Being James Bond: The Daniel Craig Story

A look at the new documentary discussing the highs and lows of Daniel Craig’s time as 007.

With the marketing cogs for No Time to Die once again back in motion Eon and MGM have treated fans with a documentary looking at Daniel Craig’s career as Bond. While the days to the premiere tick down fans can watch Being James Bond for free on Apple TV until 7th October.

Being James Bond is an enjoyable 45 minutes of Daniel Craig, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson reflecting on Craig’s tenure as Bond. They discuss the highs and lows and, while you would never expect the filmmakers to allow a warts and all account of Craig’s time as 007, it is sometimes surprisingly frank.

The documentary starts with Craig’s rather nervous introduction as Bond and the flack he got from both the British tabloids and websites devoted to attacking the actor. While it is easy to understand that he didn’t fit many people’s expectations following the enormously popular Pierce Brosnan, the venom aimed at Craig was particularly vile. It’s clear they were shocked at the response.

Attacks from the media continued after Casino Royale began filming and while Craig chose to put the criticisms out of mind, the filmmakers admit that it affected everyone on set and, despite glowing reviews, may have adversely affected the box office. It is now seen by many as one of the best James Bond movies and shot Daniel Craig to fame. Craig later admits how he had a hard time dealing with being in the limelight while Broccoli confesses being worried about him.

They discussed how Quantum of Solace was complicated by not having a completed script, something that Barbara Broccoli appeared still angry about. Without naming him she described how the screenwriters’ strike resulted in Paul Haggis exiting the film leaving them with the script unfinished.

Of course there was the London Olympics and Skyfall in 2012, the first (and only) billion dollar Bond. And how during the filming of SPECTRE Craig injured his leg and had to complete the film with a “bionic leg” to avoid closing down the production for nine months.

Footage from all Craig’s films is included throughout, including the shower scene from Casino Royale. Even shown without context is moving and as much as the actors did a great job helps to underscore the effectiveness of David Arnold’s scores.

Craig talks about the how emotional it was to shoot M’s death in Skyfall but, after watching No Time to Die’s final scene being filmed, see Craig fight back his tears as he thanks the cast and crew. His final ever scene as James Bond was in the can.

I’d perhaps have liked Craig to discus his relationship with Sam Mendes, which he has admitted in the past could be rather fractious on set. But it’s a well done 45 minute documentary that should help tide Bond fans over until the release of No Time to Die at the end of September or early October, depending on where you are in the world.

Watch Being James Bond here (free until 7th October)

David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.

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