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Friday / March 25 / 2022

Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga for Vogue Magazine

Daniel and Ruth spoke with Vogue Magazine to discuss their upcoming Broadway production, Macbeth, which begins performances next week! Also part of the interview are director Sam Gold and several costume designers. Check out an excerpt from the interview below and photos in our gallery!

While it became an early pandemic cliché to remind at-home would-be artists that Shakespeare wrote King Lear during a plague year (You can put this time to good use, too!), it’s often forgotten that he wrote Macbeth that very same year (as well as Antony and Cleopatra). Lear has the apocalyptic storm at its outset, an external manifestation of an upended world, but Macbeth takes the existential questions that torment us in times of turmoil and turns them inward: “What do we do with our own internal forces of good and evil?” as Sam Gold, the director of the new production starring Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga that begins performances at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre next week, put it to me in January, in the middle of the omicron surge, speaking from his New York City apartment. “I’m holed up here, running Zoom school with my kids, and in the meantime, thinking of all the death and destruction. People have a lot of rage and a lot of dark thoughts in times like these. And instead of jumping off a bridge, or going into fits of rage, can you go into a theater with your community and watch this darkness play out, and let Shakespeare help you through the catharsis?” The director researched rage rooms as he contemplated his production, he tells me—those padded-wall spaces where people put on protective suits and goggles, and then unleash their fury on an unsuspecting pile of plywood or other smashable material. “That’s why I wanted to do Macbeth,” he says, “to give everyone that rage room.”

But the first step in putting this production together was much friendlier. Back in the fall of 2021, Gold gathered many of his actors—including his two leads—the costume designer, and the play’s dramaturge at a bright and airy rehearsal space in lower Manhattan, where they sat around collapsible tables, with windows open and HEPA-filter air purifiers humming. Such a well-attended read-through and workshop, many months before rehearsals were set to begin, is somewhat unheard of in theater, where busy schedules usually preclude such an assembly. A bittersweet benefit of the pandemic: Many actors were out of work and available. The performers made their first forays into the text, explained what they were thinking, and asked questions. There’s a humbling process when you engage in this kind of preamble, Craig explains. “I couldn’t imagine not doing it,” he says. (Craig knew Gold from having played Iago in the director’s 2016 production of Othello at the New York Theatre Workshop.) “It opens up everything and makes you realize you know very little, which is scary, but it allows for all the possibilities to come in.” Watching those initial reads, says costume designer Suttirat Larlarb, gave her “a rare opportunity to see where the actors’ instincts began with these characters. We got to simmer together in how this might be approached in a way that was very rare.”

“The rehearsal period is usually super short, and that’s what I’m used to,” says Negga, who will make her Broadway debut as Lady Macbeth, when I speak to her from her home in Los Angeles. Omicron has prevented us from meeting in person, but thanks to the vagaries of scheduling remote interviews, I’m able to catch her slightly off guard, via Zoom rather than the phone, in all her un-made-up, casual gorgeousness. “It was brilliant to be able to understand the play with other people in the room, rather than on your own,” she says, her obvious enthusiasm for the text she affectionately refers to as “Mackers” crackling through the screen. “There was a really warm and kind atmosphere, and Sam was at pains to assert that daily—the idea that, This is a place you can be safe.

VOGUE

You can read the full interview on Vogue’s website. I’ll add scans to the gallery as soon as I get them.


Friday / October 01 / 2021

Daniel Craig for The New York Times

Daniel spoke with The New York Times to discuss No Time to Die. This interview was done last year for the original release date of the film. A follow-up interview by phone was done last month, and this article is a mix of both interviews. Daniel also finally got to discover a viral clip of him from his Saturday Night Live stint where he introduces The Weeknd. Below is an excerpt of the interview!

What has the last year and a half been like for you? How are things, whatever that means to you?

They’re as good as they can be. I’m incredibly fortunate to have a wonderful family and also to have had a place out of the city where we could go and get away from kind of the craziness. We left the city the 8th of March. The night before, I did “S.N.L.,” which was truly surreal. It’s been a tough year for everybody and we’ve had things go down which have not been so pleasant, but so it goes.

Is it humbling to play these characters who are defined by being capable and resourceful and then to have a real-life experience that reminds you we’re all at the mercy of these larger forces?

Well, I don’t feel like that anyway. I feel like a normal human being most of the time. I don’t feel any connection to the characters I play. I mean at all. They’re just that. So many things have been put into perspective. It’s difficult not to just look at the world in a different way. I’m sure it’s the same for everybody.

There is a video clip making the rounds from a speech when you addressed your colleagues and crew at the end of filming “No Time to Die.” You teared up at the end, and it was very comforting to me to see you show emotion — that you could be vulnerable that way.

I don’t show myself to the world as much as maybe people would like, but that’s my choice. It’s got me probably into trouble and has made people make up their own minds about me. But I’m an incredibly emotional human being. I’m an actor. I mean, that’s what I do for a living. And the clip you’re talking about is the end of 15 years of my life that I’ve put everything I can into. I would be some kind of sociopath not to get a little bit choked up at the end of that. Hopefully, I’m no sociopath.

You can read the full interview at The New York Times. If you’re hit with the paywall pop-up, I have copied it in full on a separate page here on the site. Enjoy!


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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