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The James Bond 007 Dossier

Bond, James Bond.

25. February 2013 11:52
by m
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Bond Ambition

25. February 2013 11:52 by m | 0 Comments

From the November 2012 issue of Vanity Fair:

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Bond Ambition

As he makes his third appearance as 007, in the 23rd James Bond film, Daniel Craig is coming to terms with the extraordinary pressures of portraying a half-century-old icon. He even agrees that Bond needs to lighten up. Hearing how the reluctant actor was drawn into the franchise, JULI WEINER reveals the influence Craig has had on next month's SkyfallSkyfall -- from character development and dazzling stuntwork to the choice of director Sam Mendes. But don't ask to see his blooper reel

Among the great lost works of modern cinema is The Day the Clown Cried, Jerry Lewis's 1972 film about a clown who entertains children at a Nazi concentration camp. Screened in an incomplete version by only a few movie-business insiders over the past several decades, it is perhaps the most famous unreleased film in history.

Cinema historians haven't yet crowned a most famous unseen DVD extra in history, and so we humbly submit for future consideration: the blooper reel for SkyfallSkyfall, the 23rd official film in the James Bond series and the third starring Daniel Craig as 007. This is not a movie from whose blooper reel one would expect great things -- indeed, it is not a movie one would assume would even have a blooper reel. (What would it contain? Co-star Dame Judi Dench screaming obscenities? Craig tripping and splitting his Tom Ford pants?) But according to Craig himself, an honest-to-God blooper reel was shown to the cast and crew at SkyfallSkyfall's wrap party.

"I mean, Judi is always hilarious," said Craig one muggy summer morning over a cappuccino at New York's Crosby Street Hotel. "There's a lot of very, very funny moments. But no one's going to see them. It's what happens on a film set. You want to be in film? Get a job." Despite his somewhat dour reputation, Craig finished this statement with a rapturously conspiratorial giggle -- the kind of laugh two friends might emit upon sharing a bitchy secret about a mutual friend who just walked into the room.

"I genuinely believe that if you want to get in the film business, get in the film business," he continued. "People are like, Show [the outtakes]! And it's like, No! It's a secret. It's like smoke and mirrors. It's like that magician thing of giving the gag away. I really kind of respect that -- I think it's great that you can keep a secret. 'How does that trick work?' None of your business! Figure it out! Magic! As a kid, I kind of spent my life being amazed by being tricked. I love being tricked. I still love it today."

Despite midmorning traffic, Craig, 44, dressed in jeans, a beige T-shirt, and white sneakers, had arrived five minutes early. The hotel's high-ceilinged space suggests Hemingway's foyer as redecorated by Anthropologie: it's lined with artfully mismatched couches, the walls are covered in eclectic cultural artifacts. There is also a bar, though unlike that of Hemingway, it appears mostly untouched.

Craig and I selected a couch by the window. He sat in one corner with his arms folded over his midsection and his shoulders hunched forward. His eyes are a truly arresting shade of blue, just as remarkable here as they were amid the snowy landscapes and equally pale ex-Nazis of 2011's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. ("Wonderful blue eyes. Sensational blue eyes," Dench agreed in a later phone interview.) His face and body are equally striking. If there is a word that implies biceps that cannot be said to flex because their natural state appears to be one of perpetual plyometric engagement, that is the best descriptor of Craig's upper arms.

Said upper arms were crossed in front of his upper stomach at the beginning of our discussion -- a kind of man-made safety harness. But the longer he sipped his cappuccino and the longer we sat and talked, the more relaxed his body language became. His arms would gradually unfurl until, by the discussion's end, they had flopped over a pillow, as languid as an odalisque's, his fingers fiddling with a fringe.

He seemed least comfortable talking about the occasional tedium of movie-stardom -- least comfortable, really, issuing any sort of complaint. (It's a modesty born, perhaps, of a middle-class English childhood; he was raised in Chester, near the border with Wales, the son of a publican and an art teacher.) He appeared most comfortable demonstrating his sense of humor. For instance, he revealed he sometimes uses one of his stunt doubles, Ben Cooke, as paparazzi bait: "When he gets dressed up is when he can really double me very well. I kind of send him out sometimes if I'm in foreign climes -- 'He's here, he's here!' "

On doing the international talk-show circuit: "There are panels; they have, like, 10 hosts -- you don't know who the host of the show is. And then there'll be a bank of Japanese girls sitting on stools, just giggling. It's like a good or a bad acid trip, whichever way you look at it."

