) and he’s got such a great look.

    He continues: ‘If you doing the film of Sebastian Faulks’ Bond book (centenary novel Devil May Care) that look would be perfect. If you were doing a one off film I would say that’s the way you would go. But that’s not where we are. The intention was always to make more than one of these so we have to move it forward because in two years time when hopefully we’ll do another one, we’ll still be pushing it forward.’

    'Quantum of Solace'

    Quantum of Solace

    ‘If we’d have gone for some cute idea of what it was in the past, some kind of retro thing, it just wouldn’t move it on. I think style is important and I hope that when people see what we’ve done with Quantum–by getting in a new director, a new costume designer, we’ve added something that was of the old movies, paid homage to that, but at the same time we’ve moved it along,’ he added.

    ‘There are big sets, big wide camera angles, big shots, and it’s kind of that more old fashioned way of doing it. But it’s not looking back, it’s the modern way of doing it but at the same time, knowing itself. But if it becomes too self-knowing it becomes a piss take of itself. And we have to be careful about never doing that.’

    Escaping With James Bond

    Even though the ever-popular James Bond film series is approaching its 50th anniversary, Craig maintains that there are several ingredients integral to making the modern Bond films successful.

    ‘I think they have to have what they’ve always had–and that is a very strong central figure,’ he said. ‘That’s an obvious thing to say and I also think that they have to take you somewhere else, to transport the audience. I maintain that.’

    ‘I was thinking about this earlier and what defined those early movies was the fact that they went on location as much as they did. They maybe faked a few places–as we still do and we have to–but those early ones they went to some incredible places. I can’t remember which one it is, but on one of those early ones they went to Tokyo. Imagine getting a film crew to Tokyo!’

    Marc Forster, Mathieu Amalric, Olga Kurylenko and Daniel Craig

    ‘I mean, it’s hard enough now but doing it back then and the locations were so important–you looked at the film and you thought “he’s there, that’s Tokyo, that’s the Rio carnival…” those were the things that really defined Bond.’

    ‘I remember being a kid and looking at the films and going “that’s why I want to be James Bond”–plus the girls and the cars, of course.’

    Craig On 007

    Daniel Craig is James Bond

    Daniel Craig is James Bond

    When asked what specifically was appealing about the James Bond character, Craig cited the fact that ‘he’s this apolitical civil servant who knows exactly what he is doing and is very good at his job. Within our political system we potentially have this organisation, the civil service, where you hope that there are good people making decisions for us, the people.’

    ‘Even though Fleming was an aspiring upper class person, he invented this man for everybody–and I think Sean [Connery] playing him on screen added to that. Somewhere inside Bond he believes he is doing the right thing even though he kills people all the time! But I love that element about him–that somewhere inside him he knows what is morally right.’

    To read the full interview, with details on Craig’s injuries during the Quantum of Solace shoot, his thoughts on the classic 007 films and more, head over to the Herald Sun.

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