You know the name. Bond. James Bond. Two words that conjure up images of a dazzling, debonair super-spy who’ll do whatever it takes to save the world all the while traversing exotic locations, jumping into intense action spectacles, seducing beautiful women and looking damn good in the process. Now it’s time to meet the actor behind James Bond, Daniel Craig, in an intimate documentary portrait that showcases how this renowned British thespian reshaped 007 for an entire generation.
In this special 45-minute retrospective, Daniel Craig candidly reflects on his 15-year tenure as James Bond. Including never-before-seen archival footage spanning from Casino Royale to No Time To Die, Craig shares his personal memories in conversation with 007 producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, in the lead up to his final performance as the iconic secret agent.
Directed by Baillie Walsh, Being James Bond is a unique 45-minute documentary that summaries Daniel Craig’s entire performance as the debonair super-spy and it offers a complete overview of what being 007 has meant to the actor. Bringing together Craig alongside longtime producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, the film is an intimate discussion piece set against a collection of footage that goes into the extraordinary intricacies of what it meant to cast Craig in the lead role and what a rollercoaster ride it has been for him ever since.
Like all good stories, we need to start at the beginning. And Being James Bond takes us right back to the start of how Daniel Craig became James Bond. Regarded as one of England’s most talented and versatile performers, Craig is very upfront that he never saw himself leading a franchise on the scale of James Bond. But all of that changed very quickly. While many people will assume it was Matthew Vaughn’s Layer Cake that nailed Craig the role, it was in fact his turn as John Ballard, an intense, psychotic and zealous Jesuit priest in 1998’s Elizabeth that caught the attention of Babara Broccoli, and she knew she had found her man to take on the mantle of James Bond.
One of the coolest parts of Being James Bond is that long time 007 fans finally get to lay their eyes on actual footage from Craig’s secretive screen test for 2006’s Casino Royale. It’s very interesting to look upon the footage and see Craig playing with the role for the first time and you see shades of what is to come. Of course, after landing the role came an onslaught of very unwanted media attention and this is discussed at length by Craig, Broccoli and Wilson and it’s extremely interesting to hear Craig’s perspective on these troubling events, along with the shock, surprise and adulation that followed with the premiere of Casino Royale in 2006 and the return of an entirely new James Bond.
Being James Bond takes us inside the thoughts and mindscape of Craig throughout his journey as Bond through projects including Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre. With each new film, we learn of the challenges around filming and just exactly what Craig was thinking and feeling. With this conversation, we really find out how each film affected him, and how he evolved with the role. And audiences are further offered an incredible collection of previously unseen behind-the-scenes footage that pulls you deeper into the process of Craig’s performance.
But beset by growing injuries Craig readily opens up about how he was willing to throw in the towel after a very difficult shoot for 2015’s Spectre, where a persistent knee injury caused him agonising pain and resulted in a much-circulated media appearance. But feeling that he still had unfinished business he soldiered on and was ready for one final crack at it and that’s where we now are with No Time To Die, which has the makings of the ultimate James Bond film.
Craig, Broccoli and Wilson give a deep insight into the new film and its significance to the franchise and Craig’s performance as Bond. Fans will also be very excited to see an incredible new collection of previously unseen footage that is sure to have them salivating for the final completed project. This is utterly the most moving part of the documentary and audiences actually get to see his final moments and a passionate final speech thanking the crew and team who brought the project to life. It’s here that we truly hear and feel what the experience and character of ‘being James Bond’ has meant to Craig and you can’t help but be touched by what this has meant to him.
Being James Bond is a fascinating inside look into one actor’s journey and craft as one of the 20th century’s greatest ever heroic characters and just what it has meant for Daniel Craig to be James Bond. For fans of the 007 franchise, it’s a must-watch documentary and it will have them amped and excited for what comes next in Craig’s final turn as super-agent 007 James Bond in No Time To Die.