On an American town that's considering outlawing swearing: "You just kind of want to go, 'Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!' "

Bond fans have seen another manifestation of Craig's sense of humor, though they wouldn't have realized it at the time. When a teaser photo for SkyfallSkyfall was released at the beginning of 2012, it showed Craig, as Bond, sitting poolside without a shirt and facing away from the camera.

"They wanted a picture of me with my shirt off," Craig told me. "And I said, 'You can have the one with my back turned.' That's as simple as that." Smiling, he mimicked studio executives: " 'Please, can we have the one -- ' 'No, you can have the one with my back turned.' "

Judi Dench was delighted by such playfulness and mischievousness -- presumably more so than were the aforementioned suits. "The glorious thing about him is he has a great sense of humor," she told me. "That's essential -- the whole essence of Bond is that he doesn't take himself so seriously."

Craig, Dench, and their colleagues do not agree with the critical consensus that the contemporary Bond is ponderous and melancholy, and at times frustratingly depressive. The New York Times film critic A. O. Scott called Bond a "grieving, seething avenger" in his review of 2008's Quantum of SolaceQuantum of Solace and then asked, "Does every hero, whether Batman or Jason Bourne, need to be so sad?"

If the story merits it, then maybe so. In 2006's Casino RoyaleCasino Royale and its direct sequel, Quantum of SolaceQuantum of Solace, Bond "fell in love, his love of his life was killed, and then he goes off on revenge; it's a really dark story," Craig pointed out. "So, this one is a completely new story. He's not just dark -- he's got all sorts of other things as well. That's kind of the idea. And we weren't making decisions about the story over the way things have been or the way things should be. It's like we just wrote the best script we could -- well, [screenwriter] John Logan certainly did -- and we put it together the best way we could. So, we didn't get overly literary about it, I promise you. We took the piss out of it and just kept it as light as possible."

That point made, Craig was just as adamant in defending Bond's celebrated machismo. When I noted that Bond had cried in Casino RoyaleCasino Royale, Craig interrupted.

"He didn't sob," he corrected me. "There was, like, a tear in his eye."

"I know he didn't sob," I said. "I know he didn't weep and write his diary."

Craig went for a topper. "No snot coming out of his nose, you know," he said, laughing.

It is unlikely that Bond fans who dreaded further such brushes with despondency were comforted by the hiring, as SkyfallSkyfall's director, of Sam Mendes, Oscar-winning chronicler of historical dejection (Road to Perdition, Revolutionary Road) and modern ambient malaise (Away We Go, American Beauty). Mendes and Craig have some history. The director had noticed Craig in 2001 via a television adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's "Sword of Honour" trilogy in which Craig starred. Not long after, when casting Road to Perdition, Mendes flew Craig to Chicago, where he auditioned in front of studio executives for the role of Paul Newman's son. "It was one of the worst auditions I've ever seen," Mendes told me, laughing. "Absolutely terrible." Craig was apologetic, though, and was eventually cast.

CRAIG'S ADVICE for his Bond successor: "Don't fuck up."

According to Mendes, Craig hasn't changed much since then. ("He's richer!" Mendes noted.) Back when they were making Road to Perdition, Craig "was delightful and funny and much goofier than people might imagine him to be. He's extremely fast-thinking and lively and alive as a person. The kind of brooding intensity that he sort of got known a little bit for is not who he is at all."

Mendes signed on to SkyfallSkyfall after Craig approached the director at a house party and asked him if he would be interested in collaborating on the new film. "Obviously I'd had way too many drinks, because I just offered a job which is not my job to do, or

my position to do," Craig told me. "There was this flush on Sam's face, and anyway we talked about it, and I mentioned it to the producers the following day, and they were very excited about it. He went in and saw them, and here we are."

"I'd never have known how interested I would have been in Bond until I watched Daniel play it," Mendes said. "We thought very much alike about the whole project. He felt that perhaps in the last movie Bond had become slightly humorless and so that was -- " Mendes cut himself off. "As I'm talking to you I'm literally driving past -- I'm on the way to an airport, the airport in London -- and I'm driving past the front window of Harrods and there's a Bond display!"

Another Bond display of sorts, though on a scale somewhat larger than a department-store window: the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, which was seen by an estimated 900 million viewers worldwide. In a five-minute sketch, Craig, as 007, enlisted no less a Bond girl than the 86-year-old Queen of England for a mission whose aims were foggy but whose means included collecting Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in a helicopter and parachuting alongside her into Olympic Stadium. The aerialists were stunt doubles, but Her Majesty was otherwise real, as were the palace interiors.

