Daniel Craig – 007’s Secret Weapon
There’s one movie franchise every actor wants to be a part of – and it isn’t the Marvel Cinematic Universe (although that’s a close second). It involves three numbers, a sharp sense of style, and a licence to kill. The James Bond series of movies is one of the longest standing and most successful franchises in cinema, and Daniel Craig has played the most recent iteration of 007 since 2006’s Casino Royale. However, Bond wasn’t Craig’s first rodeo.
Daniel Craig trained first at the National Youth Theatre, then graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1991. His first film was in the drama The Power of One in 1992, with other early appearances in the 1995 Disney film A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, historical war drama television series Sharpe’s Eagle in 1993, and the 1998 biopic Elizabeth. Craig jumped into bigger Hollywood productions with the ill-fated Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2001, before bouncing back in 2002 with Sam Mendes’ acclaimed Road to Perdition. 2004 brought Craig a lead role in Layer Cake, Matthew Vaughn’s first film as director. Previouly Vaughn had produced Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch and Craig’s performance was particularly noted. It was this film that has been cited as being the role that lead to his casting as James Bond.
In 2005 it was revealed that Craig would be taking over from Pierce Brosnan as Bond. Talking to BBC News, he revealed that he was “aware of the challenges” the came with the 007 role. He saw the franchise as “a big machine that makes a lot of money”. There was significant backlash when fans heard the 5-foot-10, blond Craig would become the traditionally tall, dark Bond. However, his first film, Casino Royale debuted in 2006 to massive success. It grossed a total of US$594,239,066 worldwide, which made it the highest-grossing Bond film until the release of Skyfall. Craig’s performance in particular was highly acclaimed.
In 2008, the next Bond film, Quantum of Solace, was released. Part of Craig’s success as Bond is possibly the fact that he seems more accessible than Bond’s of the past. Sure, he’s got the 8 pack, the cars and the women but there’s an “everyman” quality that Craig brings to the role. This kind of “feet on the ground” effortless cool is something that he oozes off screen too and he looks as much the part in jeans and a pair of Converse. And while Craig admits that Bond is usually seen in a crisp suit and business shoes, his attire of choice involves a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars. In fact, he likes them so much that he has been quoted as saying he has them in “every colour and pattern imaginable”.
Put me in a pair of Converse All Star boots and I’m happy. They’re great for working out in; they make you run better.
Quantum of Solace released to slightly lower numbers than Casino Royale but 2012’s Skyfall bounced back as the most successful Bond film ever. It was also announced in September that same year that Craig had signed on to make two more Bond films, making him the third longest-serving Bond actor after Roger Moore (seven films) and Sean Connery (six). Spectre, Craig’s fourth Bond film, released Boxing Day, 2015, again to stratospheric numbers and again proving Craig’s earlier intuition about the franchise being a money machine was correct.
The next Bond film has yet to be revealed, but we can expect fantastically choreographed fight scenes, beautiful girls, chase scenes, and effortless style. Will we see a nod to Daniel’s love for Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars? Only time will tell…