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Monday / March 09 / 2020

Daniel Craig for British GQ

It seems like the new shoot didn’t get postponed after all. Daniel is on the cover of next month’s issue of British GQ! I have added some outtakes into the gallery, including the cover.

All of which means, now that it’s coming to an end, Craig sometimes struggles to comprehend what has happened to him and what he has achieved. When I spent time with him last winter, Craig was warm and voluble in the extreme. He talked a mile a minute, losing threads and finding others. He apologised when answering my questions almost as often as he swore. On screen, Craig’s face – that beautiful boxer’s face, those gas-ring eyes – can have a worrying stillness, while his body moves. In real life, everything about Craig is animated, part-sprung. It’s as if he wants to occupy several spots in the room at once. He self-deprecates a lot. During one long conversation, when I told him he had managed to imbue a previously vacant character with an inner life, a sense of mortality and an unquenchable feeling of loss – in short, that he had triumphed as Bond – Craig initially misunderstood what I meant. When he realised, he spluttered apologetically for a while. “What you’re saying, it’s like, if I say it…” he hesitated. He couldn’t bear to brag. But he also knew. “It’s raised the bar,” Craig finally conceded. “It’s fucking raised the bar.”

After the last shot at Pinewood, Craig posed with Fukunaga for a picture. His bow tie was wonky. They both looked shattered. “Typically I’m not an emotional person on sets,” Fukunaga told me. “But there was sort of a pulsing feeling to that day.” The night shoot wrapped ahead of schedule and the production crew – many of the day team had stayed on to see Craig’s final bow – gathered next to the set. Fukunaga gave a short speech. Craig struggled through his. Since having a daughter with his wife, Rachel Weisz, in 2018, he has often found himself on the edge of tears. (Craig also has an adult daughter from an earlier marriage.) “I had a whole thing kind of put together in my head that I wanted to say,” he recalled. “I couldn’t get it out.” 

Craig’s stunt double was in tears. Broccoli and Wilson looked on. “We knew it was a monumental moment,” Broccoli said. “There wasn’t a dry eye, to be honest.” A crowd went back to Craig’s trailer. He drank Campari and tonics and made Negronis for everyone else. “I was a mess,” Broccoli said. “I was a complete and utter mess.” On set, the crew hung around. “It’s night shooting – everybody usually runs off,” Wilson told me. “And they just were talking with each other and shaking hands. And it was as if they knew it had to end, but they didn’t like the idea.”

The producers were reminiscing a few weeks later in a hotel in Lower Manhattan. It was early December. That morning, Craig and the other stars of No Time To Die – Léa Seydoux, Rami Malek and Lashana Lynch – had appeared on Good Morning America to launch the trailer. Crosby Street was a parking lot of celebrities’ black SUVs. Watching the trailer on my phone, like the rest of the world, the 25th Bond movie didn’t look a whole lot different from the 24th or the 23rd. The trailer showed Bond zooming a motorbike up some picturesque steps and Malek, as the baddie, in a worrying mask. There was some evident double-crossing.

Craig, however, did seem like a new person as he prepared to step away from the franchise. He was keen to celebrate his work as Bond and even keener to look forward to whatever is coming next. “I’m really… I’m OK,” he told me. “I don’t think I would have been if I’d done the last film and that had been it. But this, I’m like…” He dusted his hands. “Let’s go. Let’s get on with it. I’m fine.” 

You can read the full interview at British GQ website!

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