Craig, the Queen, and opening-ceremony maestro Danny Boyle shot the sketch on one of Craig's days off during the production of SkyfallSkyfall. "I didn't really talk to her," Craig said of Elizabeth. "We just sort of did what we did." A Bond girl of the highest order, then: enigmatic, succinct, and professional.

Craig says he didn't have much input into the Olympics sketch -- "Danny Boyle just asked me to do it; I just did what I was told" -- but back when he signed on as an initially reluctant Bond, he got in the habit of contributing ideas about the scripts, marketing, and character development for the films.

Longtime Bond co-producer Barbara Broccoli, daughter of the original Bond co-producer Albert "Cubby" Broccoli, had first seen him on the British mini-series Our Friends in the North, on which Craig played a prison escapee/lapsed musician with the impossible name of Geordie Peacock. "I always felt that he was an extraordinary actor and he was destined to become a star," she said, but she did not immediately imagine him as a future Bond. "I always say when you're making a James Bond film it's like being married: you're not thinking of who your next husband's going to be."

During the period Craig was appearing on Our Friends in the North, in 1996, Broccoli's work-husband was the slick, chipper Pierce Brosnan. But as she prepared for Casino RoyaleCasino Royale, it was time for a new marriage. Craig "was very reluctant," co-producer Michael Wilson remembered during a joint phone interview with Broccoli. "Barbara had to talk him into it." They both laughed.

"I think I was intrigued by reluctant," Broccoli said. "There was a period of trying to woo him. We had several meetings with him. We talked him through his concerns. He's someone who's very professional, and he throws himself into whatever he's doing, and he understood it'd be a long commitment, over at least a decade." Indeed, Craig recently signed on for two more Bond films, which will likely keep him in harness as 007 through 2016, at the earliest.

In addition to making the lives of people in the marketing department (promotional-materials subdivision) more exciting, Craig has worked closely with designer Tom Ford to create Bond's exquisitely tailored, slim-lapelled, bullet-grazed suits. The actor said he "spent weeks" in costume design, looking at inspiring images and submitting his body to rounds and rounds of tailoring.

Craig does not wear the suits post-shoot. "Literally I wear the same one for, like, six months, and then I'm like, I'm fucking sick of this." Think of the Ford Bond suit, then, as the world's chicest, most blood-soaked school uniform.

Other items from his wardrobe Craig donates to thrift stores. "I know there is some stuff out there that was in Bond movies," he said. "Just like T-shirts and things I've worn in the movies -- nothing too out there." So no holsters, but perhaps some lucky Salvation Army or Oxfam customer is wearing a piece of movie history.

Stunt coordination is another area in which Craig has particular interest and influence. Thanks to a protracted Writers Guild strike, the Quantum of SolaceQuantum of Solace script wasn't finished when shooting began. Craig said on that set he was "sort of improvising stunts."

Though SkyfallSkyfall's stuntwork was planned farther in advance, Craig still picked up an injury. "I tore a muscle right at the beginning of this one, crazily, in a kind of warm-up for something, which is what happens," he said. "The weird thing is, where I hurt myself more is, like, when I have to run down some steps, across a room, sort of through a door. And I'll have to do it 30 times. And we'll be on the 29th take when I come down the steps and sort of twist."

He had many, many opportunities to "hurt his muscle a little bit," as I perhaps too delicately, or girlishly, put it later in our interview. (This prompted him to do a pretty good impression of me, a 24-year-old American female, mid-Atlantic accent and all: "Oh, you hurt your muscle a bit. Did you really?") SkyfallSkyfall took more than five months to shoot, plus additional second-unit work. That the movie came to fruition at all required heavy pre-production lifting. The November 2010 bankruptcy of MGM Studios resulted in a longer-than-planned-for hiatus between Quantum of SolaceQuantum of Solace and the next installment. Frenzied Internet commenters -- redundant! -- Internet commenters feared that the studio's financial trouble would mean the end of the Bond series.

What it ended up meaning was a new, recession-friendly Bond series. While Quantum of SolaceQuantum of Solace was filmed around the world, SkyfallSkyfall largely confined itself to the United Kingdom and Istanbul. Though the franchise has always (literally) dined out on product placement -- Bollinger champagne, say -- SkyfallSkyfall's deal with Heineken, which required Craig as Bond to quaff one and appear as well in a series of ads, provoked another round of Internet commentary, with die-hard fans worried that Bond was being coarsened by commercial imperatives.

