Gofobo Interview: Skyfall's Daniel Craig
Q: Daniel, when we first spoke to you for Casino Royale and the subject of not getting the opportunity to ask for a martini shaken not stirred or to say ‘Bond, James Bond’ came up, you said that you felt that you had to earn it. What was the indication that you did (earn it) and how much pleasure was there in being able to include those?
DC: I think that I just felt that given the great opportunity to do Casino, which was the beginning, the conceit was that we were discovering a character that we couldn’t sort of just cram in the old gags. It would’ve felt wrong and I was not trying to copy anyone that had come before because they did it so well. I just wanted to not be that person, I just wanted to be me in this. But it’s always been a plan that we wanted to try to put them back in the movie in an original and fresh way. We wanted to make it a Bond movie and eventually they’re Bond movies because of those things. But I don’t know if I earned it or not yet.
Q: Why do you think that five decades in, that Bond remains such a potent film franchise and why people still get really excited every time a Bond movie comes out?
DC: To me it’s an easy answer. It’s retaining what it always had. It’s making movies for the audience and putting it all on the screen. This family is the reason for it. I’m just trying to keep my job! It’s hell out there you know.
Q: What was, in this particular film, the most memorable moment?
DC: There were many. The thing that stands out and stays with me most is not any particular thing, but walking onto the set with the cast with Sam at the helm and the crew. We were all excited about making this film. That enthusiasm was infectious that really for me is my binding memory.
Q: Was there a particular moment was that the most dramatic or most frustrating?
DC: It was all of those things. It was romantic, frustrating and it was 7 months of filming so it’s like making four movies at the same time. There’s a second unit going on, a main unit, were’s shooting action sequences, shooting dialogue, underwater sequences. There’s nothing else like it. It’s a real privilege and an honor just to be around that.
Q: Now that you’ve done three Bond movies and you’re the master of Bond and of action, what did you learn this time?
DC: It’s a combination. Action movies are kind of live and die by the stories you’re trying to tell. It’s very difficult to do an action movie that stays engaging. More often there’s a split between the two – an explosion and then a bit of dialogue. But Sam put a huge amount of hard work into retaining a story that’s told all the way. When you do that, doing the action makes all the sense in the world. I know what’s happening next. I know where the story is going and I’m clear. It gives me a huge amount of freedom and I get a kick out of it. I don’t do all of my own stunts, I’d be lying if I said that. I like the fact that occasionally you’ll see it on screen and it’s me. I think audiences hopefully appreciate that. At least I hope they do.
Q: Bond is 50 years of cinematic tradition. Yet this film takes a reboot and marries it magnificently with that long standing tradition. What were the discussions like in pre-production merging those two?
DC: Extensive. Non-stop. In fact non-stop throughout the whole filming process. We knew we wanted to do something along those lines but it’s easily said but difficult to put into practice and it takes a lot of talented people to get that right. As I said earlier, you want to do it with a freshness, with a new eye.
Q: You mentioned earlier kind of jokingly that you wanted to make sure that you got to keep your job. Do you dread the day when you get the call that it’s time to go in another direction?
DC: I get a huge kick out of doing this. The whole point of this is that it takes such a chunk out of your life and I’m contracted for two. I can see the next one, beyond that it’s just so much work involved. So until we bring it together - I’d love to do another movie is what I’m trying to say.
Q: Can we talk about Judy Dench without giving away too much of the ending?
DC: She’s an extraordinary woman, actress, just wonderful to be with. When Judy walks into a room she lights the room up. It’s incredible. She’s got such an energy about life and she loves doing what she does. For me, I’ve been a fan of hers all of my life so to get the chance to work with her and play with her – cause that’s what she likes to do, she likes playing – was a joy.
Q: So when you found out the direction it was going to go with her, what was your initial thoughts?
DC: Well I certainly don’t really want to give it away. I know it’s out but some people haven’t seen it yet. But for me, it made sense, it made a lot of sense. It gave us a chance to use her in a really proper way. And it was very emotional.
Q: How big of a decision was it to have Bond cry in this movie?
DC: He doesn’t cry! He’s sweating.
Q: It’s like the 10 Commandments of Bond?
DC: Well then we broke them. That’s what we’re supposed to do, we’re supposed to mess around with them. It’s interesting, you said that he cries but then other people said he didn’t. So it’s open. But it is an emotional scene and it’s worth it. It’s worth to play with that emotion.