Daniel Craig on Product Placement in the Bond Films and Why He Can’t Skinny-Dip or Drink at 11am
Daniel Craig may only be part of Her Majesty’s Secret Service when he appears in James Bond films, but in an interview with Vanity Fair he has some good advice about fame that Prince Harry and his sister-in-law Princess Kate should think about adhering to.
Craig, who stars in next month’s James Bond film Skyfall, says, “You talk to people in the movie business who have been doing this 40 years and they all say the difference is that, back in the day, you could go and have a drink in the bar, get drunk, fall over, have a good time, relax, whatever, and no one would know about it. But now everyone’s got a camera. Not that all I want to do is get drunk in a bar, but that’s an example. So you can’t live a normal life anymore. Because it will become public knowledge that you’ve whatever—gotten drunk in a bar or skinny-dipped on a beach or something. Things that normal people do occasionally. And in a way that’s kind of—I’ve got to be high-class. I’ve done a lot of things in my life. But you have to think in that way. Which is sad, because I like bars.”
Of course, Craig has become one of the most famous actors in the world, particularly after he began starring as James Bond in 2006’s Casino Royale. Nonetheless, though he is the sixth actor to portray Bond in the 50 year-old official film series, Craig points out that each Bond actor is different. He explains, “What I’m doing is not what Pierce [Brosnan] was doing, and Pierce wasn’t doing what Roger Moore was doing, or what Sean [Connery] was doing, or what Timothy [Dalton] was doing. Things have changed. It’s just kind of the ride of it. Pierce used to say that it’s like being responsible for a small country. It’s kind of like you have to look after it diplomatically. I kind of get that, but I can’t really say that’s my deal. I’m not going to be the poster boy for this. Although I am the poster boy.”
In fact, Craig realizes that since he took on the role people have difficulty with distinguishing the actor from the character. He says, “It’s amazing how many times I’ve sat in interviews like this in a bar or a hotel, and it’s 11 o’clock in the morning and someone sends a martini over. And it’s like, Really? It’s 11 o’clock! Cheers! I’m not going to drink it.”
Speaking of alcohol, Craig also talks about the controversy that came up earlier this year when it was mentioned that Bond would be drinking a Heineken at some point during Skyfall instead of his trademark martini. Though there was an initial outrage (apparently people don’t remember that Heineken has done tie-in promotions for the last five Bond films), Craig insists that the scene will not be a commercial. He reveals, “Now, product placement, whichever way you look at it, whether you like it or you think it’s disgusting, or whatever, it’s what it is. . . . Heineken gave us a ton of money for there to be Heineken in a shot in a bar. So, how easy is that? Just to say, O.K., there’s Heineken. It’s there—it’s in the back of the shot. Without them, the movie couldn’t get sold, so that all got kind of blown up. ‘Bond’s new drink is a Heineken.’ He likes a lot of drinks—Heineken, champagne; it’s all in there. I’ll drink a beer in the shot, I’m happy to, but I’m not going to do an ‘Ahhhhh’ [pantomiming an actor looking refreshed]. And I would say this because they’re paying, but they’re kind of respectful about it. They don’t want to screw the movie up.”