The Charlotte Observer:
"Craig As Bond:
A Blond Joke?"

Craig as Bond: A blond joke?

Fair-haired actor wants doubting fans to give his new role a chance

Associated Press

NEW YORK - Daniel Craig, the new James Bond, wants critics to give him a chance.

"If I went onto the Internet and started looking at what some people were saying
about me -- which, sadly, I have done -- it would drive me insane," the British actor
says in a recent interview in Entertainment Weekly magazine.

"They hate me. They don't think I'm right for the role. It's as simple as that. They're
passionate about it, which I understand, but I do wish they'd reserve judgment."

A group of James Bond fans have launched a Web site,, to
protest Craig replacing Pierce Brosnan in the 007 film franchise, and to boycott
"Casino Royale," slated for release Nov. 17.

The fair-haired Craig, whose screen credits include roles in "Munich" and "Layer
Cake," was tapped last October to play the secret-agent icon.

While filming "Casino Royale," the 38-year-old actor was uneasy about uttering
those famous words, "The name is Bond, James Bond."

"People kept asking, `Have you done the line yet?' " Craig tells the magazine.

"But honestly, I didn't rehearse it at all. I didn't practice it in the mirror every morning
or anything like that. I didn't want to even think about saying it because I didn't want
it to be this weight around my neck. I just wanted to get on with it and not blow it."

Craig decided to take Bond in a new direction.

"I watched every single Bond movie three or four times, taking in everything I could
about how the character had been portrayed in the past, then threw all that away
once I started doing the role," Craig says.

"There's no point in making this movie unless it's different. It'd be a waste of time
unless we took Bond to a place he'd never been before."