Craig would have none of it. "A movie like this costs $118 million to make -- it's the nature of it, the size of the movie. And it costs another $200 million to sell it. So, the $200 million has to come from somewhere," he said. "Now, product placement, whichever way you look at it, whether you like it or you think it's disgusting, or whatever, it's what it is. Heineken gave us a ton of money for there to be Heineken in a shot in a bar. So, how easy is that? Just to say, O.K., there's Heineken. It's there -- it's in the back of the shot. Without them, the movie couldn't get sold, so that all got kind of blown up. 'Bond's new drink is a Heineken.' He likes a lot of drinks -- Heineken, champagne; it's all in there.

"I'll drink a beer in the shot, I'm happy to, but I'm not going to do an 'Ahhhhh,' " Craig continued, pantomiming an actor looking preternaturally refreshed. "And I would say this because they're paying, but they're kind of respectful about it. They don't want to screw the movie up."

To screw up SkyfallSkyfall would be to screw up a half-century-old, $5 billion franchise whose plots have spanned the globe, the sexual revolution, the conclusion of the Cold War, 9/11, the title OctopussyOctopussy, and the rise of George Lazenby to his rightful place as a reliable bar-trivia answer. And yet, despite Craig's hesitancy to take all that on, the actor did not seek advice from any of the five previous 007s. Aside from Sean Connery and Roger Moore, the men aren't known to be friends with one another.

"I don't think they have even all been together at once," Craig told me. "I've met Pierce a couple times, but I've not met the other Bonds. There's no special pass, like, ah, sure, have a drink in a clubroom somewhere. There isn't."

Not that any advice, even an encouraging guttural growl from Sean Connery, could have really prepared Craig for the metamorphosis from respected British television star and Royal National Theatre alumnus to photographer-trailed cultural icon and occasional tabloid presence.

"He realized that he was going to have to give up some of his privacy," producer Michael Wilson said of Craig. "But I'm not sure he was aware of how much that would intrude into his life, being James Bond. It's almost unbelievable how much you give up your privacy."

"We knew enough to tell him that it wouldn't be unbearable!" Barbara Broccoli piped up, perhaps the more positive-thinking partner.

"He probably sat there thinking he could imagine what that would be," Wilson continued, "but I think in the last five years it exceeded his expectations."

This has entailed, among other things, learning how to navigate the attendant prides of paparazzi and fielding the usual questions about his private life. To wit:

Craig married his Dream House co-star Rachel Weisz in 2011 and has one child, teenage Ella, from a previous marriage, as well as a stepson, Henry, from Weisz's long-term relationship with director Darren Aronofsky. Craig has lived in New York for 10 years, and lately he and Weisz have been house-hunting around Manhattan -- an $8 million Alphabet City town house here, an $11 million SoHo penthouse there -- between weekends spent at their home in upstate New York.

"What I'm doing is not what Pierce was doing," said Craig. "THINGS HAVE CHANGED."

As for paparazzi, Craig said, "There are weird things in this country that I have a problem with, like taking pictures of children." But there are also more Bond-specific challenges that are not so much invasions of privacy as they are gin infusions of privacy. "It's amazing how many times I've sat in interviews like this in a bar or a hotel, and it's 11 o'clock in the morning and someone sends a martini over," Craig said, laughing. "And it's like, Really? It's 11 o'clock! Cheers! I'm not going to drink it."

Respectable hours are not the only thing discouraging Craig from indulging in pleasures more befitting of Bond, at least in public. "You talk to people in the movie business who have been doing this 40 years and they all say the difference is that, back in the day, you could go and have a drink in the bar, get drunk, fall over, have a good time, relax, whatever, and no one would know about it. But now everyone's got a camera. Not that all I want to do is get drunk in a bar, but that's an example. So you can't live a normal life anymore. Because it will become public knowledge that you've whatever -- gotten drunk in a bar or skinny-dipped on a beach or something. Things that normal people do occasionally. And in a way that's kind of -- I've got to be high-class. I've done a lot of things in my life. But you have to think in that way. Which is sad, because I like bars."

Craig is cagey about specifying exactly how many more times he'll play Bond. There are other roles that interest him, too: he'd love to be involved if someone adapts the 1967 Russian satire The Master and Margarita. He's also game to star in a Christopher Guest or Armando Iannucci comedy, though he admitted that improvisation is not his strong suit. "I'm quite scared of those guys because they're so brilliant. But, again, I'd kill to work for those people," he said.

