Daniel Craig is, to the British, what Marmite is to the British. Starring in this month’s sci-fi Western mash-up Cowboys and Aliens, it seems Mr. Craig has us torn in matters of likeability, especially regarding his license to kill. There’s a fine line between love and hate and it seems to fall somewhere between secret weddings and very tight speedos.
Born in Chester in 1968, craggy British heart-throb Daniel Craig has earned his household-name status as 007 in latest Bond flicks Quantum Of Solace and Casino Royale. With an upcoming role in the US version of Steigg Larson’s Millenium Trilogy, his face has made the transition from Brit-flicks like gritty, gangster movie Layer Cake to appearing in Oscar nominated Hollywood drama’s such as Munich and Defiance.
Although Daniel Craig is fairly inoffensive, his ultra serious public persona, bad-guy acting roles and reinvention of James Bond have hit a couple of nerves. Following some rather awkward TV interviews, stoic Mr. Craig can appear a little arrogant. Yet his biggest crime to date has been transforming the entire persona of smooth-talking ladies man James Bond into a hard-faced mercenary with a broken heart. Whilst many felt the cheesy, borderline misogyny of the old Bond series should be abandoned for a more rugged and realistic portrayal, others slated Craig’s performance, claiming that Ian Flemming would be spinning in his grave to see that his character had ditched cigarettes and martini’s for sulking over girls.
In addition, Craig sometimes has a habit of playing not-very-nice people. He was cast as notorious serial killer Perry Smith in Infamous and adulterous poet Ted Hughes in 2003 biopic Sylvia. His role in the Tomb Raider film was also rather questionable but the less said about that the better…
Of course, Sir Dan can’t be blamed for choosing darker roles instead of opting for a couple of chintzy rom-coms, he is an ACTOR after all. However, he can be held to account for his secret wedding to Rachel Weisz earlier this year. In a total cloak-and-dagger ceremony that took place somewhere you’ve probably never heard of, this pair tied the knot despite barely anyone realising they were a couple. Wasn’t Ms. Weisz going out with Darren Aronofsky? And wasn’t Daniel Craig engaged? Either way, they denied us a celebrity wedding and that is just unfair.
Undoubtedly, Daniel Craig is good at what he does. Craig is a total chameleon, sometimes becoming barely recognisable in his roles – which is probably why, when he plays someone who is a total bastard, we think ‘Wow, I really HATE that guy’.
Despite the harsh judgement of his duties to Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the Bond franchise was in need of a complete character upheaval and Craig was brave enough to do that. Admittedly the old Bond was kind of outdated and each film was becoming a samey parody of itself. It worked for Batman when Christopher Nolan dropped the Adam West-style cheese for a brooding Christian Bale so why not Bond? Above all, it’s always refreshing to see the way a new actor takes on an established role and makes it their own. Daniel Craig not only made the new Bond a total badass, he also made banana hammocks stylish.
As for all the ‘moody’ interviews – yes, Craig is pretty serious, but he has the acting goods and chiselled chops to back it up. How else could he pull off his Clint Eastwood impersonation in Cowboys and Aliens so perfectly? That’s obviously just his preferred style.
Admirably, at least he’s not one of those annoying actors whose personal life is over-exposed and splashed across weekly gossip magazines. He’s obviously a pretty down-to-earth bloke despite his rising fame and likes to keep things private. What a gent!
Whilst it’s difficult to question the hype towards his acting credentials, Daniel could do with a bit of a humour injection. Maybe he could do a reverse-Jim Carey career move one day?
Overall, it has to be said that Craig is clearly steering himself towards Golden Globe territory rather than aspiring to present the MTV Movie Awards so why fix it if it ain’t broke? To share on-screen kisses with Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow AND Thandie Newton proves that the strong, silent thing is obviously allowing Craig to have the last laugh.
Although the jury cannot pronounce him guilty, we can give him a disapproving look for taking the whole spy thing a step too far with his penchant for secrecy and issue a cautionary slap on the wrist for allowing Bond to get all soppy on us.