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Feature: Daniel Craig

Nobody Does It Better

Taking over the role… With Casino Royale about to hit cinemas we profile new 007 Daniel Craig and find out why he’s going to be the best James Bond yet…

When it was announced in late 2005 that acclaimed British actor Daniel Craig was to be taking over the role of super-spy James Bond, there was an outcry from the UK press who dubbed him ‘James Bland’. Worst of all, many diehard Bond fans disapproved of the choice, with some even setting up an online petition to have him removed from the role before cameras had even started rolling on the 21st Bond adventure, Casino Royale.

Many claimed that Craig didn’t have the right look for Bond, his fair hair, blue eyes and slightly weather worn appearance being quite a departure from the sleek, suave, dark haired look traditionally associated with the character. Dan’s predecessors Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton, Roger Moore,George Lazenby and Sean Connery all had the classic Bond looks as described in the novels of Ian Fleming, who created the character. It came as quite a shock to 007 aficionados that the film’s producers would choose an actor so physically different from Fleming’s Bond, although they clearly hadn’t taken into account the actor’s formidable talent.

Daniel Wroughton Craig was born on March 2, 1968 in Chester, England to father Tim Craig, who was a merchant seaman, before becoming a steel erector and then a pub landlord, and mother Carol Olivia Craig, who worked as an art teacher. Daniel’s parents split in 1972 and he, along with his older sister Lea, were taken to live in Prescot, near Liverpool. Carol had, in her earlier days, turned down a place at the prestigious Royal Academy for the Dramatic Arts, but had still had a love for theatre and frequently attended the famous Everyman Theatre.

It was here that the young Daniel Craig first developed a love of theatre and, by the time he was 16, he had already decided that he wanted to spend the rest of his life acting. Dan had not performed well academically at school and at the age of 16 decided to pack in education and, after attending auditions in Manchester, he headed to London to join the National Youth Theatre, later gaining a place at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Here, alongside future stars Ewan McGregor, Joseph Fiennes and Damien Lewis he was tutored by Royal Shakespeare Company veteran Colin McCormick, gaining an education that would form the basis of his acting career.

Things got off to a good start for Dan who, after graduating in 1991, landed a supporting role in the powerful apartheid themed movie The Power of One (1992). Acting alongside Morgan Freeman must have been a thrill for Daniel, but offstage his life was going equally well as in 1992 he married Scottish actress Fiona Loudon, with whom he had a daughter named Ella. The marriage, however, would only last for two years. In the meantime, his career moved ahead steadily, if unspectacularly, for a few years with the young actor taking on a variety of TV parts, including roles in topical comedy Drop the Dead Donkey (1993), historical adventure Sharpe’s Eagle (1993) with Sean Bean and an episode of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles in which he played a vicious German officer named Schiller.

Read the full feature in
Movie Idols #43

Photo © Sony Pictures
Feature © Visual Imagination 2006. Not for reproduction

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Movie Idols #43
November 2006
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