Casino Royale director thought Daniel Craig 'was really a superb actor, but he wasn’t a traditional handsome guy' for the role of James Bond
Campbell recounts his hesitations about Daniel Craig and the selection process for the Iconic 007 Role.
Martin Campbell shared his initial reservations about Daniel Craig's suitability as James Bond
Despite these initial concerns, Campbell ultimately chose Craig for the role
In a recent interview with Express UK, Martin Campbell, the director of Casino Royale, shared his initial reservations about Daniel Craig's suitability as James Bond. Campbell, who had previously directed Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye, returned to the Bond franchise to cast a new 007 following Brosnan's departure after Die Another Day. Campbell revealed his concerns about Craig's perceived lack of traditional "sexy" appeal compared to previous Bond actors.
The quest for a traditional bond
Campbell acknowledged Daniel Craig's exceptional acting prowess but expressed doubts about his fit for the iconic role. He noted that legendary Bonds like Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Pierce Brosnan had all possessed a traditional, handsome charm that made them highly attractive to women. In contrast, Craig's rugged and tough appearance deviated from the established Bond archetype. However, despite these initial concerns, Campbell ultimately chose Craig for the role, emphasizing that Craig's qualities outweighed any reservations he may have had. “Daniel was obviously tougher and rugged, but he wasn’t a traditional handsome guy,” he added. “So I just thought about that for a minute and apart from that, absolutely it was always him.”
A democratic selection process
The decision to cast the new Bond was a collaborative one, involving several key stakeholders. Campbell explained that a panel of decision-makers, including producers and casting directors, assessed eight potential candidates for the role. Each participant expressed their opinions and cast their votes until a unanimous decision was reached. Among those considered for the role at the time was Henry Cavill, who would later become famous as DC's Superman. While Cavill impressed with his audition, he was deemed too young for the role at that time.
Daniel Craig's casting as James Bond in Casino Royale was met with mixed reactions, as longtime Bond casting director Debbie McWilliams revealed in a previous interview. The press was highly critical of the choice initially, with doubts about Craig's ability to embody the iconic character. Despite the early skepticism, Craig's dedication and performance eventually won over both audiences and critics, leading him to portray Bond in five films.
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