Daniel Craig Biography
Daniel Wroughton Craig is an English actor. His early film roles included The Power of One, A Kid in King Arthur's Court and the television episodes Sharpe's Eagle and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: Daredevils of the Desert. He went on to star in his breakthrough performance Layer Cake, The Golden Compass and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
Craig became the sixth actor to portray the fictional intelligence officer James Bond in the long-running Eon Productions film series. He made his debut as the character in the 2006 film, Casino Royale to critical acclaim and was nominated for a BAFTA award. He recently finished filming the 22nd James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, released in the UK on 31 October 2008 and in the US on 14 November 2008.
According to Men's Vogue, Craig is now the highest paid actor in Britain.
Daniel Craig was born in Wirral, the son of Olivia (née Williams), an art teacher, and Timothy John Wroughton Craig, who served as a midshipman in the Merchant Navy and worked in various occupations when he came ashore. He is the cousin of spy-thriller novelist Joe Craig. His godmother was his mother's best friend Carol Tipping. Craig was brought up on the Wirral, Cheshire. His father was the landlord of the pubs "Ring 'O Bells" and "The Boot Inn". He began acting in school plays at age six. Craig moved to London when he was sixteen to join the National Youth Theatre after a brief stay at Caldy. He and his brother Adam attended Hilbre High School and Caldy Grange Grammar School in West Kirby. He played for Hoylake Rugby Club. He attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama at the Barbican and graduated in 1991 after three years of study under Colin McCormack.
Craig studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating in 1991, and appeared in several minor roles including Sharpe's Eagle and an episode of Boon, Drop The Dead Donkey in 1993. His first leading role on screen was as a co-star in the 1996 BBC Television serial Our Friends in the North. He continued his work with the BBC by starring in the 1997 Francis Bacon biopic Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon, portraying Bacon's jilted lover George Dyer. The year 1997 also saw the broadcast of a TV mystery drama, from the Minette Walters novel The Ice House, in which Craig played DS Andy McLoughlin. Craig had a small part as John Ballard in Elizabeth in 1998.
Following an introduction to international audiences as Angelina Jolie's rival and love interest in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), he continued his career in the United States in Sam Mendes's movie Road to Perdition (2002), with Tom Hanks and Paul Newman. Craig played Connor Rooney, the son of an Irish mob boss (played by Newman) and a conniving murderer who hides behind his mobster father's shadow. Other leading film roles include Sword of Honour (2001), The Mother (2003) with Anne Reid, Sylvia (2003) with Gwyneth Paltrow, Layer Cake (2004) with Sienna Miller, Enduring Love (2004) with Rhys Ifans, Steven Spielberg's Munich (2005), Infamous (2006), and The Golden Compass (2007).
James Bond (2005–present)
On 23 October 2005, Craig signed a five-film contract with EON Productions to portray James Bond. He stated that he "was aware of the challenges" of the James Bond franchise which he considers "a big machine" that "makes a lot of money". He aimed at bringing more "emotional depth" to the character. Being born in 1968, Craig is the first actor to portray James Bond to be born after the Bond series already started.
Although the choice of Craig was controversial, numerous actors publicly voiced their support. Most notably, four of the five actors who had previously portrayed Bond — Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton, Sean Connery, and Roger Moore — called his casting a good decision. Clive Owen, who had been linked to the role, also spoke in defence of Craig.
The first film, Casino Royale, premiered on 14 November 2006, and grossed a total of US$594 million, which makes the film the highest grossing Bond film.
After the film was released, Craig's performance was highly acclaimed. Critic Paul Arendt of BBC Films, Kim Newman of Empire and Todd Carty of Variety all described Craig as the first actor to truly embody the original James Bond from Ian Fleming's novels: "ironic, brutal, and cold". He was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actor on January 2006, and won the Best Actor award at the Evening Standard British Film Awards on 2 February 2007, both firsts for an actor in the role of James Bond.
A widely circulated report on several news channels and newspapers claimed that Craig had lost two teeth filming a fight scene; Craig later said it was just a crown that had come loose. Producer Barbara Broccoli also denied other rumours in an interview with Variety.
As production of Casino Royale reached its conclusion, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli announced that pre-production work had already begun on the 22nd Bond film. After several months of speculation as to the release date, Wilson and Broccoli officially announced on 20 July 2006 that the follow-up film, Quantum of Solace, was to be released on 7 November 2008 and that Craig plays Bond with an option for a third film. On 25 October 2007, MGM CEO Harry Sloan revealed at the Forbes Meet II Conference that Craig had signed on for four more Bond films, through to Bond 25.
In 2006, Casino Royale became the #5 best-selling Bond film of all time. The same year, Craig was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
On 12 June 2008, Craig sliced the top of one of his fingers off while filming Quantum of Solace. The accident was the latest in a string of incidents surrounding the shoot, including a fire at one of the sets in Pinewood Studios, UK; a car crash that left the stunt driver in a serious condition; and an Aston Martin skidding off the roads in heavy rains while being transported to the set in northern Italy and plunging into Lake Garda.
Craig describes his portrayal of Bond as an antihero: “The question I keep asking myself while playing the role is, ‘Am I the good guy or just a bad guy who works for the good side?’ Bond’s role, after all, is that of an assassin when you come down to it. I have never played a role in which someone’s dark side shouldn’t be explored. I don’t think it should be confusing by the end of the movie, but during the movie you should be questioning who he is.” Craig also states that his favourite previous Bond actor was Sean Connery, but says, "I'd never copy somebody else. I would never do an impression of anybody else or try and improve on what they did. That would be a pointless exercise for me".
In 1999 Daniel starred as Richard in a TV drama called Shockers: The Visitor. In 2007, Craig moved on to portraying the character of Lord Asriel in The Golden Compass, the film adaptation of Philip Pullman's novel. Eva Green, who played Bond girl Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, also starred in the film, although she did not appear in any scenes with Craig. In a stage version of the book, Asriel had previously been played by Timothy Dalton, one of Craig's predecessors in the role of James Bond.
In early 2007, Craig expressed an interest in being a part of the Star Trek franchise, professing his love of the series to the World Entertainment News Network and a desire to have a "stint in the TV show or a film. It's been a secret ambition of mine for years." On 16 March 2007, Craig made a cameo appearance as himself in a sketch with Catherine Tate who appeared in the guise of her character Elaine Figgis from The Catherine Tate Show. The sketch was made for the BBC Red Nose Day 2007 fundraising program.
In 2008's Defiance, he played Tuvia Bielski, a Jewish resistance fighter in the woods of Belarus during World War II who saved 1,200 people.
In 1992, Craig married Scottish actress Fiona Loudon, with whom he has a daughter, Ella. However, the marriage ended in a divorce in 1994. After his divorce he was in a seven-year relationship with German actress Heike Makatsch and is currently in a relationship with Japanese American film producer Satsuki Mitchell.
In October 2008, Craig paid £4 million for an apartment close to Regent's Park, London.