Bond retrospective: Six actors who played 007
LONDON: British actor Daniel Craig plays James Bond for the fourth time in the new 007 film Spectre and would be nearing the end of his Bond career. He is the sixth star to play the suave secret agent in the official Bond movies over more than half a century.
Although the 47-year-old British actor has said he would “rather slash my wrists“ than play the suave spy again, telling Time Out magazine: “All I want to do is move on.“
While he has also suggested that he will continue, Craig's comments show at least an ambivalence about the all-consuming role of Bond from an actor who guards his privacy closely and enjoys a quiet pint in the pub.
When he was first named as Bond in 2005, taking over from Pierce Brosnan, many questioned whether the blond-haired, blue-eyed, gym-sculpted Craig was the right man for the job.
Even Sam Mendes, the director of Spectre, was initially sceptical.
“I thought Bond had become the opposite of what Daniel is — a slightly disengaged, urbane, jokey, eyebrow-raising, you know, a pastiche in a way,” he told the BBC.
But the intensity Craig has brought to the part has allowed the multi-million dollar franchise to be rebooted with a harder, more serious edge and won round many of the sceptics.
Roger Moore, one of his predecessors, has called Craig the best Bond ever and told Time magazine that his performances had “guaranteed Bond another 50 years of life”.
Fans have also got used to seeing the star, who is contracted to do one more film, play one of the most iconic parts in cinema.
“That great big handsome-Shrek face with its sweetly bat ears has grown into the role,” the Guardian newspaper's five-star review of Spectre said.
Here is a filmography of the franchise:
1. Sean Connery
1962: Dr. No
1963: From Russia with Love
1967: You Only Live Twice
1971: Diamonds Are Forever
Connery returned to play Bond in 1983 in Never Say Never Again, which was not part of the official franchise.
2. George Lazenby
1969: On Her Majesty's Secret Service
3. Roger Moore
1973: Live and Let Die
1974: The Man with the Golden Gun
1977: The Spy Who Loved Me
1981: For Your Eyes Only
1985: A View to a Kill
4. Timothy Dalton
1987: The Living Daylights
1989: Licence to Kill
5. Pierce Brosnan
1997: Tomorrow Never Dies
1999: The World Is Not Enough
2002: Die Another Day
6. Daniel Craig
2006: Casino Royale
2008: Quantum of Solace
Barry Nelson and David Niven also played the famous British secret agent in 1954 and 1967 respectively in unofficial James Bond films.