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Daniel Craig Interviews in English

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Daniel Craig roundtable

Journalist: So what is it like, what about this time, its quite, maybe the first time-

Daniel Craig: -good to be here. (laughter)

Journalist: Is this really the first time in your career to play with such a young girl and to play together with a daemon and so on? That is very interesting? It does appear you are less relaxed compared with the press conference.

Daniel Craig: Im less relaxed?

Journalist: No, no more relaxed.

Daniel Craig: Well, cause that was really nerve-wracking. I am a very.. its the first time Ive worked with so much special effects; Ive not actually done very much. But I mean, theres always a certain aspect in big movies that youre going to do, but not like this. Its been a great experience; but Ive been lucky enough that my characters quite aloof. He doesnt have to have major conversations with his daemon. I have a connection with the bears and I have.. I mean, its an acting job; Ive been doing it a long time - imagining people who arent there has never been particularly difficult for me. I dont know whether thats a good thing.. (laughter)

And you know, I dont know if youve met Dakota yet, but shes a piece of work.

Journalist: The first time I interviewed you was for a production back in November.

Daniel Craig: Ah there you go. It was another lifetime ago.

Journalist: I was a little worried about you. Are you fine?

Daniel Craig: Im surviving. Its been a great year. We made a great movie [Bond: Casino Royale] last year and lots of people went to see it and they seemed to like it. Its very simplistic, but it kind of feels like that.

Journalist: Was it a triumph to have these incredible figures of box offices etc, after all what you went through in the beginning?

Daniel Craig: Honestly, I knew we had a good film. I knew we had a good film. I couldnt predict that it was going to do that well at the box office, nobody could; I think everybody was surprised. But I just knew that wed all put in enough work and wed all put in enough into making the movie that.. I didnt feel that.. The triumph itself was making the film we made the film and we made it well. So everything else after that was a bonus. How santicmonious. (laughs) I was really happy. It was really good news when those figures came in.

Journalist: You didnt know how big your Bond was going to be when you start.. not start shooting, but when you signed for this film, so this is probably going to be a franchise as well. Now Chris [Weitz] just told us that now whats quite a stretch logistically to fit your shooting days in your Bond schedule. So for the next few years, if this [TGC] is going to be a franchise as well, you have two franchises and you want to do some other stuff as well; how are you going to cope with that?

Daniel Craig: Theres time. And if there isnt there isnt. I love going to work. I mean, as long as Im not doing too much that it becomes a bore. Whats great about.. these films will be spaced and.. theres going to be time, well figure it out.

Journalist: Practically how many days of shooting does..?

Daniel Craig: Oh well I mean, Bonds 6 months of shooting. So thats half the year. And then another 3 months at the end of the year to advertise the movie. Theres a couple of months in there to squeeze in something, which is what I did with this [TGC]. But this years free, so this year is.. you know I dont start shooting [Bond] until the end of the year or the beginning of next year, so Ive got 12 months to think of something else.

Journalist: Do you want to do smaller things in those 12 months?

Daniel Craig: Im doing something, I kick off with something next week - a film called Flashbacks of a Fool, its rather cool, which is being directed by a friend of mine in South Africa. And thats much.. no animals, one explosion!

Journalist: Do you prefer that?

Daniel Craig: I dont know. I like working, seriously. If its good enough, I will do it. And Ive got time. Im not very good at not doing things.

Journalist: Because youre in danger of becoming an action hero.

Daniel Craig: Do you think? Oh well. Theres worse things.

Journalist: I know you said before youd like to do some other films, by a British director, do you know that hes looking for English and American actors now?

Daniel Craig: No I do. I do know, yeah. I looked him up immediately. Had a long chat, hopefully have a future-

Journalist: -after this project, or..?

Daniel Craig: We talked about it. But there was timing issues and things, so.. I like him very much; I hope he bears me in mind should he-

Journalist: -next time.

Journalist: Is that something thats still possible? When you have your status now - whether you like it or not - can you still do, lets say, a film with a movie ~inaudible~; or a smaller part in a big film like Munich. Is that still possible?

Daniel Craig: I dont see why not. I think its.. if it isnt it itll be sad. But Im doing it. I mean Im already, this movie, Im playing not a huge part in this - but its an intrinsic part of the story. Im doing a small movie, ten days shooting on next week. I havent considered the possibility of it not being a problem. If it becomes one, Ill react to it.

Journalist: From just this morning, [i] started to doubt whether all the subversiness of Pullmans novel is going to be there. Was that part of the attraction for you?

Daniel Craig: For me? Yes. It was very much part of it. I hope I managed to put a bit of that in there with what Im doing. Hes [Pullmans] a very subversive human being - a very intelligent, lovely human being, but hes got a big subversive streak. Very appealing.

Its the debate the books raise that I find so interesting. And I know theyve been accused of being anti-religious, I dont actually agree with that - I think its quite the opposite really, they believe in faith and they believe in all the original Christian ideas of love and charity. If it [the film] raises a debate about organised religion, that cant be a bad thing.

Journalist: The institutions of religion rather than the people.

Daniel Craig: Yeah, the institutions. Thats exactly.. Id much rather use that; thank you for that. (laughing)

Journalist: Have you spent a lot of time with Pullman?

Daniel Craig: I have. Weve had a couple of - fairly - sober evenings. I was a big fan of his obviously because Id read the books. And he is.. the books. Hes got a lot of energy and desire and feels very passionately about what he writes about. Very appealing.

Journalist: Isnt it inevitable to clean the material of too much [religious] issues? Especially if youre thinking of the American market?

Daniel Craig: I dont think we should worry about it. I really dont. Because actually, the books, thats not the central theme of the books. The central theme of the books is the journey of this young girl and how she deals with the problems of going there. And that really is - and Im not trying to deflect the press ~inaudible~. I think that its.. look, this is personally, I dont think theres a problem. I really dont think theres a problem with this debate. I think its a very healthy thing to talk about and if we do raise controversy in the States then we should deal with it.

Journalist: Are you ready for it? I mean youre such a-

Daniel Craig: -oh I personally am. Ive got no problem. Im very clear on the way I think about these things. And I dont want the movies apologising for any of it. Its a film against oppression. And theres nothing wrong with that picture.

