The new edition of the BBC’s weekly listings magazine Radio Times (for 25 Sept – 1 October, 2021), just published in the UK, has a great Bond and Moneypenny front cover and devotes six pages to James Bond and No Time To Die. There is a four-page main article devoted to interviews with Daniel Craig and Barbara Broccoli, together with an interview with Naomie (Moneypenny) Harris, and a separate piece by Young Bond author Charlie Higson on the world of Ian Fleming.
In the main article, Jane Mulkerrins conducts a fairly detailed interview with Craig and Broccoli, which took place in a hotel suite in New York’s SoHo, and invites both of them to look back and discuss Daniel’s tenure as 007, starting with Casino Royale. There is much to please Bond aficionados, including Daniel’s thoughts on when he was first approached to play Bond, and how he has worked on the development of the character over the course of his five movies, from just getting his ‘double-o’ to becoming a more sophisticated operator.
Inevitably, some of the interview was devoted to all the delays and challenges caused by the Covid situation. Mulkerrins notes that the EON producers have remained very committed to the communal big-screen experience of seeing a new Bond film for the first time in the cinema. Broccoli declared that a new Bond film is a ‘cinematic masterclass that has to be seen – at least for the first time – on the big screen’. She said that this conclusion to Craig’s five-film arc is also a celebration of his specific take on the character: ‘Bond’s working for Queen and country and will do whatever it takes to uphold and keep people safe. That has a very strong resonance now, when we have had to rely on so many people to try and keep us going during this terrible 18-month period…’. She added that, in celebrating Daniel’s Bond, ‘we celebrate everyone who has kept us going’.
Looking back over his time as Bond, Craig admitted that he wasn’t sure exactly how many films there would be with him as 007: ‘I remember taking to Barbara in the back of a car in Berlin, right after the success of Casino Royale. I’d completely put everything out of my mind, and I said, “How many more of these are we going to do?” She said, “Four!” I was like, “Really?”‘ Around the time filming was completed on Spectre, Craig seems to have had some genuine doubts about whether, physically, he even do another one. He had finished filming Spectre with a damaged leg. He felt he needed a break, and this led to some now (infamous) comments he made in an interview when he was very tired. he now regrets those comments, and said a little more skill in the answer ‘may have been better’.
Nobody Does It Better
There is also further reflection from Craig about his time as Bond and, in relation to his latest and final adventure as 007, he said he reckons Cary Fukunaga and Sam Mendes share some similarities in their vision of Bond: ‘They both know how important emotional plot is’, said Craig. ‘When you come to write these films, you go big. You go big with the stunts, you go big with the cars, the locations, and you go big with the emotions. And this is about love. It’s about family’. Regarding Craig’s insistence on bringing in writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge for a script polish, Craig said she’s ‘impish’ – she’s ‘got a devilish humour. Her influence permeates a lot of this film. She walked that fantastic line of keeping it as a thriller and being very funny’. He added: ‘Phoebe didn’t come in to change Bond. She came in to spice it up for sure, but she’s a Bond fan – she wasn’t about to take him in a new direction’.
The new edition of Radio Times is on sale in the UK now, priced UKP £3.50.