Daniel Craig on James Bond and the Quantum of Solace
By Tim Masters
Entertainment reporter, BBC News
Daniel Craig may be a man of many talents, but he also has the power of prophecy.
"I'm going to get hurt," he said at the press launch for Quantum of Solace in January - just after filming on his second outing as 007 had commenced.
And here's Craig nine months later with his right arm in a sling after a shoulder operation, having also severed his fingertip and had eight stitches in his face after being accidentally kicked by one of his co-stars.
The actor proffers his left arm for a solid - if slightly awkward - handshake and, despite all those injuries, is in an ebullient mood about the new film.
"I'm very happy with the result and director Marc Forster's done an amazing job, so I couldn't be happier at the moment," Craig says, his eyes every as bit as blue in real life as they are on the big screen.
Critics have given Quantum of Solace a largely positive reception
The first reviews have been largely positive and critics and fans are starting to openly declare Craig to be the best Bond of them all.
Not least because he has helped reinvent Bond as a cruel and emotionally battered character who is far closer to the superspy of Ian Fleming's novels.
"The character's rounded and 90% of his views I can't go along with," says Craig.
"But he falls in love and falls out of love, he struggles with his work, and to get some of those in the movie is just the job. I don't know another way of doing it - I look to the Flemings for help."
Quantum of Solace is the shortest Bond movie to date, but packs in more locations than ever before.
Filming began in January at Pinewood Studios in the UK before moving on to Panama, Chile's Atacama desert, various locations in Italy including Siena and Lake Garda, plus Bregenz in Austria and San Felipe, Mexico.
The workload, says Craig, was tougher than it was on Casino Royale.
"There was a potential actors' strike in June or July and because we'd started we had to finish on a certain date, so the pressure was on - we couldn't stop. If I'd got an injury and we'd had to stop for a couple of weeks it would have really screwed things around. "
Quantum of Solace is the shortest Bond film to date
So how much creative input does Craig have in the production process?
"I don't shut up!" he laughs. "I can't give you a percentage. I try and involve myself with everything - but I don't interfere. Marc's the director and it's important that his vision of the movie comes across very strongly.
"We sat in meetings months before we started shooting and talked about what we wanted. So I'm as involved as much as I can be."
Return of Q?
Both of Craig's Bond movies have ditched the gadgets, the glib one-liners, Miss Moneypenny and Q . Bond doesn't even sleep with his feisty sidekick Camille (Olga Kurylenko).
But Craig is adamant that the likes of Moneypenny and Q have not been consigned to Bond history.
Olga Kurylenko plays Bond's sidekick Camille
"No, not at all," he says. "We certainly have to introduce them and earn the right to have them. You can't just drop them in. There's a generation of people who don't know Bond movies and I want them to watch the movies and understand who those characters are."
So how does Daniel Craig - the actor - detach himself from the world of James Bond and keep his feet on the ground?
"By getting away from it as much as possible," says Craig decisively.
"And where do you go?"
"Well I'm not going to tell you, am I?" says Craig with an icy blue warning flash of those piercing eyes. Then he breaks into laughter.
"No, I spend time with my friends and my family the people that matter to me."
And then it's time for a final left-handed shake, before Craig heads off on another assignment with a member of the press.
But James Bond will return in 2010 - and it looks like some old Bond favourites might be joining him too.
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