Journalist: What is your first fantasy-

Daniel Craig: -cant get into that!

Journalist: -story.

Daniel Craig: -oh.

Journalist: What is your first fantasy film that you have been seeing?

Daniel Craig: I read Tolkein when I was a child. I still read Lord of the Rings occassionally. Its one of the books that I revisit. But I revisit these books [HDM]. Theyre kind of great.. I take, you know, you have a holiday and you have two weeks, theyre kind of easy books to pick up and just plow through.

Cinema experiences, its the Wizard of Oz. Im not that old, but it was still playing in cinemas when I was a kid. And you could still go and see it.

Journalist: What is the relationship between you and Nicole Kidman in this role? In this film? Its very like a magic ~inaudible~

Daniel Craig: No, were the mother and father of Lyra. We never married.

Journalist: So is it like-

Daniel Craig: I killed her husband.

Journalist: Ohh. ~inaudible~ Or you know, night ~inaudible~

Daniel Craig: Oh her? Her character. Shes kind of complicated and powerful and provocative and sexy and thats just Nicole. But shes, its a really good part for her and she plays it very beautifully.

Journalist: What about The Invasion?

Daniel Craig: Thats coming out in.. July, I think. Its been a while; we did some extra scenes on that, there was a delay on that.

Journalist: Hows working with Oliver Hirschbiegel?

Daniel Craig: How was it working? Downfalls one of my favourite movies; its a very special movie. Good man.

Journalist: Hows the physical maintenance compared to what you had to do for Bond?

Daniel Craig: Walk into a room, walk out of it. Its a great relief. Well, except weve been doing these shots - weve been up in Switzerland doing these extra scenes. Ive been sliding down my arse on a glacier for the past week and its been quite.. Its been fantastic. We were literally helicoptered up there and spending the day up on a glacier filming some chase sequences. Were using it as being the North Pole and around northern Scandinavia.

Journalist: Your Parkour training came in handy there did it?

Daniel Craig: My Parkour? I dont have any Parkour training. The guy that I was chasing knew how to Parkour; I didnt, I kept on falling on my face.

BridgeToTheStars: Can I ask about that extra scene at all; because your characters not really in the first book much - is that an extra scene-?

Daniel Craig: It was kind of originally mooted, only because of storytelling. And its obviously an adaptation of a book, so you can really only take so much out of the book and go with it. What shooting the extra scene has been about is having a different place to go to, so when youre watching the movie, we can intercut between one aspect of the story and another aspect of the story. So there was always an idea to do this scene.

BridgeToTheStars: It sounds like its more another action scene.

Daniel Craig: Its become something like that, but its something that Philip actually was very keen to get in; hed sort of said, within the movie, he kind of felt that we needed to sort of remember where Lord Asriel was - being chased around the North pole by Samoyed bandits.

Journalist: We have to ask this question-

Daniel Craig: -You dont have to. No-one has to do anything. (laughter) Thats what these books say.

Journalist: We try to do our talking because otherwise the Authority-

Daniel Craig: -Youre the Magisterium, I understand.

Journalist: So um, one might suspect that when you have a big star, that has a major part in the next few episodes - but if I understood correctly, not so big a part here.. We have Daniel Craig now, we need an extra scene ?

Daniel Craig: I dont think thats really going to be a problem. Once youve seen the movie its not going to be a problem. I play a part - Im part of this movie - and the movie will stand up with or without me, I know that. This isnt my movie, this is Dakotas movie. Im part of it, a small but fairly important part. I like to think so.

Journalist: Can you tell us a little bit more about your part? Because I havent read the books, but youre apparently a bit of a hero and a villain at the same time.

Daniel Craig: Its complicated. Hes Lyras father, but hes sort of given.. Lyras parents have given their child to this college in Oxford, which is in a parallel universe to ours, but very similar in lots of ways. He has a desire to open up the heavens so that knowledge and understanding can float between the worlds and well understand the world sort of scientifically I suppose. Because hes a scientist; well understand the world better and freer for it.

Whereas Nicoles character, Mrs Coulter, plays someone who belongs to an organised religion or authority that wants to shut everything down, because if everyone free-thinking then things are going to go tits-up really quickly. Which is.. I mean its very badly put, but thats kind of how I view the story.

Journalist: Enlightenment?

Daniel Craig: Enlightenment? Yeah, whatever way you twist it. Lord Asriels way of looking at enlightenment. He.. he.. Enlightment at what cost? That would be the best way of putting it. Because he actually believes that a few people - it doesnt matter whether a few people die in the process. His mind is good and his heart may be is not in the right place.

Journalist: Can you ~inaudible~ [question?] all sorts of hero, more with the Bond movie or The Golden Compass?

Daniel Craig: I dont know. I dont want to talk about that. (laughs) Thank you very much.

35

DANIEL CRAIG
BY SAM TAYLOR-WOOD

WHILE THE 007 TRADITIONALISTS WERE OBSESSING OVER THE COLOR OF HIS LOCKS, DANIEL CRAIG SET ABOUT IMBUING THE BOND FRANCHISE WITH NEW LIFEIN THE PROCESS FASHIONING THE MOST RASCALLY DELICIOUS VERSION OF THE CHARACTER YET, AND EARNING HIMSELF UNEQUIVOCAL HEARTTHROB STATUS. STILL, DONT EXPECT A CAREER DOMINATED BY CAR CHASES AND CAT-AND-MOUSE GAMES. AS THE ACTOR REVEALS HERE IN THIS CANDID CONVERSATION AND THESE INTIMATE PHOTOGRAPHS BY DARING ARTIST SAM TAYLOR-WOOD, HES GOT SOMETHING MUCH BOLDER UP HIS SLEEVE.

After a long day of relentlessly photographing her subject and longtime friend, Sam Taylor-Wood sits down at a local Italian restaurant, Londons Locanda Locatelli, to begin the interview portion of her Daniel Craig storytwo hours of intense conversation that included a small portion that went unrecorded (and is therefore not presented here) when she forgot to flip the tape.

SAM TAYLOR-WOOD: . . . I was wondering, what was the first moment when you felt like you were on your way? And beyond that, what did you yearn for when you'd gone past that point? Was it working with an amazing director, or was it working with an amazing actor?