When he does eventually relinquish his M.I.6 post, he said, the only advice he'd give to his successor would be: "Get it right. Don't fuck up." He laughed. "Be good."

Like a heavily armed snowflake, each Bond is different.

"What I'm doing is not what Pierce was doing, and Pierce wasn't doing what Roger Moore was doing, or what Sean was doing, or what Timothy [Dalton] was doing," Craig said. "Things have changed. It's just kind of the ride of it. Pierce used to say that it's like being responsible for a small country. It's kind of like you have to look after it diplomatically. I kind of get that, but I can't really say that's my deal. I'm not going to be the poster boy for this. Although I am the poster boy."

Shirtless but face turned away from the camera, he's the poster boy.

THE MARTINI CHRONICLES

"It's amazing how many times I've sat in interviews like this in a bar or a hotel, and it's 11 o'clock in the morning and someone sends a martini over. And it's like, Really?"

FROM THE ARCHIVE

The birth of the big-screen Bond (David Kamp, October 2012)

Photo: Daniel Craig, photographed in a vintage Aston Martin, in New York City. (GEORGE LAZENBY CALLS SHOTGUN)

VIDEO: WATCH BEHIND-THE-SCENES FOOTAGE OF THE SHOOT. GO TO VF.COM/NOV2012.

~~~~~~~~

By Juli Weiner

PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANNIE LEIBOVITZ

[Source: Vanity Fair, Nov2012, Issue 627, p138-143. VANITY FAIR IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ADVANCE MAGAZINE PUBLISHERS INC. COPYRIGHT © 2015 CONDÉ NAST. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.]

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View As Text (please forgive typos, I can't proof the Italian for mistakes!)

Daniel Craig Miraccoman do fai il bravo

dii gli dire ohe il suo Bond è immusonito risponde: «Lo avete forse vislo singhiozzare?». A chi lo accusa di troppa pubblicità:«Sapete quanto costa 1111 film così?». Ljailore inglese, il sesto 007 della storia, non accetta critiche (SkyfdUè un successo) né dà consigli. Salvo a chi potrebbe venire dopò di lui

DI IDLI WEINER • FOTO ANNIE LEIBOVITZ • SERVIZIO JESSICA DIEHL

Se chiedi a un insider di HolK wood di indicare il più famoso dei «film perduti» - le pagine di storia del cinema che il mondo non ha potuto conoscere - tirerà fuori invariabilmente II giorno in cui il clown pianse, la discussa (e incompiuta) storia di un pagliaccio che intrattiene i bambini ebrei in un campo di sterminio, girata da Jerry Lewis anni fa e vista, da allora, sì e no da venti addetti ai lavori.
Se invece chiedi a Daniel Craig il miglior «contenuto extra» che nessun dvd potrà mai contenere, lui non ha dubbi: le scene tagliate di SkyfallSkyfall, il ventitreesimo film ufficiale della saga di James Bond, e il terzo da lui interpretato, appena uscito con un successo - commerciale e critico - senza precedenti per la serie.

Inutile chiedergli se in quelle scene - che al party di fine riprese sono state proiettate, in gran segreto, solo per il cast - c'è Bond che squarcia gli aderenti pantaloni Tom Ford, o Judi Dench che dice parolacce: «Volete davvero sapere che cosa succede su un set? Veniteci a lavorare», mi risponde menta* sorseggia cappuccino al bar del Crosby Street Hotel di New York. «Posso solo dirv i che quelle scene fanno parecchio ridere. Come i maghi che non vogliono svelare il trucco: vuoi sapere come funziona? Mi spiace, la magia è proprio questa. Da bambino mi piaceva essere ingannato da un trucco. Mi piace ancora».

Jeans, maglietta beige, sneakers bianche: nonostante il traffico delle 10 di mattina. Craig è arrivato con cinque minuti di anticipo c ha scelto un divanetto v icino alla finestra. Anche dal vivo, gli occhi sono di un blu davvero sorprendente («Splendidi. sensazionali»: Judi Dench. al telefono. me li descriverà così). All'inizio della conversazione, le braccia - dai bicipiti come non li avevo mai visti, perennemente tesi anche quando non li flette -sono incrociate saldamente sul torace.

