Daniel Craig Explains Why He Was Nervous To Take the Role of James Bond

by Chris Haney
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

During a recent podcast appearance, James Bond actor Daniel Craig explained why he was initially scared to take over as 007 in the long-running franchise.

Craig joined The Hollywood Reporter‘s “Awards Chatter” podcast for their most recent episode that came out on Monday. The actor is one of only six men to ever portray the famous British secret service agent. Craig has also been in the role longer than any other actor since he’s been at the helm of the film series since 2006’s Casino Royale.

He spoke to the THR podcast recently about portraying James Bond for 15 years. He reflected on his stint as 007, which came to an end with 2021’s No Time To Die. While speaking about his time as Bond, Craig admitted he almost rejected the offer for the iconic role.

“I did it knowing it would change my life,” Daniel Craig recalled on the podcast. “I knew that it would flip it and that there would be no going back to who I was or what I was, either personally or professionally. And that was very, very, very scary.”

“It felt like I was risking something — I didn’t know what that was, but I was risking something. But the decision I made, at the end of the day, was that if I didn’t do it, I would regret it,” he added. “I had this joke with a friend that [if I passed on the role, then] in 20 or 30 years’ time I’d be sitting at a bar in a corner going, ‘I could have been Bond, you know!’ And that’s not the person I wanted to be.”

Daniel Craig Praised By Previous James Bond Actors For His Portrayal of 007

It’s a good thing Daniel Craig talked himself out of turning down the 007 role. He went on to become not only the longest-tenured Bond, but one of the most beloved as well. In fact, famed director Steven Spielberg is at least partially to thank for the actor accepting the role.

During the podcast conversation, Craig revealed that he slipped Spielberg the Casino Royale script. After reading over it, the director urged him to take over as 007. Craig would be the sixth actor to take on the role since 1963’s Dr. No. Obviously, in hindsight, it was great advice from Spielberg. Even the rest of the James Bond actors would agree.

Over the years, each of the other five actors to portray James Bond shared their overwhelmingly positive thoughts about Craig’s time as 007. Legendary actor Sean Connery, who first portrayed James Bond, called Craig “fantastic, marvelous in the part.”

In addition, Roger Moore thought Daniel Craig was “absolutely marvelous” as Bond. George Lazenby said he was “quite impressed” with his performance as 007. Timothy Dalton heaped praise on the actor when saying, “There’s a case to be made that Daniel Craig is the best Bond ever.” Finally, even Craig’s predecessor, Pierce Brosnan, admitted that, “Daniel was magnificent, and he can walk away head up, shoulders back. He truly left an indelible mark on the franchise.”