James Bond movies probably generate more debate among fans than any other series – everyone has their favorite Bond actor, Bond girl, villain, etc. So it’s not surprising that Daniel Craig has to put up with the same questions over and over again as he goes around the world promoting “Quantum of Solace,” the 22nd official 007 film.
The 40-year-old Craig, who was born in Chester, England, and grew up in Liverpool, purposely avoided press conferences after his first outing as Bond in “Casino Royale” in 2006 because he said he didn’t want to be compared to previous Bond stars Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan. Rather, the stage-trained actor said at the time that he wanted to wait until he had settled into the role, which he apparently has now.
“Quantum of Solace” picks up where “Casino Royale” left off, with Bond looking for revenge over the death of his love, Vesper Lynd. His quest takes him from Italy to Haiti, London, Austria and Bolivia, as he learns of a shadowy supranational eco-terrorist organization called Quantum.
In continuing their “reinvention” of the British secret agent, producer Barbara Broccoli and director Marc Forster have done away with the gadgetry and humor. There is no Q, no Miss Moneypenny, nor even the famous gun barrel sequence at the start. Many critics have noted that this Bond film could easily be just another installment in the Bourne series.
However, Craig said it was important for the series to go back to basics. “I think we’ve made a beautiful, emotional, action-packed film that has its roots in the early Bond films of the 1960s,” he said during a recent visit to Japan with co-star Olga Kurylenko, Broccoli and Foster.
Looking fit and dressed in a suit, Craig said: “Early on, Marc and I discussed the themes. Although a lot of you think this is about Bond looking for revenge, it isn’t. He is trying to find the truth about himself and the woman who broke his heart. The script was in constant development. Fortunately, we had a lot of passionate people on board, who supported our vision, and it all came together.”
For German-Swiss director Forster (“Finding Neverland,” “Monster’s Ball”), “Quantum of Solace” marks his first action movie. “It’s not just any action movie. It is Bond,” he said. “The pressure is enormous. Once you start, the momentum keeps building like a runaway train. You have to go along with it. My challenge was to focus on the characters and try and make sure the audience will feel an emotional connection to them. Casting is very important, especially with a Bond girl. You have to audition hundreds of women. Most people think that’s a lot of fun, but it is hard work for a director.”
Ukrainian actress Kurylenko, 29, got the nod for the role of the feisty Bolivian intelligence agent Camille. It was her first action film and she found it grueling. “I had to train every day for six months. I learned a new profession – being a stuntwoman,” she said.
Craig said he didn’t escape injury-free amid all the action scenes. “I’ve just recovered from shoulder surgery. I was going to doctors for bruises, cut, to get stitches and things like that. The most difficult scene was where Camille and I jump out of a plane and freefall. We couldn’t wear goggles, so we used special contact lenses instead. That was really hard on the eyes.”
"Quantum of Solace" opens in Japan on Jan 24.© Japan Today