un gesto di autodifesa; a metà intervista - e metà cappuccino - si aprono e si appoggiano sui cuscini.

Meno di tutti gli piace parlare delle controindicazioni della fama: una riluttanza alla lamentela che viene dalla sua infanzia middle-class, figlio di una insegnante e di un proprietario di pub a Chester, dove l'Inghilterra sconfina nel Galles.

O    meglio, lo fa con leggerezza, come quando mi confessa che a volte usa la sua controfigura. Ben Cooke, per depistare i paparazzi - «Lo vesto a puntino, lo mando fuori e tutti a urlare: "Eccolo, è lui!"»

-    o racconta l'effetto che fa trovarsi catapultato, che so, in un talk show giapponese - «C'è un conduttore che non sai chi sia, qualche ospite che parla e non hai idea di cosa stia dicendo, e centinaia di ragazze che non fanno che ridacchiare: come prendere un acido e avere un brutto viaggio, o bello, dipende dai punti di vista» - oppure ospite in una cittadina americana dove è stata appena approvata un'ordinanza contro le parolacce, «E ti viene una voglia terribile di urlare: "Cazzo cazzo cazzo cazzo cazzo!''». Non tutti trovano così divertente il suo sense of humour. All'inizio del 2012, come leaser del film, è stata diffusa un'immagine di Craig a torso nudo, seduto a bordo piscina, ma di spalle. «Volevano una foto a torso nudo e io ho detto: "Okay, autorizzo questa". E loro: "Per favore, non potremmo averne una scattata da un'angolazione un po' più..". E io: "No, accontentatevi di questa''». E ride.

Craig dissente dai critici che hanno definito il suo Bond - quello di Casino Roya-le e Quantum of SolaceQuantum of Solace - uno «007 immusonito»: «Certo, ha visto morire la donna che amava, si è vendicato, in Casino RoyaleCasino Royale ha anche versato qualche lacrima. ma non ha perso il suo atteggiamento macho. Lo avete forse visto singhiozzare mentre scriveva sul diario? Gli avete forse visto cadere il moccio dal naso?». E ride.

Anche se non avete ancora visto SkyfallSkyfall. non vi rovino certo la sorpresa scrivendo che i fan già poco convinti dalla deriva dark si sono preoccupati ancora di più quando hanno saputo che la regia del film sarebbe andata a Sani Mendes, quello per intenderci di American Beauty. Mendes - che aveva diretto Craig, dieci anni fa, in Era mio padre - lo ricorda esattamente uguale a oggi («Era solo più povero, ma per il resto sempre il solito Daniel. molto più buffo di quanto la gente immagini, intelligente, vivace, e un grande attore, sebbene avesse fatto un primo provino davvero vomitevole», ridacchia). Ed è stato proprio Craig a portarlo

Tutti devono avere un hobby, il mio è la resurrezione». Lo dice James Bond alias Daniel Croig in SkyfaH E se c'è qualcuno,

o    meglio, qualcosa, che è risorto in questi ultimi sei anni, è l'idea stessa di Bond come eroe cinematografico.

Focciamo un passo indietro e venite

con me (e con Vanity Fair) nel 2005, alle Hawaii, a caso di Pierce Brosnan, il quinto 007 della storia. Era appeno stato licenziato e ancora non si sapeva chi sarebbe stato il prossimo. La voce più accreditata riguardava Clive Owen, ma c'era anche chi diceva che non ci sarebbe più stato un altro Bond dopo Pierce. La saga mostrava la corda: passati quasi vent'anni dalla caduta del Muro di Beriino, il mondo delle spie pareva più anacronistico che mai. Un bel giorno, però, i signori della Eon, produttori storici di tutti i Bond movies, ufficializzarono il nome di Doniel Craig.

Ai puristi non piaceva: «É biondo!», «Non è abbastanza alto!*, «Ha la foccia da cattivo!», «Ha la faccia da proletario!», dicevano. Sarebbe da andare a ritrovarli ora uno a uno e tirar loro la giacchetta mentre stanno in coda ai botteghini di tutto il mondo per vedere Sky-fall e Daniel Craig, il miglior Bond di sempre, l'unico che è riuscito dove altri avevano fallito: far dimenticare Sean Connery.

Ho intervistato Craig la prima volta a Roma, alla vigilia dell'uscita di Casino Royole.

