Daniel Craig, the goodbye of the Bond that never wanted to be

Daniel Craig is the antithesis of Bond, James Bond, the cold, serious and distant British spy who has been giving life in the cinema for 15 years. Craig, on the other hand, is pure movement, say those who have known, interviewed and directed him. A man who does not stop still, who fills the room with his presence, chaotic, anarchic in his incessant movement. A guy who doesn’t stop talking, contradicting himself, even criticizing himself. Someone who shows his insecurities, which are not few. Someone light years away from that rude Bond who has given him global fame and who has now decided to say goodbye.

He himself confirmed it a few days ago, in an interview with the British edition of the magazine GQ. “Until now I have kept my mouth shut. But this is my last film ”, he told about No time to die, the 25th installment of the saga, where he shares the limelight with Rami Malek (winner of an Oscar in 2019 for his role as Freddie Mercury in the biopic the queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, who will play the villain this time), the French Lea Seydoux or the Spanish-Cuban Ana de Armas. Its premiere was to be on April 2, but it has been delayed until November due to the coronavirus crisis.

Craig, 52, didn’t want to be James Bond, but the job has lasted 15 years. It was not clear if it would be good for the role, if it would be the right decision for his goal of feeling a rush of adrenaline every time he got into someone else’s shoes. The order came almost by chance, as if from heaven. Literally: the producer of the tapes, Barbara Broccoli, noticed him during the funeral in London of a director of casting, Mary Selway. He was at the airport, about to fly to India, when a Selway daughter called him to be one of the coffin bearers. He agreed, and in that bright little church in the heart of Piccadilly it was clear to Broccoli that this hard-featured blond man was Pierce Brosnan’s replacement.

Craig didn’t see himself on paper. He went to the production company’s offices for what he believed was a contact. “This is going to take my whole fucking life,” he thought, and he even called his mother to ask her. One day he had an important meeting, he was without cufflinks, with a jacket pulled over, badly dressed. But it was so clear to Broccoli that he saw that it was impossible to turn down such an opportunity.

Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, from left, four faces of James Bond.

Since 2005 the shadow of Bond has haunted him and will probably continue to do so for the rest of his life. His franchise tapes have grossed more than 2.5 billion euros; only with the last one, he has entered 21. He has been the spy’s longest-lived interpreter, since he has been in his skin for almost 15 years. A skin that he himself has helped to change. Craig has been the architect of converting his alter ego in a different man, with more feelings, who can feel love or pain and far removed from the stale machismo that some of his predecessors gave off.

He himself had to endure some criticism from some Internet users when he left, a couple of years ago, with his daughter hanging from a baby carrier. He didn’t care … or he didn’t show it. The British do not have social networks, at least known. His privacy is essential, as it is also for his wife and mother of that girl – now two years old – the British actress Rachel Weisz. The couple had known each other since the mid-1990s, but reconnected in 2010, when they shot together. Behind the walls. The romance was sudden: they secretly married six months later, in 2011. Two friends and their children attended. Nobody else. And not a photo. “It would have been like telling a secret,” he explained later.

You have both been through serious relationships before. Weisz, 51, has a 13-year-old son with his partner of nearly a decade, director Darren Aronofsky. She had not been married before, had never contemplated it. “It was not my ambition, I was the complete opposite of that. So it happened suddenly, naturally and happily, “he said in an interview with Evening Standard.

For his part, Craig has a 28-year-old daughter with actress Fiona Loudon. She was born when he was 25 from a brief union of just 24 months. He was very young, but he had already lived a long time. At the age of 16, he had left home to take a summer theater course in London with a friend. The interpretation got inside him and the question lasted until he was 22 years old. One later, he starred in an announcement that earned him 20,000 euros. “A fortune”, as he delighted in the interview with GQ, which melted in an instant and whose taxes took five years to pay.

Daniel Craig with his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, in 2015. They were friends for 20 years, and worked together on the movie ‘Dream House’, on whose ‘set’ they fell in love. They began dating in December 2010 and were married six months later.Jason LaVeris / Getty

His surroundings were humble. His parents owned a pub, Ring O’Bells, in Frodsham, a small town in Cheshire, in the north-west of England. There he learned to imitate Groucho Marx and company and to take out a few quarters. With the divorce of his parents when he was four years old, he and his sister went to live with their mother, Olivia, in the dangerous L7 district of Liverpool. Walking back from school was “dangerous.” Young Daniel got bad grades and was only interested in rugby. Until when he was 14 years old, he got on stage to perform in a function of Oliver. “I will not say that it is like when you try really good drugs, but it was a rush of emotions and adrenaline that I had never felt before,” he said.

While his mother gave classes as an art teacher to support them, he went to a cheap cinema on the coast with his aunt. “The movies were late, they looked awful. But I would sit and watch one after another ”, he told GQ. Then, in his early teens, he came Blade Runner. It was a revelation: it changed his life.

More than 35 years have passed and now Craig will have to face another life turn: surpass Bond. In October he was filming his last scenes in a London studio, those that he should have recorded in Havana and that he could not because of an injury. In goodbye, he couldn’t help but get excited. “I had a lot of things in my head that I wanted to say. I couldn’t get them out, ”he confessed. It came to tears. Cary Fukunaga too. Even Craig’s stunt double ended up crying over the man who turned the cold British spy upside down without anyone expecting it.