Daniel Craig originally turned down Bond and had to be ‘bullied’ to return after Spectre

By now, everyone knows that the actor was exhausted after completing Spectre and made his famous “I’d rather slit my wrists” comment about making another Bond film. At the time, it was spun as being taken out of context and that he was just saying he needed a break to recover physically from the punishing schedule and injuries. The official word was there had always been five films planned, with one still to complete. However, in a new interview last night for BAFTA, Craig actually confessed that the franchise producer Barbara Broccoli had to work very hard to persuade him to return for one last film. He also confessed he had to be convinced to take the role in the first place.

Craig, who was recently made an honorary Commander in the Royal Navy, talked about the toll his injuries on set on Spectre had taken. He badly hurt his knee during a fight with Dave Bautista and described how “Barbara Broccoli bullied me” to come back.

He added: “I’m gonna say that right here and I’m so happy I did.”

Extraordinarily, he also revealed that the producer had to do the same thing the first time around when she originally offered Craig the part: “I just said, ‘I can’t. I mean, I think you got the wrong guy. Thank you, flattering, but I think you’ve got the wrong guy. Maybe you’re auditioning lots of people and you’re sort of trying to get a picture of it…'”

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Daniel Craig originally turned down Bond and had to be ‘bullied’ to return after Spectre

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale (Image: FS )

Daniel Craig was made an honorary Commander of the Royal Navy

Daniel Craig was made an honorary Commander of the Royal Navy (Image: PH )

Craig said: “People used to say, ‘oh you must have always wanted to be James Bond.’ I went, ‘Well, yeah, kind of as a kid I kind of thought about it. I want to be Spider-Man as well, but I just thought it was never going to happen.’ And I never thought it would come on my radar.

“I just was like, ‘I don’t know, that’s such an awful lot of pressure and God almighty, that’s just going to be such a kind of like a momentous thing. Am I ready? I’m really enjoying what I’m doing. I mean, look, I’m doing Munich, I’ve got such a kind of as far as I’m concerned a really successful and satisfying career going and why would I want to f**k with that? Why would I want to, you know, mess that up by doing this?'”

One particular conversation lead to an epiphany…

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Craig said: “I have some good friends and they were just like, I mean literally made a list of pros and cons. And the pros outweighed it.

“It was one of my closest friends who just said, ‘this doesn’t happen to people, just does not happen.’ He said, ‘you’re gonna just regret this for the rest of your life if you don’t do this’ and like yeah, sitting in a bar going, ‘I could have been Bond.’ And now it’s just going to be, ‘I was Bond’, which is worse!”

He also revealed that Broccoli, again, was also resolute in her determination: “I didn’t realise Barbara had already made up her mind. You know, if you know Barbara, that means she’s made up her mind.”

Craig still insisted on seeing the script in his “arrogance” and was famously convinced when he saw one particular line: “I was sort of expecting it to be like this Bond script and I go, ‘yeah, it’s not really for me’… but it was Casino Royale and I mean it was just blinding, and when I read the line, you know ‘vodka, martini, shaken or stirred?’ ‘Do I look like I—’ and it was written in the script: ‘Do I look like I give a f**k. That was the line… and as soon as I read that I went oh shit, I mean how can I say no to this?”

James Bond theme tunes

James Bond theme tunes (Image: GETTY)

The actor also wanted to have input into the character’s development, especially as the films progressed.

Craig said: “I just said, ‘look if you give me kind of a say here, like a responsibility, I can come on set and pretend to be James Bond’ and they did. And I went back to the books and I read Ian Fleming and it’s, you know, it’s so conflicted in those stories. It’s like Fleming hated Bond at times and I loved all that, I thought that was really interesting. And I thought, ‘who is this person? Who is he now really?’ And I could only approach it from that place.”

He added that his drive was based in a deep love for the franchise and a desire to make the best version he could: “Never forgetting it’s a Bond movie – I don’t want to make it Hamlet, and we didn’t. But it’s a Bond film and I knew that and I was a big Bond fan.”

BAFTA: A Life in Pictures: Daniel Craig, supported by TCL Mobile. Highlights of the event will be available soon at www.youtube.com/baftaguru

Read More: Hollywood News

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