a bordo del nuovo film: «E successo una sera a un party, e dovevo aver alzato il gomito ovviamente, altrimenti come facevo a offrirgli un lavoro che non toccava a me. ma ai produttori, offrire?».

Risultato: il debutto internazionale più ricco di sempre per un film della saga di Bond. Merito certo del talento di Mendes, e forse anche della cerimonia Mi colpirono due cose: lo signorilità con cui trattò l'interprete che lo aveva seguito per due giorni di conferenze stampa e promozione (le consegnò personalmente un mazzo di fiori) e l'aplomb con cui smontava le critiche preventive nei suoi confronti. «Ho la faccia da cattivo? Ma Bond è cattivo: ammana la gente! Possibile non se ne sia mai accorto nessuno?», mi disse.

Verità semplicissima che la mitologia intorno alla figura di Connery (l'interprete più famoso e sempre rimpianto) aveva tenuto sottotraccia. Certo che Bond è cattivo, ma è interessante proprio per questo. Solo che, per oltre quarant'anni, il testo (la verità narrativa dello figura delfagente segreto) era stato messo in secondo piano dol contesto (le camicie con l'appretto, le rogane in bikini, i drink da gente di mondo). Con Daniel Craig, il testo toma protagomsto e Bond si rilancia in tutta la sua tragica, shakespeariano violenza. Sul set di Quantum of SolaceQuantum of Solace, dove lo incontrai uno seconda volta, l'attore si era fatto male: rilasciava interviste in maglioncino e braccio protetto da un tutore, un'immogine che né Connery né

i    suoi epigoni avrebbero mai permesso. Questa è la differenza: se Bond è risorto è perché ha smesso di riproporre aspiranti Connery e si è reinventato da zero. Daniel Craig non è il nuovo Bond. E il Bond di questi tempi. Con buona pace di Sean e dei suoi fragili cloni.
di apertura dell'Olimpiade di Londra,

lo    scorso 27 luglio, quando Craig - approfittando di una pausa nelle riprese di SkyfallSkyfall ~ è andato a prendere la regina Elisabetta (vera) a Buckingham Palace e si è tuffato con lei dall'elicottero (ma erano controfigure) dentro l'Olympic Stadium: una gag girata magistralmente da Danny Bovle e vista in diretta da 900 milioni di persone («Non le ho parlato, abbiamo solo fatto quello che avete visto»: questo dice dell'incontro con la sovrana, e inutile cercare di strappargli altro).

Ci ha visto lungo Barbara Broccoli - produttrice dei film di James Bond, e figlia del leggendario Albert - che nel 1996 notò il talento di Craig nella miniserie televisiva Our Friends In the North. Ma era ancora «in carica» Pierce Brosnan, e solo quando si avvertì l'esigenza di dare una svolta Barbara ripensò a Daniel. «Lui era molto riluttante, e questa riluttanza mi intrigò ancora di più, perché era un segno di serietà: sapeva che si imbarcava in un progetto a lungo termine, voleva essere sicuro di ogni dettaglio prima di but-tarcisi con tutto se stesso». E non e solo un modo di dire: per l'ultimo film. Daniel ha lavorato intere settimane gomito a gomito con Tom Ford per creare il guardaroba di 007 («No. quegli abili non li ho tenuti per me. Li ho macchiati di sudore e sangue tìnto, li ho indossati per mesi, fino a non poterne più. Le magliette, e altre cose, le ho donate in beneficenza»); e. come sempre, ha seguito da vicino il lavoro di stuntmen e controfigure.

«Alla fine mi sono preso uno strappo per un movimento banalissimo. Tipo, dovevo scendere qualche gradino, attraversare una porta e girarmi di scatto, e al ventinovesimo ciak è successo qualcosa», risponde. quando gli chiedo se è vero che «si è fatto un po' malino a un muscolo», non prima di avermi preso in giro imitandomi - voce femminile e accento e tutto

-    mentre dico: «Si è fatto un po' malino a un muscolo? Davvero?».
