Daniel Craig Gives His Right Arm for James Bond

Daniel Craig as James Bond in 'Quantum of Solace'

After Quantum of Solace, no one will ever question Daniel Craig's dedication to the Bond series. Midway through filming, the actor ripped his already-damaged rotator cuff. With a potential actor's strike looming, Craig opted to keep working rather than halt production.

"If we didn't finish we were screwed," says Craig. "I went to see a surgeon. He said, 'You're fine. You might damage it more but you'll be fine. Come and see me when you've got the rest of the movie done.' So about five or six weeks ago, I had surgery at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. So I'm well on the way to recovery."

As if that wasn't heroic enough, Craig also turned down the role of Marvel's "Thor" out of respect for the Bond franchise. But that doesn't mean he wasn't tempted by the prospect of playing the Norse superhero.

"They spoke about it but I thought I can't play Bond and Thor," he says. "I would have been on some stupid power trip. Blonde hair and a big hammer? I can't do it."

Here are a few fun facts: at 106 minutes, Quantum is the shortest 007 film and, with a $200 million price tag, also the most expensive. Most unique of all, Quantum Of Solace is the only Bond film that's a straight-up sequel to its predecessor.

The Marc Forster-directed flick picks up just one hour after the end of Casino Royale with Bond determined to track down the sinister organization responsible for lady love Vesper's death.

On his way to locating the dastardly eco-terrorist Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), he finds an unlikely ally in moll Camille (Olga Kurylenko) and discovers how lethal his flirtation with a fellow agent (Gemma Arterton) can be.

During a recent interview, Craig shoots the breeze about all things Bond. Also on the table: "Thor," "Defiance" and "The Golden Compass"

Q: Daniel, when did you finally get over the jitters and feel as if you could relax into the role of Bond?

Daniel Craig: This is going to sound like I'm just making this up but I got over any nerves a long time ago. That sort of pressure [evaporated] in the Bahamas about three weeks into the shooting of 'Casino Royale'. We had a good script. We had a good crew. We had good actors. We had a good director. I thought, 'There's nothing else that we can do to make this a better situation.' So all the pressure that was on me, I put to bed, completely put to bed. By the time we got to the premiere in London, people said, 'Don't you feel vindicated?' I was, like, 'I don't feel anything like that. I just feel like we've got a great movie.'

Q: This is the first Bond that's a direct sequel. Why did that appeal to you?

Craig: At the end of 'Casino Royale,' it was really sort of the beginning of the story as opposed to the finish of one. Bond had fallen in love, had his heart broken, and discovered this sinister organization. We really only started peeling back the onion skins. To do another movie and just go, 'Oh, there was this chick named Vesper once' seemed like the wrong thing to do.

Q: Bond is hell-bent on revenge. Do you see this as "Death Wish" with a British accent?

Craig: No. I think the mistake with this movie is to assume [Bond] is on a vendetta when he's not. I think the title says it all. Bond's actually looking for a little solace. And that's all he's looking for. He just does a job. He's not out to take revenge; he's just a little angrier than he was in the first one.

Q: Since the ending is a bit open-ended, some critics have speculated that the next Bond movie could be the finale to a trilogy. Is that a possibility?

Craig: I think we've wrapped up all the loose ends. We solidified the relationship with M (Judi Dench). We solidified the relationship with Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) and we can do anything now. I think Bond's going to be, probably, a little more relaxed in the next movie. He had a deal to do, a business to take care of. But now that we have a submarine base established, we need to explore. There's Moneypenny. There's Q. There are all these other great characters that we could conceivably bring in for the next one.

Q: You did a lot of your own stunts in the film. Did any of them scare you?

Craig: I was never scared because we rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. I don't just go stand on a roof and jump off of it. We rehearse everything.

Q: There's a great chase over the tops of buildings. Was that fun to do?

Craig: Yes. We set the bar on 'Casino' so we had to try and make this chase different but as good. Things have moved on. Special effects have moved on. We certainly didn't want to make this a more- CGI-intensive movie but there is the plane sequence, which insists that we have CGI.

Q: How do you look back on "The Golden Compass"?

Craig: It failed here, to the studio's mind, but it did fantastically well worldwide. Warner Brothers has it so you'll have to lobby them. I would love them to do it again because I love the books. I think it's a great story to tell.

Q: And what about "The Invasion"? It was kinda creepy.

Craig: I think it could have been creepier. I think that got hijacked a bit.

Q: Can you comment on being approached to play Thor?

Craig: I'm not [doing it]. I said no.

Q: You'd have been making a statement playing both of Thor and Bond.

Craig: It would have been too much of a statement. Physically, it would have been incredible. But Quantum is as physical as I want to get in movies at the moment. To go and do another role that is just as physical doesn't make sense.

Q: Talk a bit about your role in Edward Zwick's "Defiance"?

Craig: It was a great experience. . Ed sort of presented me this terrific script. It's a little known story set in Byelorussia during the Second World War. It's about brothers (played by Craig, Jamie Bell, Liev Schreiber) who organized a resistance against the invading German army. There's a forest around Byelorussia and Lithuania which just goes on for miles and miles and miles and is still impenetrable today. These brothers went in there and they sort of committed acts of revenge. They survived for four years and got about 1,500 people out of the forest. It's such a good story. Ed showed it to me and I said, 'Yes, thank you.'

Q: Do you do a lot more research for something like `Defiance' than for Bond?

Craig: Not really, no. I treat everything just about the same. If there's research to be done, I'll do it but if there's no research to be done, I'll go to the pub.

Q: Do you pick your roles as a reaction again Bond?

Craig: No. I don't consciously try and choose un-Bond-like projects. But I certainly wouldn't go out and play another spy.

Q: You're contracted for two more Bonds. Can you see playing Bond when you're 60?

Craig: I haven't got it in me. There will be someone else to do it by then. I will do them as long as I can. I can't see beyond another movie. If they ask me back to do another movie, then I would be thrilled.

Q: You do a lot of globe trotting in this film. Where would you like to see Bond go in the next film?

Craig: I'd like to go to the beach for an hour and twenty minutes and then have about ten minutes of action. That would do me. I could look out and explosions could be happening everywhere. And I could be sipping my cocktail.

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