This story first appeared in the Nov. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
As Skyfall — his third turn as James Bond — arrives in North American theaters, Daniel Craig looks back at the effect 007 has had on his life, risking his neck and skydiving with the queen.
The Hollywood Reporter: How has Bond changed your life?
Daniel Craig: Obviously, financially I am pretty sound, and that is a wonderful thing; my family is secure. It is very strange — you’ve got no point of reference for something like this. I’ve spoken to Pierce Brosnan, but nobody can warn you. I love the collaborative process of moviemaking. But going out for a cup of coffee? That’s the price you pay.
THR: There’s a lightness of touch you have in Skyfall that you didn’t have before.
Craig: I didn’t think I had the room to do it. In the first one, [2006’s] Casino Royale, Bond gets described as a blunt instrument, and that’s how I played it. And with Quantum of Solace, we suffered a lot: There was a writers strike; we didn’t have writers around to help. This time around, in my grand plan, Bond can start having fun.
THR: You did some of your own stunts. Were you afraid?
Craig: My first day on the train was just about learning how to stand up. The train was going about 40 kph [25 mph], but it’s not the speed that matters, it’s the side-to-side motion. Then when we get over the bridge, it’s a 300-foot drop over this ravine. They all said, “Don’t look down!” And I tried not to.
THR: How did your stunt with Queen Elizabeth II for the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics come about?
Craig: Danny Boyle approached me. It was his idea, and the queen was complicit. I spent an hour with her. I talked to her. She was actually very relaxed. It was very surreal.
THR: You’ve signed up for two more movies, right?
Craig: At the moment, that is the plan. But I know this is the film business, and we’ll take it a picture at a time. I’d love to continue beyond that. What I love about this movie is, we have set things up now, and all we need is to find a good story and produce something as good as this.