DANIEL CRAIG: Well, competition is so important, even when you're an artist. And if you deny that there's competition, then you're a liar. That's what gives you your ambition

STW: What spurs me on is bad reviews.

DC: Sure. When I did Love Is the Devil [1998], John Maybury [the film's director] and I sat down and looked at our reviews. We had one in the Guardianthey just loved the movieand another in the Evening Standard where it was rubbished, and we both went, "That's success." It's horrible getting bad reviews, but there is a certain amount of truth in every one of them.

STW: The horrible thing is that I think more about the bad ones than they deserve. It can knock you down so hard.

DC: Because to completely become an artist is to expose yourself. You can't say, "Don't look at me; I'm exposing myself." If you're going to do it, you have to do it all the way. Nobody's going to take notice unless you step out of your own way and go, "Look at me!" It's kind of a horrible trait, but we can trace it back to childhood, when the child who is the most noticeable gets the most attention. Do you think people are born artists?

STW: Yeah. I went out of my way to try not to be an artist, because I thought I would end up leading a miserable, obscure life. I tried to escape it for as long as I could, until I had to admit at 25 that that was my path. Now, Love Is the Devil wasn't your first film, but it was the first film that really pushed you out into the world, right?

DC: It was the first film I did that "made me." I always wanted to make movies. When I met John Maybury, I knew he was the sort of person I wanted to be involved with because he was genuinely crazy and wonderful.

STW: The obvious question is, will you want to continue working with people like that now that you've done Bond? Because I remember one drunken evening, when you were thinking about doing it, I asked you, "Will you still be able to do those movies, and will you still want to?"

DC: You were just trying to wind me up.

STW: And I was trying to talk you out of Bondhow wrong was I?

DC: Well, I was in that situation, and I was asking all my friends what they thought. I had my friend Baillie [Walsh, the writer and director] in my ear going, "You've got to do it," though even he said that maybe it was not a good idea. At the end of the day, I realized it was my choice and no one else's.

STW: That's it, and that your friends were just as confused as you were.

DC: If I wanted to make spy movies for the rest of my life, that would be one thing, but I don't want to just make spy movies. I also want to make movies that are difficult to make, like Baillie's movie Flashbacks of a Fool [in which Craig is slated to star]. It's the same deal.
STW: It's so fantasticto be doing Bond films and The Golden Compass on the one hand, and then go off and do Baillie's independent film.

DC: Last night, just before I went to bed, the one thing I remember saying to myself is that we should talk about Baillie and you, and that I'm testing two friendships to the hiltan Interview photo shoot with you and a film with my best friend; I could end up with no friends at the end of this.

STW: Oh, don't be stupid.

To read the complete interview with Daniel Craig, pick up the July issue today.

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DANIEL CRAIG
BY SAM TAYLOR-WOOD

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W Magazine

Anything but Love: Hugh Grant can keep his romantic leads--British actor Daniel Craig would rather play the scoundrel.(Men's Flash)
W,  October, 2004  by Conti, Samantha

"I need carbs down my throat! I need protein!" cries Daniel Craig as he strides down Wardour Street in London's Soho. Dressed in a torn white T-shirt, jeans and blue-tinted Gucci sunglasses that he's expecting to lose ("I might as well give the optical store money, and throw the glasses in the street," he quips), the 36-year-old actor swings into a conveyor-belt sushi place and, within minutes, is wolfing down crab rolls and salmon sashimi.

He may be hungry--last night was a late one--but there's no doubt that Craig's starving-artist days are now behind him. Last year, he starred opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in the Sylvia Plath biopic, Sylvia, and turned on his raw sexual charm as a carpenter in The Mother. This year, he shines as a cynical professor of genetics in Roger Michell's adaptation of Ian McEwan's Enduring Love, and next March he'll play a cocky cocaine dealer in Matthew Vaughn's crime thriller Layer Cake. Neither of these two most recent characters is particularly pleasant, and Craig, who talks as fast as he eats, isn't afraid to admit it. "I do bar mitzvahs, weddings--and I'll frighten your kids anytime," he says between mouthfuls of rice.

Craig does have a lengthy list of things he won't do. Though he had a bit part in Elizabeth, he's not interested in costume dramas. ("If the right one came along that would be different," he says. "But not flit involves playing the f---ing mandolin and saying 'My darling.'") He starred alongside Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, but he's not a fan of big-budget Hollywood films ("It's just not my bag"). And most unusual of all for someone who graduated from London's prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he was a year ahead of Ewan McGregor and Joseph Fiennes, he won't do Shakespeare. "Too many words, and I don't understand them," he says. "Way too many opportunities to make a fool of yourself."

What Craig is drawn to, judging from his current projects, are films involving tension, violence and tortured souls. Of his slick Layer Cake character, he says, "I wanted to make him faceless--someone who can walk in and out of a room and no one notices. That's what a modern criminal is all about." But try as he might to blend in, Craig's onscreen presence makes him hard to forget. With his neat and narrow Savile Row suits and impossible self-confidence, he's reminiscent of a young Michael Caine--and his icy blue eyes and ginger-blond hair only add to the effect.

In Enduring Love, Craig plays a more cerebral man--a genetics professor who comes to the conclusion that life is about breeding and nothing more. Despite his less than romantic worldview, he's being stalked by an infatuated loner, played by Rhys Ifans. The film is Craig's second with Michell, the director who in 2002 convinced him to take on the risky role of a ne'er-do-well builder who's having sex with a 67-year-old grandmother--and her daughter--The Mother. "I think the issue [of sex and the over-60 set] needs to be debated, because the fact is that it's going to happen," he says, leaning menacingly across the table. "They're doing it now! As we speak. F---ing everywhere, in all sorts of positions--and wearing leather!"

According to Michell, Craig has a jarringly multifaceted appeal onscreen. "As an actor, he carries around an odd paradox," says the director. "You lift him up to the light, and he's this charming, easygoing, friendly guy, and then you tilt the light a little and you see this mad, psychopathic, very scary person. It's the tension between those two prisms that's interesting."

