01 March 2018

Daniel Craig

Blonde and blue-eyed English actor Daniel Craig (1968) is best known as the sixth James Bond. He appeared as the British secret agent in Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015). He also appeared in such great films as Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998), the crime thriller Road to Perdition (2002), and the historical drama Munich (2005).

Daniel Craig in Casino Royale (2006)
British postcard by EON Productions. Photo: Danjaq / LLC / United Artists Corporation / Columbia Pictures Ind.. Publicity still for Casino Royale (Martin Campbell, 2006).

Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace (2008)
British postcard by EON Productions. Photo: Danjaq / LLC / United Artists Corporation / Columbia Pictures Ind. Publicity still for Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008).

Love is the Devil


Daniel Wroughton Craig was born in 1968 in Chester, Cheshire. His mother, Carol Olivia (née Williams), was an art teacher, and his father, Timothy John Wroughton Craig, was the landlord of two pubs. When his parents divorced, Craig and his older sister Lea lived with their mother, moving to Liverpool, and later to Hoylake, Wirral.

Craig began acting in school plays at the age of six, and was introduced to serious acting by attending the Everyman Theatre in nearby Liverpool City Centre with his mother. He was also a good athlete and was a rugby player at Hoylake Rugby Club. At 16, he started to train at the National Youth Theatre and graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1991, before beginning his career on stage.

In 1992, Craig married Scottish actress Fiona Loudon, with whom he has a daughter Ella Craig (1992). The marriage ended in divorce in 1994. After his divorce, he was in a seven-year relationship with German actress Heike Makatsch, ending in 2001. He subsequently dated and was engaged to film producer Satsuki Mitchell from 2005 until 2010.

His film debut was as an Afrikaner in the drama The Power of One (John G. Avildsen, 1992). He then appeared as closeted gay Mormon and Republican Joe Pitt in the Royal National Theatre's production of Tony Kushner's Angels in America in November 1993. Other early film appearances were in the Disney family film A Kid in King Arthur's Court (Michael Gottlieb, 1995) and the biographical film Elizabeth (Shekhar Kapur, 1998) featuring Cate Blanchett.

Craig's appearances in the British television film Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (John Maybury, 1998) with Derek Jacobi, the indie war film The Trench (William Boyd, 1999), and the drama Some Voices (Simon Cellan Jones, 2000) attracted the film industry's attention.

This led to roles in bigger productions such as the action film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (Simon West, 2001) - as Angelina Jolie's rival and love interest, the crime thriller Road to Perdition (Sam Mendes, 2002) with Tom Hanks and Paul Newman, the crime thriller Layer Cake (Matthew Vaughn, 2004), The Jacket (John Maybury, 2005), and the historical drama Munich (Steven Spielberg, 2005).

Smaller but also interesting were The Mother (Roger Michell, 2003) in which he played the lover of the much older Anne Reid, and Infamous (Douglas McGrath, 2006), in which he played murderer Perry Smith who became the subject for Truman Capote’s classic novel In Cold Blood.

Daniel Craig and  Olga Kurylenko in Quantum of Solace (2008)
British postcard by Peek & Cloppenburg, Col.-no. 198. Photo: Danjaq / LLC / United Artists Corporation / Columbia Pictures Ind. Publicity still for Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008) with Olga Kurylenko.

Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace (2008)
Chinese postcard by Oriental City Publishing Group Limited. Photo: publicity still for Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008).

The sixth 007

Daniel Craig achieved international fame when chosen as the sixth actor to play the role of Ian Fleming's James Bond in the official film series, taking over from Pierce Brosnan in 2005. Reportedly, he quit smoking and gained twenty pounds of muscle for the part. Although his casting was initially greeted with scepticism, his debut was highly acclaimed and earned him a BAFTA award nomination. Casino Royale (Martin Campbell, 2006) became the highest-grossing in the series at the time.

Steve Sholokhonov at IMDb: “Craig's reserved demeanor and his avoidance of the showbiz-party-red-carpet milieu makes him a cool 007. He is the first blond actor to play Bond, and also the first to be born after the start of the film series, and also the first to be born after the death of author Ian Fleming in 1964. Four of the past Bond actors: Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan have indicated that Craig is a good choice as Bond.”

Two years later followed Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008). Craig's third Bond film, Skyfall (Sam Mendes, 2012) with Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes, was the highest-grossing film in the UK until 2015 and the fifteenth highest-grossing film of all time. Craig's fourth Bond film was Spectre (Sam Mendes, 2015) with Christoph Waltz and Monica Bellucci.

Since taking the role of Bond, he has continued to star in other films, including the World War II film Defiance (Edward Zwick, 2008) and the Science Fiction Western Cowboys & Aliens (Jon Favreau, 2011) with Harrison Ford. He starred as crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist in the English-language adaptation of Stieg Larsson's mystery thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher, 2011).

In 2011, he also starred in the psychological thriller Dream House (Jim Sheridan, 2011) co-starring his second wife Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts. Craig also made a guest appearance as James Bond in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, alongside Queen Elizabeth II. In 2014, he and his wife Weisz starred on Broadway in Harold Pinter’s play Betrayal. Despite mixed reviews, it grossed $17.5 million, becoming the second highest Broadway play of 2013.

Craig did an uncredited cameo in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (J.J. Abrams, 2015) as the stormtrooper on whom Rey (Daisy Ridley) performs a Jedi mind trick. Recently he starred in Steven Soderbergh's heist film Logan Lucky (2017) starring Channing Tatum.

On the 15 August 2017 episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Craig publicly confirmed that he will return to his role as James Bond. His four Bond films released by Sony has earned a combined gross of $3.5 billion globally, after adjusting for inflation. Craig has described his portrayal of Bond as an anti-hero: "The question I keep asking myself while playing the role is, 'Am I the good guy or just a bad guy who works for the good side?' Bond's role, after all, is that of an assassin when you come down to it. I have never played a role in which someone's dark side shouldn't be explored. I don't think it should be confusing by the end of the film, but during the film you should be questioning who he is."

When it was confirmed that Craig would play 007 again in 2019 Daniel Craig officially became the longest-serving James Bond.

Daniel Craig in The Golden Compass (2007)
Chinese postcard. Photo: publicity still for The Golden Compass (Chris Weitz, 2007).

Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace (2008)
Chinese postcard by Oriental City Publishing Group Limited. Photo: publicity still for Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008).

Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace (2008)
Chinese postcard by Oriental City Publishing Group Limited. Photo: publicity still for Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008).

Sources: Steve Shelokhonov (IMDb), Wikipedia and IMDb.

No comments: