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Bond star Craig hits back at criticisms

Casino Royale

Story by Jack Foley

JAMES Bond actor Daniel Craig has hit back at the criticism surrounding his casting as 007, insisting that he is totally committed to the project and focused on making the movie as good as possible.

The actor was rocked by comments from a minority of fans who called upon 007 fans to boycott Casino Royale, while setting up a website to further their campaign.

But in an interview with the BBC, the actor maintains that he has been giving “110% from the beginning” and, since the criticism, had been spurred on to try to give “115%”.

Asked how the comments from the Craignotbond website had affected him, he added: “You go mad if you believe any of it. You can’t believe the good stuff and you can’t believe the bad stuff. You kind of just take it in. But I’m focused on making this film.”

In the same interview, Craig revealed that he had damaged a tooth during filming in the Bahamas, although production had not been halted as a result contrary to some reports.

He also dismissed rumours that he could not drive a manual car, as expressed in a couple of national newspapers.

Indeed, if anything the actor appears to be relishing the challenge of playing Bond and seems to be throwing himself into the film’s punishing action sequences.

“The truth is if you don’t get bruised doing Bond, you’re not doing it properly,” he insisted.

Craig replaced Pierce Brosnan last October as one of cinema’s most enduring characters, prompting criticism in several quarters about his looks.

But he continues to have the support of the producers, as well as past Bond actors, including Brosnan himself, who predicts that he will prove the doubters wrong.

Former Bond villain Christoper Lee also warned against judging Craig until they had seen the film, which is being directed by another franchise veteran, Martin Campbell, from a script from Oscar-winner Paul Haggis.

In a fresh reaction to some of the negative comments, franchise producer Barbara Broccoli, whose family own the franchise rights, said: “Once we started looking for someone, I really thought that Daniel would be the perfect guy and I think everybody will agree once they see the movie.”

And according to casting director Debbie McWilliams, the continued reporting of Craig’s endeavours as Bond showed that people were still incredibly interested in the franchise.

“Virtually a day doesn’t go by where we don’t read something about James Bond in a newspaper and that can only be good for us I think,” she concluded.