According to the tabloids, Kate Moss has succumbed to Craig's allure--the two are often photographed on the town together. But Craig, who is divorced with an 11-year-old daughter, denies the rumors. "We're friends," he insists, "and always were." For the time being, at least, his romantic needs appear to be fulfilled by his work. "When I was a kid, I had all those romantic ideas of wanting to be a movie star," he says. "And I still have a lot of that."

38

The Reluctant Man of War
ELIZABETH GRICE

The Daily Telegraph
December 28, 2000

Actor Daniel Craig talks to Elizabeth Grice about Waugh,  TV conflict and the problems of playing it posh
 

A funny thing happened on the way to Pinewood Studios.  Stuck in traffic on a half-demolished section of suburbia, I noticed a man up a 12ft ladder slowly wielding a pasting brush.  A flap of wet poster flopped over his hand. As he worked and the traffic stalled, the face of the man I was crawling along the A40 to see emerged on the billboard - the wide, lumpy, brooding features of Daniel Craig.  Even from that distance you could see that this man has eyes of ice.

Craig is about to freeze our television screens as Guy Crouchback, the tortured hero of Evelyn Waugh's war trilogy, "Sword of Honour."  You may remember him as Geordie Peacock, the hapless musician in the television saga "Our Friends in the North," or as Ray the schizophrenic in the film "Some Voices" or for his performance in William Boyd's First World War drama, "The Trench."

Or again, you may not. Craig, 32, is one of those idiosyncratic, slow-burn actors who don't appear to be going anywhere until the evidence racks up, role by role. A face and voice that have been taking shape somewhere else and now come looming out of the mist, logical and solid, like the soldier on the billboard.

There is a great deal of time to contemplate the phenomenon of Daniel Craig - his solid body of work, his solid body - while I am marooned in a dressing room at Pinewood at the mercy of his production schedule.  He is cavorting with Angelina Jolie, the Lara Croft heroine, in Hollywood's adaptation of the video game Tomb Raider, so it is understandable that I am left to inspect the crumbs on the carpet and to wonder who last used the bathroom.

After about an hour and a half, there is a doomcrack knock at the door and Craig bursts in, full of apologies.  He extends a damp hand.  His hair is wet and spiky and he is wearing a blue towelling dressing gown with a hood.  His see-through eyes are transfixing.  He has to return to the set immediately, he blusters. "Maybe I'll get 10 minutes later. If anything changes, I'll send word."  In a cloud of droplets, he is gone.

Word does not come. Craig reappears in person half an hour later, still looking as though he has just got out of the shower, still breathless and apologetic.  He's finding this action-movie stuff "mindblowing" - worlds away from anything he has done before, from Guy Crouchback, from soldierly reticence and understatement.

"The big sets take 10 minutes to reset every time you do a take. You have to do them over and over and over again.  You have to keep yourself sane."

I tell him about the man on the ladder, pasting his features on to a billboard the size of a double bed.  Thousands of other men with long brushes are doing the same in locations all over the country.  His giant face will confront him on the road home to the Wirral, reminding him he's on the cusp, as they say in the business, of something big.  He's not impressed.  "Weird, isn't it?"  But not nearly so weird, he suggests, as rushing in and out of a dressing room in towels, talking about yourself and then having to read it in a newspaper.  He reads stuff about himself "really quickly," shivers with distaste, and then throws it away.

Craig gives a snuffly, genuine sort of chuckle.  It's a pity he can't relax with a cigarette and a drink and stop wondering whether he's going to sound like an actorly brat.  At one point, he catches himself using the phrase "emotionally vulnerable" and withdraws it with a shudder.

He says he jibbed at playing Guy Crouchback, "because I'd never really played posh before. I didn't know if I could do it justice. If I could bring a reality to this person without putting on a silly accent."  So although he talks "commarndo" instead of "commando" and "barth" instead of "bath", this is no plum-eating role of the Brideshead type.

Craig was brought up on Merseyside.  His mother is a teacher, so he supposes that must make him middle class.  Although there is hardly any trace of Liverpool in his voice, he doesn't trust himself as a posho.  "I'm not scared of it, but Evelyn Waugh was very particular about his class system.  That's what he lived for.  The joke was that he was middle class himself, aspiring to be upper class. When I read that, I thought: well, that's quite cool; that's OK."

Although he has done his bit to project the madness of war (with his friend William Boyd in "The Trench," now in "Sword of Honour"), Craig sounds fed up with the British obsession with reliving this century's two great bloodbaths.  "I wish we'd get over it," he says. "I really do. We do seem to fight it every night on television."

The story of Crouchback's gradually corroding ideals suits Craig's sceptical cast of mind rather well.  With great delicacy and remarkably few words, he portrays an Englishman's search for honour through joining a just war against the forces of evil. "But there's no honour in war or death.  His ideals are completely compromised, shattered by the end."

Craig hates to be thought too studious. He didn't want to put an accent on "because it would be a study of something" and he doesn't think much of my tidy suggestion that his character is redeemed at the end. "I don't care if there's no redemption," he says. "That's not why I do something, to make him look good at the end."

Compliments make him prickly and are best left unsaid. There's a typical Waugh scene early on where Crouchback's wayward ex-wife (Megan Dodds) accuses him of trying to seduce her only because in the eyes of the Roman Catholic church they are still married and she is the one woman with whom he can have conscience-free sex. Craig's wounded response is almost entirely done with his facial muscles. It is powerful stuff.

"God, I don't know, really," he says, running his hands despairingly through his hair as if he's just heard bad news. "I don't think about making something powerful. I'm just trying to get at the reality of it - if there is a reality."

Craig left school at 16 and came to London to join the National Youth Theatre.  Acting was all he ever wanted to do, from the age of six, but romanticise his story at your peril.  He had a happy childhood: it wasn't teenage rebellion; he wasn't driven. "My parents just wanted me to be happy, like parents do.  It was no big deal.  It wasn't: Oh my God, he's going to become an actor."

He responds irritably to imagined cliches. "Driven at 17? Some 17-year-olds may be driven but I certainly wasn't.  I was just like everybody else, living day to day, getting on with it."

