Seven-times James Bond Sir Roger Moore has commented on all the media speculation about Daniel Craig’s tenure as 007, and his words add a welcome voice of sanity to the situation.
Sir Roger asked: ‘Why is the media intent on saying Daniel Craig has quit as James Bond? He has not. He is the incumbent actor in the role until he says otherwise’.
As many Bond fans know, the UK press in particular have now carried numerous ‘exclusive’ stories on Craig and Bond, much of it based on rumour and invention. Sir Roger’s intervention injects a bit of common sense into things.
The former 007 has given a number of interviews to the press in Britain in recent years, as part of his very popular speaking tours, and in these he has not only talked about his own TV and film career but has also often strongly praised Daniel Craig’s interpretation of 007.
Sir Roger’s speaking tours have featured insider stories and exclusive anecdotes from his extraordinary career, special evenings where he is interviewed live on stage by his personal manager Gareth Owen (who co-authored Sir Roger’s autobiography My Word Is My Bond and his recent best-selling 50th Anniversary celebration of 007, Bond on Bond). And Moore has often been asked questions by both the public and journalists about his views of the Craig Bond movies, which he has strongly defended.
In 2013, for example, when his tour included an evening at the Rose Theatre in Kingston, Surrey, Sir Roger was interviewed for the local Kingston Magazine, which took the opportunity to get his verdict on the current 007, Daniel Craig, who was about to start shooting his fourth Bond adventure in 2014. Moore said of Craig’s interpretation: ‘He looks like a fellow who’s going to kill people. I like the whole approach. In fact, I think Skyfall is possibly the best Bond ever made. Daniel and Judi Dench were wonderful together. Sensational casting’.
The ex-Bond continued: ‘I always said Sean was undoubtedly the best. But I may have changed my mind. Daniel will be remembered. But choosing your favourite Bond really depends when you started seeing the films. People always give their age away when they say’.
In other interviews, Sir Roger has also been critical of the way the media has treated Craig, especially just after Daniel was selected to become 007 (such as the ‘Blond Bond’ criticisms).
The assumption that Craig has now ‘quit’ as Bond has been illustrated yet again with an article in the UK’s Mail on Sunday newspaper (22nd May), which speculates on possible replacements with some quite bizarre photoshop image manipulation. It helps sell newspapers, of course, but all the gossip should be taken with a huge pinch of salt.
More from Moore on Hamilton
Sir Roger was also asked recently whether he had any further thoughts about the passing of the director Guy Hamilton, who oversaw two of Roger’s James Bond movies, Live and Let Die and The Man With The Golden Gun. He responded: ‘I was very saddened to hear about Guy. He was a terrific director who learned his craft at the side of cinema greats such as Alexander Korda, Carol Reed and John Huston’. The former Bond added: ‘The style and pace he brought to Bond was terrific, and he certainly helped this actor into the role’.
Sir Roger also highlighted Guy Hamilton’s wartime record, which could almost have inspired James Bond as he was such a ‘true hero’, including at one point being stranded behind enemy lines in France.
Despite retiring from the role of 007 in 1985, Sir Roger’s bond with everything Bond is still very strong. Moreover, more generally, Sir Roger appears to be as busy as ever, including remaining passionate about the work of UNICEF (he is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador) and carrying out other charitable work. In April, 2016, the ex-Bond was the winner of this year’s Churchill Awards, given to people of retirement age, an award that was presented to him at a special lunch held at London’s Mandarin Oriental.
Guy Hamilton directing Roger on the set of Live and Let Die