Interview: Daniel Craig of 'Skyfall'
On style and Sam Mendes, and where Bond goes next
With his frame and face suggesting both bulk and delicacy -- the edge and the flat of the knife seen both at the same time -- but Daniel Craig was light and laughing as he sat to discuss "Skyfall," his third outing as James Bond, with us in Los Angeles. We spoke with Craig about the Bond legacy, the pleasures of having a great opposite number and where he can see Bond going next ...
MSN Movies: There's a great moment in the film where you leap from a destroyed section of a train into the train's cabin, pause ... adjust your cufflinks, and then keep going about your business. Is that mix of style and action for you one of the keys of Bond?
Daniel Craig: Yes it is, and it's getting it in at the right moments, and it's making it as real as possible, and keeping it kind of, you know ... I don't want to stop the movie to do that stuff; I want it to continue. But I do want a moment. We did a lot of work on the script to get moments of relief, release the pressure when the tension gets ... so we had a lot of fun with that.
When you heard that Mr. Mendes was going to be directing it, you certainly know him for his dramatic and stage work, was that exciting to you to see what he could do?
Definitely. I actually asked him to do it so it's my fault that he's there. I mean, I raised my hand to do it. If it had gone wrong I probably wouldn’t have mentioned that, but he does such a wonderful job I feel l can.
Was it interesting to see him play with those larger scale tools?
I just knew he would and could ... I knew that he would have, he's got an incredible ability to sort of, you know, if you put 100 times the people in a room and chaos ensues. It doesn't always necessarily come together. He's got an incredible knack of kind of pulling that together, keeping it on the same page, and driving it forward, and that's why I wanted him to do the film.
Another big part of films like this in many ways are like a dance act in that you're so defined by the nemesis of the piece. And you got to work with Javier Bardem. How was that, shooting those scenes, doing those physical moments with him?
You know, like a dream, because I've wanted to work with him for as long as he's been around. He's an incredibly talented actor, a very funny very loving, charming man, great to work with, but he instills the part with some real depth but never forgets he's playing a Bond villain, so it's fun.
Everyone has the Bond they first saw and then the Bond they first loved, and there can be a differential there. I grew up and "The Spy Who Loved Me" was my first Bond, but then I grew to love "Goldfinger." What was your first Bond?
"Live and Let Die" was my first Bond and "Goldfinger" is probably ... I mean that was kind of the moment when everything came together.
The Bond films have such a great classic architecture -- the opening sequence, the opening song, all the action -- are you able to sit and watch them and enjoy them just as a fan? Or are you just too conscious of, "Oh, that is me up there"?
I mean, it's difficult to forget. That's just how it kind of is; I'm in every scene, but the moment I saw the rough cut of the movie -- Sam showed it to me quite a while ago now -- and the story worked. And that's all you kind of cared about, you just care about that because there's no special effects, there's no decent sound, the music's a temp score or all of that And you're watching it and you kind of and the story held together well, and that's it. We've done it, and that means it's going to kind of work out. Actors are terrible watching themselves. I mean it's kind of an awful thing to do. You're just watching the way you stand and you're not watching ... the kind of details that are so irrelevant to the movie.
Obviously it's rank hypothesizing at this point but where would you most like to see Bond go next?
Anywhere. We can go anywhere. In all seriousness, Sam's really set something up here; we've got some new characters, some old characters have come in ... I think we've got a sense of reality in the film, but we can be as wild as we want to, I think ...
For more on "Skyfall," check out our video interview with the cast:"Skyfall" is in theaters now.