Until he got into drama school, he worked in restaurant kitchens and slept on friends' floors. He's never had a career plan, just a series of small lucky breaks leading to bigger lucky breaks, leading to the sudden realisation, after "Our Friends," that he had the power to say no to things. "And that's what you've got to do. You've got to hang on and wait."

Basic questions about his background and family life are treated like hand grenades.  "I can't particularly trust myself about what I'll say so I don't say much. There's no reason for my mother or my father [long separated] to be involved in any way."  So the details remain sketchy: a failure at school; an early marriage; the birth of a daughter, now eight, who lives with his ex-wife in west London; a German girlfriend - actress Heike Makatsch; a rented flat; a certain hopelessness with money. "The money I was making at 22 disappeared - and it's still disappearing. The more you have, the more you spend. I have no idea where it goes."

He wishes his education had been deeper but must realise it no longer matters. "I can't really write and that bothers me. I didn't acquire that essay thing. I just cannot sit down and write even half a page."

At school, he approached Shakespeare as if reading a foreign language, with fear and loathing, and prefers not to think about acting it. "I would probably, deep down inside, egowise, love to do it. But with Shakespeare, you've got to leave your ego at the door and that's sort of scary."

He's so distrustful of the normal credentials and trappings of actorliness ("poncing around on stage" as the people he grew up with called it) that you wonder if this isn't an act in itself. But accuse him of not caring and it all falls away. "I'm not at all scathing really," he says, "because I love it. It's my life. Maybe it's too much of my life, but that's the way it is. I just love doing it."  Why couldn't he say that before?

: Bluematia

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, - Interview magazine!http://danielcraig.2bb.ru/uploads/0000/1e/57/2664-1.gif

Special thanks to scr71 on Daniel's imdb board! ( :inlove: )


Daniel Craig

Interview and photographs by Sam Taylor-Wood
Whether sitting pretty or armed and dangerous Daniel Craig leaves us shaken and stirred.

While the 007 traditionalists were obsessing over the color of his locks, Daniel Craig set about imbuing the Bond Franchise with new lifein the process fashioning the most rascally delicious version of the character yet, and earning himself unequivocal heartthrob status. Still, dont expect a career dominated by car chases and cat-and-mouse games. As the actor reveals here in this candid conversation and these intimate photographs by daring artist Sam Taylor-Wood. Hes got something much bolder up his sleeve.

After a long day of relentlessly photographing her subject and longtime friend, Sam Taylor-Wood sits down at a local Italian restaurant, Londons Locanda Locatelli, to begin the interview portion of her Daniel Craig storytwo hours of intense conversation that included a small portion that went unrecorded (and is therefore not presented here) when she forgot to flip the tape.

STW: My first question was going to be: Do you like clowns?

DC: Is that from Angelica (STWs daughter)?

STW: No. Its something I find divides people.

DC: Oh. Does Angelica like clowns?

STW: No. I took her to the circus in Basel (Switzerland), and two clowns set each others bums on fire. She was 3, and the whole time she just kept saying, Clowns, smoke, fire, bottoms.

DC: Sounds like a night out! But no, I dont like clowns. And then theres all that bollocks about clowns being wise. Shall I just talk bollocks?

STW: Yeah, for as long as you like.

DC: You know I can! I was on these press junkets for Casino Royale, and Id get asked the same questions What are you doing?

STW: Sorry, I may have to undo my trousersthey are too tightCarry on!

DC: So I was on these press junkets, and you have to reinvent everything youve already said. Wind an actor up and set them off, and all they want to do is talk about themselvesyou have to be a little self-obsessed to be in the business. Its the worst and very best thing bout any art form.

STW: I think that to be an artist you have to have a big enough ego to believe that people out in the world want to see what you think is a good idea. And if you dont have that sense of ego, then the minute that idea goes into the world, self-doubt kicks in.

DC: Youre also opening yourself up and saying, Im going to allow people to judge what I do. Thats a big step. The most important thing to remember is that once youve done it, theres no going back. And whether you make it or not, whether you make money or not, its a career. And actually, theres nothing like it. Because once youve gotten some real fulfillment from something, once you can say, Ive moved someone; Ive made someone think differently, it becomes like a drug, and you want to keep doing it. Its the whole bollocks that comes along with it that Im not sure aboutyou are judged, and the way people perceive you suddenly becomes an issue.

STW: Well, I f--ed up early on because Im so open. If someone looks genuinely interested and asks me a deeply personal question, Ill give the answer. Im too open.

DC: I do admire people who can control the way things like that happen. I cant be like that. I dont think many people can.

STW: I wish I could be like that.

DC: If theyre successful. People who are like that but who are not successful are not so interesting. But someone who has talent has to be precocious. When you see that they can back it up, you go, This is serious talent. Then you get into Muhammad Ali territory.

STW: Yeah, theyre allowed anything.

DC: So when you say, Someone asked me a question, and I spilled my guts, thats the beginning of something(waiter arrives at the table with menus)

STW: Wow, food.

DC: Should we order some wine?

STW: Oh year. White wine, if thats all right. BTW, tell me if you think these are really crap questions.

DC: Oh, I will. Thats something to completely relax about. (both laugh)

STW: Anyway, I was wondering, what was the first moment when you felt like you were on your way? And beyond that, what did you yearn for when youd gone past that point? Was it working with an amazing director, or was it working with an amazing actor?

DC: Well, competition is so important, even when youre an artist. And if you deny that theres competition, then youre a liar. Thats what gives you your ambition.

STW: What spurs me on is bad reviews.

DC: Sure. When I did Love is the Devil (1998), John Maybury (the films director) and I sat down and looked at our reviews. We had one in the Guardianthey just loved the movieand another in the Evening Standard where it was rubbished, and we both went, Thats success. Its horrible getting bad reviews, but there is a certain amount of truth in every one of them.

STW: The horrible thing is that I think more about the bad ones than they deserve. It can knock you down so hard.

DC: Because to completely become an artist is to expose yourself. You cant say, Dont look at me; Im exposing myself. If youre going to do it, you have to do it all the way. Nobodys going to take notice unless you step out of your own way and go, Look at me! Its kind of a horrible trait, but we can trace it back to childhood, when the child who is the most noticeable gets the most attention. Do you think people are born artists?

