BOND AND BEYOND
By Lee Parham
With Daniel Craig taking to the screen as James Bond one last time, we look back on his fantastic career.
Surprise! The James Bond actor was born in 1968 in Chester, England. His father was a landlord of multiple pubs (how British), while his mother was an art teacher.
Craig took after the artistry of his mother as she exposed him to plays growing up. He began acting at the young age of 6, with his first serious roles in various Shakespeare plays as a teenager.
The actor landed his first role in a major motion picture in 1992 with The Power of One, a film about unique relationships in a time of horror during World War II, with Morgan Freeman also starring.
During the remainder of the 1990s Craig struggled to land a role of major significance, and he fielded a slew of smaller roles in films like Obsession, Love and Rage, and Elizabeth.
Craig finally broke into the mainstream in 2001 with a supporting role in the video game adaptation Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, starring Angelina Jolie. Craig played Alex West, a treasure hunter.
After making an impact, Craig saw a significant rise in the number of roles he received. Some highlights included Sam Mendes’ Road to Perdition and Matthew Vaughn's Layer Cake.
In 2005 Craig was a member of the ensemble cast of Steven Spielberg’s period piece film Munich, which garnered a Best Picture nomination a year later.
After a solid start to the 2000s in Hollywood, Craig secured the role of a lifetime as the 6th different actor to play James Bond, taking over from Pierce Brosnan after his last appearance.
2002 Bond entry Die Another Day was poorly received due to its over-the-top antics, so the franchise decided to move in a different direction with Casino Royale and Craig’s debut as the iconic spy.
Despite fans' skepticism of a blonde Bond, Casino Royale became a massive success and was the highest-grossing Bond film at the time; lauded for its tone, story, and Craig's performance.
A sequel was fast-tracked with Quantum of Solace’s release in 2008. The film’s production coincided with the writer's strike in Hollywood, leading to a bungled release.
Bond rebounded in 2012 with Skyfall, which once again teamed Craig with director Sam Mendes. Skyfall reinvigorated the franchise and became the only entry to gross over a billion dollars.
Craig and Mendes returned to Bond in 2015 for Spectre, and while the movie wasn’t a complete disaster, it failed to live up to the hype of its predecessor and saw a slight dip in financial returns.
Another hiatus from Bond began for Craig, but a few highlight performances arrived during that absence in Logan Lucky and Knives Out. Both films featured Daniel donning a southern drawl.
Finally, Craig suits up as 007 one last time in No Time To Die after years of setbacks and delays. The film is set to conclude his arc as Bond and send him off on a high note.
From iconic spy stories to wartime period pieces, heist films, mind-bending thrillers, and good old fashioned whodunnits, the career of Daniel Craig is bigger than just James Bond.