Daniel Craig makes role of Bond his own
BY DENNIS KING
NEW YORK â€” As Daniel Craig dons his sharply tailored tuxedo and hefts his trusty Walther PPK for â€śSkyfall,â€ť his third outing as British Secret Service Agent 007, the hunky actor seems
to be finding a firm footing in one of filmdomâ€™s most darkly iconic roles.
Initially dissed by doubters as â€śthe blond Bond,â€ť the buff, blunt Londoner is now the sixth actor to officially play James Bond and the fourth to essay him in more than two films (along with Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan). And as he has diligently carved out his own take on Ian Flemingâ€™s durable, deadly superspy in â€śCasino Royaleâ€ť and â€śQuantum of Solace,â€ť Craig appears to have patterned his performances more along the craggy, muscular lines of Conneryâ€™s Bond than the suave, glibly urbane styles of Moore and Brosnan.
Still, in â€śSkyfall,â€ť the 23rd film in the Eon Productions franchise, Craigâ€™s Bond seems a bit more battered, vulnerable and emotional than in previous outings. In fact, thereâ€™s even one scene here in which James Bond appears to shed a tear.
â€śCrying? I donâ€™t cry,â€ť Craig said in mock defiance at a recent press conference. â€śThatâ€™s sweat.â€ť
During a pre-hurricane press event hosted by Columbia Pictures and MGM at SoHoâ€™s swanky Crosby Street Hotel, Craig was quick to note that even as the Bond movie franchise turns 50 (â€śDr. Noâ€ť was released in 1962), thereâ€™s still lots of room to explore the cool, lethal spyâ€™s inner turmoil and his mysterious family background.
â€śSkyfallâ€ť casts its focus on Bondâ€™s close relationship with steely spymaster M (Judi Dench). When ghosts from Mâ€™s past turn up to hound her, Bondâ€™s loyalty to his boss and mentor is tested as he sets off on a globetrotting trek to hunt down the threat and destroy it. But doing so comes at a high personal cost to Bond.
â€śNobody told me we couldnâ€™t make an action film with a good story,â€ť Craig said. â€śAnd we always go back to Fleming when we sit and discuss. If you look at the novels, (Bond) is so conflicted. Fleming tries to kill him off when he gets really pissed at him. And Bond is a killer, you know. He kills for a living. So itâ€™s really a very dark place he goes to.
â€śBut what Iâ€™m so proud about this movie is the writing is so good, and the lightness of touch that we wanted so much is back. But you need good writing for that. And hopefully weâ€™ve combined that with a very emotional story.
â€śThis one is a little bit about families and parents and children,â€ť Craig said. â€śNot in a heavy way, but going back to Bondâ€™s childhood just to destroy it. And then to move on, begin again.â€ť
In many ways, â€śSkyfallâ€ť feels like a throwback to earlier Bond adventures, most notably â€śGoldfinger,â€ť and Craig said the challenge was to lightly balance homage to time-honored conventions with high-tech elements that push the franchise into the 21st century.
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