STW: Yeah. I went out of my way to try not to be an artist, because I thought I would end up leading a miserable, obscure life. I tried to escape it for as long as I could, until I had to admit at 25 that that was my path. Now Love is the Devil wasnt your first film, but it was the first film that really pushed you out into the world, right?

DC: It was the first film I did that made me. I always wanted to make movies. When I met John Maybury, I knew he was the sort of person I wanted to be involved with because he was genuinely crazy and wonderful.

STW: The obvious question is, will you want to continue working with people like that now that youve done Bond? Because I remember one drunken evening, when you were thinking about doing it, I asked you, Will you still be able to do those movies, and will you still want to?

DC: You were just trying to wind me up.

STW: And I was trying to talk you out of Bondhow wrong was I?

DC: Well, I was in that situation, and I was asking all my friends what they thought. I had my friend Baillie (Walsh, the writer and director) in my ear going, Youve got to do it, though even he said that maybe it was not a good idea. At the end of the day, I realized it was my choice and no one elses.

STW: Thats it, and that your friends were just as confused as you were.

DC: If I wanted to make spy movies for the rest of my life, that would be one thing, but I dont want to just make spy movies. I also want to make movies that are difficult to make, like Baillies movie Flashbacks of a Fool (in which Craig is slated to star). Its the same deal.

STW: Its so fantasticto be doing Bond films and The Golden Compass on the one hand, and then go off and do Baillies independent film.

DC: Last night, just before I went to bed, the one thing I remember saying to myself is that we should talk about Baillie and you, and that Im testing two friendships to the hiltan interview photo shoot with you and a film with my best friend; I could end up with no friends at the end of this.

STW: Oh, dont be stupid.

DC: Yes, you say that. The thing is, were all in the same arena, and theres a lot of crossover. And Ive never had that blinkered vision about career. Ive always gone, I have to do this on my own because if I dont, then how do I say, This is mine? If I dont, someones going to go, I possess that. But actually nobody possesses what Im doing. What I do is mine. When I see the way that the business works, it frightens me. Basically Im forced to go talk to people about the business. And its a new lesson. But you know what? Its a new place and a new stage in my life.

STW: But its good that you learned it. I forcibly try to be naïve. But as we were saying earlier, we cross all boundaries as artistsfilm can go into art, art into film, actors into photography, and photography into whatever. If you are an artist you can extend your discipline to so many areas. So the fact that were doing this, and Baillies making his first film with you, is what its all about.

DC: And when it comes to, Okay, I could start using this to make something happen for somebody else, or I could use it to make something happen for me, the former is more rewarding. You get into a situation where you can say, Hell, we can make this happen. Ive always believed in your talent. Whatever you do, though, its a selfish business. When I accepted the job to work on Bond, I genuinely did it to change my life. I knew that it would flip everything on its head. I can say, hand on heart, though, that Ive never made movies for moneyIve always made them because Ive truly wanted to do them.

STW: Which is whylooking at your extensive resume, as I did last nightall your decisions and choices have been really good ones, because they werent about making money. And then you just go and do one wham-bam-f----great-big-thank-you-maam of a movie, which is fantastic. Im not denouncing it as anything but brilliant, because I think it was a terrific choice.

DC: Deep down you are!

STW: No. Im not. I loved it.

DC: Well, I hope you would tell me if you thought it was crap.

STW: Its funny, because I cant associate you with the big-movie-star image.

DC: What, because its so far removed from me? (Laughs) Like, That tough guy up there, that cant be you!

STW: Thats not Daniel! It just shocked me how good you are in such a special role!

DC: Bond is supposedly the most-male moment, but to me hes never been macho. That Bond is something that Sean Connery created in Dr. No (1962). I dont know Sean, but I wouldnt want to meet him in a dark alley! He was a big, strong guy, and he has a big male presence about him. Everybody was in an uproar that he was going to be James Bond. He got sh-t because he was basically an Edinburgh bricklayer, and everyone who read the books thought, How could he possibly do it? But he created a style that was unique and kind of sexy. Theres no point in trying to compete with every Bond that came before, though.

STW: You managed to make it your own.

DC: We will see.

STW: Youve already done itwe dont have to see. And the only contentious issue when you were offered the part was the fact that youre blond.

DC: They just want more gags. The next ones going to be a lot funnier.

STW: Octopussy kind of gags?

DC: Yeah. Octopussy. Pussy Galore. Theyre all great names. But thats the thing; all the Bond jokes have been flipped on their heads. Theyve all gone beyond Should we order a bit more wine, so I can think straight? (food is delivered to the table)

STW: Imagine being married to Giorgio the chef here! Can you cook?

DC: Yes! But not like Giorgio. Hes an artist. My mother gave me a real kick toward cooking, which was that if I wanted to eat, Id better know how to do it myself.

STW: So what do you think of the new Marmite with Guinness?

DC: Its soit just tastes like Marmite with Guinness.

STW: No, it tastes like Guinness!

DC: Okay7:30 in the morning, Im buttering my toast and then putting Marmite with Guinness on it. I cant taste anything at that hour, but Marmite is so great its like (makes screaming sound). It wakes you up. (laughs) Like, Welcome to the day! Ive just put axle grease in my mouth You know, I was Mr. Marmitethats how I got my equity card.

STW: (laughs) No, its not true!

DC: It is! At the Reading Save-a-Center. I was Mr. Marmite. I wore a Marmite jumper.

(break in recording due to STWs having forgotten to flip the tape)

DC: This is like some sort of drunken conversation. I cant remember what I just said!

STW: Its fine.

DC: No, its not. Its terrible!

STW: No, its totally fine.

DC: Are you going to go to yoga tomorrow morning with Satsuki (Craigs girlfriend)?

STW: I said I would, but now I think Im filming a dead swan.

DC: (both laugh) I love that my friends are all freaks. And now Im getting interviewed by one!

STW: Tell me about going to the Oscars.

DC: I found that all people want to do after the Oscars is just go somewhere and relax. They want to go take their wigs off. I kept saying this to people there, giving them this information when I was pissed (drunk). And then Id look up and think to myself, Oh, my God, youre wearing one (STW laughs) So I went, Thatll be me in a couple of years.

