You’d think Daniel Craig would have endless accolades to shower upon the fictional character that has earnt him a tidy profit, a stellar career and legions of adoring fans.
But the highest-paid James Bond in history is no apologist of her majesty’s favourite international man of mystery.
Less than a week after Craig said he would rather slash his wrists than don the 007 moniker for another Bond flick, the 47-year-old actor told the online magazine that Bond was no role model of his.
“My own role models are people who have a moral compass. People who have the courage of their convictions: great journalists, writers, artists … You know, one of the greatest problems we face today is people’s self-awareness,” he said naming Francis Bacon and Picasso.
But The Red Bulletin journalist, it would appear, was not counted in their number.
The sixth actor to play Ian Fleming’s British secret service agent reportedly earnt £39 million ($83 million) for the latest Bond film Spectre was not about to indulge the idolatry that the franchise has attracted.
When asked if he was “the kind of guy who sticks around”, the British actor responded bluntly: “Well, I’ve been married for four years”.
“What could we learn from James Bond that would help us in our day-to-day lives?”
“[Thinks for a short while] Nothing,” Craig replied.
Bond did have some endearing qualities, according to Craig.
He could sometimes be a gentleman who “took care of business” and opened doors for everyone, “not just women”. (Craig neglected to mention that Bond was far more likely to throw you out a window.)
But these moments of fleeting redemption should not overshadow the innate misogyny of a character whose endurance was owed to his representation of “the eternal struggle between good and evil”, Craig said.
When The Red Bulletin journalist suggested the MI6 spy had become more “chivalrous” in the most recent films, Craig didn’t back down.
“That’s because we’ve surrounded him with very strong women who have no problem putting him in his place,” he responded to the reporter, who at this stage we assume was sweating more than a Russian KGB agent in the Havana sun.
But the most withering response came in response to the assertion that Craig had “gone one better” by showing 007 “succumbing to the charms of an older woman”, namely the 51-year-old Italian Actress Monica Bellucci.
“I think you mean the charms of a woman his own age,” Craig said.
“We’re talking about Monica Bellucci, for heaven’s sake. When someone like that wants to be a Bond girl, you just count yourself lucky!”
Spectre, the 24th Bond movie.