BOND,

GQ (Australia) - - NEWS -

“You fuck one lousy pig!” To be clear, Daniel Craig’s sim­ply dipped into a bag of Bri­tish id­ioms – there’s been no muddy hanky-panky with a cer­tain swine. Bent for­ward and chuck­ling heartily at his own words, he fails to com­plete the ex­pres­sion, ‘for­ever a pig fucker you’ll be.’ It wasn’t quite what we thought we’d hear from the mouth of the best ever Bond (fact). He’s meant to be a churl­ish ‘ac­tore’ – a prick, a grump. He’s meant to view those car­ry­ing dic­ta­phones with dis­gust, far from gar­ru­lous and ever wary of his words. Yet here, on a sunny English day in a sunny Lon­don ho­tel suite, Craig’s pick­ing off such mis­con­cep­tions with each ut­ter­ance and a sense of per­sonal ease. “Wa­ter?” he asks upon sit­ting down, be­fore reach­ing across a low wooden cof­fee ta­ble to pour a glass of still for GQ. The ca­sual mood is matched by his at­tire – tight navy bomber, light cham­bray shirt and non­de­script jeans rolled up over grey desert boots. Ini­tial chat­ter dis­sects the Ashes – “yeah, it’ll be al­right” – the sur­pris­ingly warm weather and a col­lec­tive de­sire to take the in­ter­view to the ho­tel roof over a cou­ple of beers. He laughs a lot, of­ten at his own ex­pense. Then there’s his north­ern ver­nac­u­lar – a rapid-fre volley of fucks that’d leave Ron Jeremy breath­less. It’s re­fresh­ing. And com­fort­ing. For all the re­puted lofti­ness, 47-year-old Craig turns out to be quite an easy­go­ing Brit. He doesn’t suf­fer fools, but then fools should rightly be rum­bled. As for his ap­proach to the press – cue that pig. “Any­one who en­joys this process has a screw loose,” he says of the en­forced in­ter­views at­tached to be­ing an A-list ac­tor, specif­cally Bond. This morn­ing, prior to squar­ing off with GQ, he’s al­ready en­gaged the ob­scure ques­tion­ing that comes from round ta­bles packed with global media where, along­side some pointed dis­sec­tion of his work, con­ver­sa­tion was mostly cen­tred around the su­per­f­cial: stunts, celebrity, sex. “We could all do with­out it, to be hon­est,” he con­tin­ues. It’s not that he loathes talk­ing about work, he’d just pre­fer to dis­cuss it with peo­ple who do as he does. “And re­al­is­ti­cally we have to sell the movie – do­ing all this work and not selling the movie, well, I’d be a chump to think that would work out. “Put it this way, it doesn’t come nat­u­rally. When I started act­ing, this is not how I fore­saw what and how – you know, ‘what do you mean fuck­ing go and talk about it? I’ve just done it, why do you want me to go and fuck­ing talk about it?’” He points to those who are good at it – the Jimmy Fal­lon reg­u­lars who have set-piece sto­ries for each of life’s sit­u­a­tions. He’s not that guy. “I’m a fuck­ing ter­ri­ble public speaker, I’m the worst … And [the stu­dio] won’t let me do it, you know, ‘Hello, yeah it’s good, thanks.’ “I don’t give a fuck [about public per­cep­tion], why would I? And it’s a mis­con­cep­tion, as most jour­nal­ists who meet me end up go­ing, ‘God, you’re not grumpy at all.’ “Look, a while back there was a [Bond] press con­fer­ence I did where they few me down the Thames and I came out and the world’s press was there and I was like, ‘what the fuck is this?’ Then some­one stood up and asked, ‘Who’s a bet­ter kisser – Rhys Ifans or Kate Moss?’ And I just went, ‘FUCK OFF’. That set the tone.” He re­coils into the turquoise chaise longue laugh­ing at the rec­ol­lec­tion. “From that mo­ment on I was that bloke, that was it … You fuck one lousy pig!”

To in­ter­view Craig is not to waste time delv­ing into up­bring­ing, at­tempt­ing to un­spool a clas­sic ‘de­sire to es­cape re­al­ity via act­ing’ nar­ra­tive. His per­sonal tale, as told be­fore and as it stands to­day, reads sim­ply: born in Ch­ester, raised in and around Liver­pool, at 16 he made his way to drama school (“I got a full grant – which is fuck all, but it made a dif­fer­ence, I got through col­lege”), fnd­ing grad­ual recog­ni­tion for char­ac­ter work in theatre, TV and, even­tu­ally, in­de­pen­dent flm. In dis­cussing Craig’s early years many point to the ac­claimed 1990s so­ciopo­lit­i­cal TV saga, Our Friends In The North, where he shone along­side Christo­pher Ec­cle­ston ( Shal­low Grave; Doc­tor Who) and Bri­tain’s most un­der­rated ac­tor, Mark Strong ( The Im­i­ta­tion Game; Kings­man: The Se­cret Ser­vice). “How long do you have?” en­quires Bond co-pro­ducer Bar­bara Broc­coli (daugh­ter of orig­i­nal pro­ducer Al­bert ‘Cubby’ Broc­coli) when asked of Craig’s cen­tral ap­peal. “I re­mem­ber see­ing him early on in Our Friends. When Daniel’s on screen or stage, he eats it up and you can’t take your eyes off him. He’s charis­matic, mag­netic and brings so much depth to ev­ery­thing.”

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