Daniel Craig seems to be going out of his way to sabotage his own good publicity for the upcoming 007 movie Spectre.
When a new film is coming out, actors are obliged to talk about it.
Do they enjoy doing press? The short answer: “No.” Imagine if you had to answer the same questions about your job for a few weeks straight: “What was the hardest part of that PowerPoint presentation? When you went to the meeting on Tuesday, did you sense sales were up? Why do you skip the lunch special in the caf on Fridays?”
It wouldn’t take long to feel dead inside.
This is why actors follow the same unwritten script in media interviews before each new release. They toss out a few anecdotes. They praise a director or co-stars, even if they secretly hate them. They encourage people to go see the movie, even if they know it’s a mess. Then they go home to count their cash.
And . . . cut.
What you almost never get is what Daniel Craig is now doing.
It invades North American theatres next week. This gives us a few days to figure out why the actor seems so exasperated with the franchise that catapulted him into global stardom.
What is it about the fictional Mr. Bond the real Mr. Craig finds so repellent? Why is he straying off script each day, forcing studio execs and publicists to swallow a handful of Valium morning and night?
In an interview with Time Out London, Craig was asked if he could imagine doing another 007 movie. The scripted response would be: “Absolutely.”
Instead, Craig shot back with, “I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists.”
When pressed, Craig added, “If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money.”
This is roughly equivalent to, “I support charities, but only for the tax receipts.”
Then came an interview in The Red Bulletin. Craig was asked, “What could we learn from James Bond that would help us in our day-to-day lives?”
The scripted response here would be, “Well, he’s courageous. He operates with a sense of higher purpose, you know?”
Instead, after a moment of stony silence, Craig said, “Nothing.”
When the interviewer later remarked, “Many men admire Bond for his way with the ladies. . .”
Craig didn’t wait for the question before slamming his character and the implication: “But let’s not forget that he’s actually a misogynist.”
Then came this exchange: “Bond has actually become a bit more chivalrous in the most recent films, hasn’t he?”
Craig: “That’s because we’ve surrounded him with very strong women who have no problem putting him in his place.”
Follow-up: “And this time you’ve gone one better, showing 007 succumbing to the charms of an older woman.”
Craig: “I think you mean the charms of a woman his own age. We’re talking about Monica Bellucci, for heaven’s sake.”
It was a withering retort, a truth bomb chucked into the trenches of Hollywood sexism. When a writer at British Esquire wondered aloud if Craig even likes his character, the ambiguity continued to be shaken and stirred: “I don’t know if I’d like to spend too much time with him.”
The net result is Craig is generating more pre-release publicity than any other actor who played Bond in the past. He’s making so many headlines for this apparent 007 self-loathing, previous Bonds are protectively jumping into the fray.
In an interview this weekend, Roger Moore attempted to reconcile the character created more than 60 years ago with the social mores of our age and square this with things Craig has said: “I have heard people talk about how there should be a lady Bond or a gay Bond, but they wouldn’t be Bond for the simple reason that wasn’t what Ian Fleming wrote.”
Expect Sean Connery to denounce the possibility of a canine Bond.
After spending nearly two grueling years on Spectre, including eight months of principal photography in the United Kingdom, Morocco, Mexico, Austria and Italy, is Daniel Craig in need of a vacation? Does he need a hug?
Or did a rival studio hire MI6 mind control agents to make the actor believe James Bond is a villain? Would Craig really prefer death to doing a fifth movie?
Either way, it’s been a while since an actor has hijacked his own publicity tour to blow things up so spectacularly. Bond would be proud.
Source: Toronto Star