Il    nuovo film arriva a quattro anni dal precedente. In mezzo, c'è stato il fallimento della Mgm. Risultato: un budget più basso, e un ricorso molto più massiccio al product placement il contratto con I leineken. per dire, prevede anche la partecipazione di Craig a una serie di spot - che ha fatto gridare allo scandalo i fan più puristi. Lui la vede in modo molto più pragmatico: «Ci vogliono 120 milioni di dollari per girare un film cosi. c altri 200 per venderlo, e quei soldi bisogna trovarli. Allora, se Heineken ce nc dà a palate chiedendo in cambio solo che sullo sfondo, nella scena del bar. ci sia qualche bottiglia e noi sappiamo che solo così si può fare il film - dovremmo forse dire no? E va bene, bevo una birra, ma non è che poi me ne esco con un "Aaa-aahhhhh" (mima il sospiro di scxldisfazio-ne dell'assetato dopo la bevuta, ndr). e loro sono stati molto rispettosi, l'ultima cosa che volevano era fottcre il film».

Anche perché fottcre il film significherebbe fottere 50 anni - la prima «puntata», Licenza di uccidere, e del 1962 -di una saga da 5 miliardi di dollari che ci ha portato in casa la rivoluzione sessuale. la guerra fredda e i Trivial Pursuit con il nome di George Lazenby. l'unico attore a fare Bond solo una volta. Nonostante il peso di questa storia. Craig ha accuratamente evitato di chiedere consigli ai suoi cinque predecessori («Anche perche non credo si siano mai riuniti.

1    lo incontrato Pierce Brosnan un paio di volte, ma gli altri mai. non è che abbiamo la tessera di abbonamento a un club dei James Bond»).

Del resto, neppure Sean Connery avrebbe potuto prepararlo all'impatto della fama sulla sua carriera di attore semisconosciuto fuori dai confini nazionali. «Non credo che Daniel si rendesse conto», dice il produttore Michael Wilson, «di quanto si sarebbe ridotta la sua privacy». Eppure Craig è rapidamente diventato molto abile a schivare i paparazzi e le domande sulla sua \ ita privata: la moglie Rachel Weisz. attrice, sposata nel 2011 : la figlia Ella, nata 18 anni fa da un matrimonio precedente; il figliastro Henry, che Rachel ha avuto 6 anni fa dal regista Darren Aronofsky: la casa che stanno cercando a Manhattan. Ma anche su questo, a lui piace scherzare: «Le invasioni nella mia privacy, più che barbariche. sono alcoliche. Lei non sa quante volte, durante un'intervista in un bar come questo, in piena mattina, qualcuno mi ha mandato un cameriere con un Martini cocktail».

Scherzi a parte, una cosa è tristemente vera: «Quelli che lavorano a 1 lollyvvo-od da 40 anni mi raccontano i bei tempi andati in cui un attore poteva rilassarsi al bar. magari ubriacarsi, magari cadere dalla sedia, c nessuno lo veniva a sapere. Ma oggi tutti hanno un telefonino. Non che io aspiri a ubriacarmi, ma non posso vivere in modo normale, perché qualsiasi stronzata io faccia - una sbronza al bar. una nuotata sen/a costume al mare, cose che le persone comuni a volte fanno - diventerà di dominio pubblico. Io che ho fatto tante cose nella mia vita, ora devo stare attento a come mi comporto. E questo un po' è triste, perché i bar mi piacciono».

Craig, che ha recentemente firmato per altri due film, sarà James Bond almeno fino al 2016. Almeno, nel senso che potrebbe restare anche di più. ma per ora preferisce rimanere vago sull'argomento. Ride quando gli chiedo un consiglio per quello che. prima o poi. sani il suo successore: «Cerca di trovare il modo giusto. Sii bravo. Non fare cazzate».

tempo di lettura previsto: 11 minuti

IN TUTTO IL SSIiVIZIO TOTAL LOOK. TOM FORD GROOMING CARLA WHITE USING CHANEL SET DESIGN STEVEN NASSIMOS

TANTI BRAND PER L'AGENTE 007

Gli occhiali da sole, modello aviatore, sono della linea Tom Ford-Marko.
L'orologio da polso è rigorosamente Omega, con 007 dal 1995.
underwear: boxer bianchi elasticizzati, come questo modello della linea Calzedonia.
L'auto è una Aston Martin Vintage (con Pierce Brosnan era Bmw).


«LEI NON SA QUANTE VOLTE, AL BAR, QUALCUNO MI HA MANDATO CN CAM EHI ERE COIN UN MARTINI»

Photo: LA SIGNORA BOND

Daniel Craig con la moglie, Rachel Weisi, 42 anni. Sono sposati dal giugno 2011. L'ottrice è mamma di Henry, 6 anni, avuto dall'ex marito Darren Aronofsky. Anche Croig ha una figlia Ella, 18 anni, da un precedente matrimonio.

Photo: PERCHE DANIEL NON E «IL NUOVO BOND» (E IL BOND DI QUESTI TEMPI)

 
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