STW: You cant ever wear a wig, though.

DC: Oh, but I can! (laughs)

STW: But then you cant ever take it off!

DC: The whole thing about the Oscars used to be that it was this in thing, because the industry was so protective. You felt really safe, like you could get drunk and fall over and no one would write about it. I never went to the Oscars then, obviously, but Ive heard stories. Apparently people sat at tables and drank vodka martinis, and then somebody went, And the winner is

STW: When I went to LA to photograph young, up-and-coming American actors

DC: How young were they?

STW: Younger than you (both laugh)

DC: (speaking into the tape recorder) Im stabbing her now!

STW: (laughs) But anyway, if it was 15 people, 13 of them turned up with hair, makeup, PR agentseverything is so controlled that when you do get to the post-Oscars party, you just want to go crazy and have a fantastic time and be relaxed.

DC: But this is the danger of doing this interview. You and I looked up old interviews and photographs from Interview together, and we went, Wouldnt it be great if that could be the way it is now? But today we have to worry that something we say will be repeated around the world, ad infinitumJames Bond said this, or He doesnt like that. Im now in that place where I either just go, F--k it. Im having a conversation with you as my friend, and this is one of the reasons Im doing this interview, or I carefully consider every word Im saying.

STW: The great thing about Interview, though, is that when you read the old issues its gossip, its art, its movies, its what it should be! Two relaxed people exchanging ideas.

DC: Unfortunately, most people in the arts now want to be political. I dont have a problem with anybody using their weight or their artistic clout to make a difference politically. I mean, if you have any clout, and you can do some good, go for it. The problem is that artists with political voices make me nervousartists by their very nature are political, but theyre political in spite of themselves. Or should be political in spite of themselves. And as soon as you start trying to cross the boundary, you have to make a decisionyoure either one or the other. Thats why The Lives of Others is such a wonderful and beautiful filmit shows that theres a lot of negativity toward being an artist or a person who creates. I do it all the time myself, saying, Eh, acting, what is it? Its just a job. Its about dressing up and showing off. And it is, basically, but Ive been trying to do both as much as I can for as long as I can remember, because its found me attention

STW: Ladies dresses?

DC: Anything I can get my hands on! (both laugh) But seriously, without that desire to show off, we dont exist.

STW: The great thing is that because of Bond you will do movies like The Lives of Others. I dont want to the I-remember-when-I-first-met-you thing, but I remember that first play I saw you inthe one by Caryl Churchill.

DC: A Number.

STW: Yes. It was quite a difficult play for you to have done, playing three different sons, two of whom are clones. That was such a brilliant thing to be in!

DC: Im the fool, though. Stephen Daldry offered me a new Caryl Churchill play at the Royal Court Theatre, and I didnt even read it. I should have read it because when I didafter Id said yesI went, *beep* hell! How am I going to do this?

STW: Yeah, but it was brilliant. It was the moment when I became interested in you. Do you have plans to do more theater?

DC: I dont.

STW: Is it difficult to take the time now that youre doing so much film?

DC: I guess, but you can do short runs. Ive been offered a couple very recently, but theyre sort of old playslovely old plays, but I suppose if Im going to do something in the theater, then I want to do it with a new writer.

STW: Its nice to premiere something.

DC: It is, even if in theory the risk is greater. You just hope that an audience comes and looks with fresh eyes. Ive never really had a desire to do Shakespeare, although I totally understand the reason for doing it and the incredible muscular exercise of it. For me, its just too many lines. (laughs) Though its fantastic when its done well.

STW: Seeing a new play in a first-time production is so excitingwhen its good you want to shout from the rooftops. It must be amazing to feel like youre part of something first. I dont know whether youre aware of that at the time, though.

DC: I dont think you should bethats other peoples jobs. When youre doing it, you should just be focused on making it as good as you can. (Speaking into the tape recorder) Sam Taylor-Wood leaves the table She said she needed to peebut Im not sure.

A few days later Craig and Taylor-Wood meet in Sicily, where they resume their conversation.

STW: What are your next film projects?

DC: Ive got this Baillie Walsh film that I mentioned the other dayhe wrote the script five or six years ago for me, and weve been planning to make it for a long time. Now it looks like its set for this summer, but, of course, these things dont always happen.

STW: Tell me about your character.

DC: Hes a washed-up movie star. Its about going home and how some people run away from home not just because theyre unhappy, but because thats what theyre genetically predisposed to do.

STW: Is it redemptive?

DC: Yeah, but its not forgiving. Once you break those ties, theyre gone. If you try to artificially reconnect them after 25 or however many years, it doesnt work, because friendships need constant work.

STW: Is it a small, independent film?

DC: Yeah, you could say that, but with a big budget. Whats really wonderful and great and awful about the film industry is that you can make movies like this, but you might not be able to get proper distribution, so a lot of people might not see it. But the fact that Ive done Bond might get 10 more people into the cinema than would have gone to see it before.

STW: Doing Bond has enabled you to do a lot more films. So what are your criteria for picking projects now?

DC: The criterion is, is it interesting? You often do jobs in response to what youve just done. If Ive just played a crazy loon in one movie, I dont necessarily have the urge to go out and play another crazy loon for a while. Im most likely not going to take any more spy roles in the foreseeable future. But then you never knowthere might be something I cant pass up.

STW: Action heroes?

DC: I dont think I played Bond like an action hero. Do you?

STW: No. You made him intelligent again. Am I right in assuming that this was the first time Bond was up for a BAFTA?

DC: You assume correctly.

STW: Thats something to be hugely proud of.

DC: I am. What was great was the public voting to give Eva Green the Orange Prizethe best newcomer award. Maybe we didnt win the footrace as far as the BAFTAs were concerned, but winning the Orange Prize was a real testament to the public view; they went to see it, they genuinely seemed to like it, and they voted for it, so all those things tied together made it a special experience.

STW: Were you ever a boxer?

DC: No! Why do you ask? Because Im bull-headed and have a broken nose? Actually, I never broke it, but I kind of smashed it doing somethingsomething that was actually quite dull.

STW: Is the Golden Compass your next big film?

DC: The next big film is The Invasion, which is coming out in the summerits going to be an interesting movie.

