Inside, the 44-year-old actor says there’s a price to pay for trying to live up to the legend – and it’s his craft. ”I’m involved [in the films] on a very deep level. I have it in my mind all the time… So there’s that kind of pressure, and that’s an enemy in any art form, acting especially.” That’s quite the revelation from the man who put on an impenetrable poker face in Casino Royale. Daniel, who plays it just as cool as 007, goes on to describe how this role has made him care more about public opinion: “Bond movies live or die on their popularity. They force you to care about what people think.”
But he says the highs definitely outweigh the pressures and filming the third installment was no exception: “Filming Skyfall made me remember why I do it [acting].”
So what is it about this character that is worth revisiting over, and over? “I think what’s always fantastic about the Bond stories is that there’s always a darkness involved, but it’s a darkness with a sense of humour. A black humour. It’s about danger, but a good danger, because you’re in the hands of somebody who’s saying ‘F**k you’ to risk, ‘F**k you’ to dying.”
And in case you didn’t know, Daniel also had a hand in bringing American Beauty director, Sam Mendes, on board to Skyfall. “It’s a very showbizzy story. I was at Hugh Jackman’s house in New York,” he says. “It was a soiree – we were in a play together – and Sam [film and theatre director Sam Mendes] was there. I’d had a few too many drinks and I went, ‘How do you fancy directing a Bond?’ And he kind of looked at me, and he went, ‘Yeah!’ And it snowballed from there.”
Skyfall opens in theaters Nov. 9 and check out Daniel Craig’s full interview in the October issue of Esquire UK, on sale Monday 3 September.