STW: Didnt they switch directors or something on that?

DC: Thank you for asking that leading question. Actually, they didnt switch directors, but they did make me do some reshootstheres no use trying to hide it. Its quite weird, but sometimes it happens; someone will come out and ask various questions about the film, and all of a sudden youre told, You have to go back and do lots of reshoots.

STW: Is that because the minute you get somebody else on set it changes the tone?

DC: More because the film went in one direction, and once it was done certain people discovered it wasnt the direction they wanted it to go in. (Craigs girlfriend, Satsuki Mitchell, enters the room with a friend. )

STW: That is such a gorgeous dress!

SM: Its good, isnt it? It just needs pockets.

STW: Have a chocolate biscuit!

DC: Um, guys

STW: Yeah, go onwere working here!

SM: (laughs) Then dont ask us out here for coffee and biscuits!

STW: Now, both of your upcoming projectsThe Invasion and The Golden Compassco-star Nicole Kidman. Is that because you work so well together?

DC: I do like her. Shes great.

STW: Shes gorgeous.

DC: Yeah. And shes become a perfect friend, which is very nice. You dont make friends that often on the set.

STW: Why is that?

DC: When you first walk onto a film set, its the most wonderful thing, like running away to the circus. You feel like youve gone to a special place, because everybody works very intensely and parties very hard and gets on with each other because they have to. On the whole, people are genuinely nice, and you end up with a million phone numbersa million phone numbers that you dont call. Its kind of sad, but when I arrived on the set for the Bond movie, I knew at least 80 percent of the crewI had worked with them before on other jobs over the years. So in a weird way, despite the fact that it was sort of a strange place to be, it was kind of reassuring that I knew all these people. But when you finish a job, you say goodbye to each other, and you give each other a big hug, and you go, Ill see you on the next one. Because everybodys got a life, and you realize youve got to go back to that life.

STW: I remember reading an interview with Malcolm McDowell where he said that (Stanley) Kubrick and he were as close as an actor and a director could be through shooting A Clockwork Orange (1971), but that the minute it wrapped, Kubrick never spoke to him again and refused to take his calls. Thats quite hard.

DC: It is, but it makes sense. When you accept a job, you give yourself over to the director, whether theyre passive-aggressive or manipulative or whatever. If you choose to go down that path because theyre good at what they do, thats your choice, but you should never expect to be friendly at the end of a movie.

STW: Does the choice of director influence the films you decide to do?

DC: Completely.

STW: Even if the script is merely okay?

DC: Yeah. You kind of sell yourself over to ityou have to.

STW: Because youre waling hand in hand with someone you trust completely?

DC: Well, maybe you dont trust them completely. But what youre saying is, For this moment in my life, Im going to give myself over to this, no matter what happens.

STW: It must be weird and difficult when you get someone whos completely crazy or

DC: Or useless. That happens. But as long as the works getting done, then it doesnt matter how crazy people are. If someones good at their job, then theres room for craziness, and it can even be helpful.

STW: I imagine its nice, though, in the sense that every time you make a film its a completely new experience, not just because of the character but because of the director.

DC: But you have to make that happen. Ive done movies back to back, and it doesnt matter whether youre going from a slapstick comedy into some deep tragedy; if youve done too much of it within one year, its just a movie set. Ultimately the mechanics are exactly the same, regardless of what the actings about. You can really drain yourself of anything even slightly productive. But youve got to be careful about that.

STW: Is working with a good director like when you go to a party and somebody walks into the room with that incredible energy that turns everything around?

DC: If that happens, I try to leave as quickly as possible! (both laugh) Like, Oh, f--k, here comes trouble! But with a director, I dont think its something that happens on the first day. I mean, some actors do it, some directors do it, and some members of the crew do it: They come on shouting because they want to be known as the person that you cant f--k with. And if someone comes with that, thats all well and good, but you cannot sustain it for four months or however long the shoot is. Actually, some people can, and its quite incredible to watch. I tend to be more like, Tomorrow is another day, and Ill get you back. People f--k with each other on film sets, but I like that as long as its not destructive. Apparently Robert Altman was like that, but in the loveliest way. He enjoyed playing people off each other or just brilliantly winding them upwhich didnt mean he didnt like you. Because everybody trusted him, they were happy to have that done to them. That is a great place to be.

STW: Those are the sorts of people you wish you could work with.

DC: Robert Altman, definitely. Im really sad he disappeared from this earth, because I just loved every film he ever made. Even his less successful ones have a tone that you feel emotional about. And John Huston would have been someone Id have liked to have worked with.

STW: Is it difficult to say living directors youd want to work with?

DC: All of them! (both laugh) Anybody out there who wants to give me a job, Im very happytheyre all wonderful, beautiful people!

STW: So what have we covered? Weve talked about upcoming films, theater

DC: Period dance?

STW: Period Dance! Daniel can dance to anything in any style. Hes been practicing in front of the mirror.

DC: I have not! Its an inner feeling. Dance comes from within. Ask Pina Bausch!

STW: (laughs) Okay, tell me about growing up in Liverpool.

DC: Very happy and very ordinary in many respects. I lived just outside Liverpool with my mother and my sisters. At the time, my life probably seemed quite extraordinary, but actually it was very ordinary. I went through school, failed my Eleven Plus Exams (an exam that was given to students in their last year of primary school), went to a secondary school with little money, but we had a good drama department.

STW: Was that drama department what kick-started acting for you?

DC: Not reallyMum took my sister and me to the theater all the time. I kind of fell in love with the idea of acting because she knew actors. I liked the idea of ityou know, shouting a lot and dressing up and all that. But I tend to keep genuine growing-up things as private as possible and dont go into detail. Its nobody elses business. Its all very well to get me to go and do a magazine piece and sound off and tell stories, but my memories are as selective as everybody elses, and people recall things in different ways. I mean, I could say, I grew up in this house, and the front door was red, and someone would go, No it wasntit was blue! But if you stick with feelings and emotions, youre in safer territory. Its kind of unfair to ask someone to do more than that.

STW: It is. So is it true that you ran away to the circus at 11?

DC: Yes! I was lion-taming by the age of 12.


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