Just ahead of the release of his latest time out as James Bond, in Sam Mendes’ Skyfall, Daniel Craig covers the November issue of Vanity Fair, on newsstands now.
In the issue he talks about the evolution of Bond on screen: ““What I’m doing is not what Pierce was doing, and Pierce wasn’t doing what Roger Moore was doing, or what Sean was doing, or what Timothy [Dalton] was doing. Things have changed. It’s just kind of the ride of it.”
The price of fame: “…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.”
One of the things that is most unexpected when you read an interview with Craig is his sense of humor, although costar Dame Judi Dench claims that’s what makes him such a good Bond, “The glorious thing about [Craig] is he has a great sense of humor. That’s essential—the whole essence of Bond is that he doesn’t take himself so seriously.”
He comes across as very intense onscreen, and let’s face it, he isn’t known for light comedy, and it seems such a contrast when you read him being irreverent and facetious with reporters asking him the same inane questions over and over. The perfect example of that comes from another Vanity Fair cover issue, from February 2012 in which he shared the honors with George Clooney and Matt Damon. The cherry on top was the famous Proust Questionnaire:
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Awake at dawn with nothing to do.
What is your greatest fear?
I don’t want to think about it.
Which living person do you most admire?
Aung San Suu Kyi.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
What is your greatest extravagance?
What is your favorite journey?
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
It all depends on how you interpret them.
On what occasion do you lie?
Which living person do you most despise?
I don’t know if I do.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
What is your greatest regret?
Agreeing to answer these questions.
When and where were you happiest?
At a free bar.
Which talent would you most like to have?
What is your current state of mind?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
Oh, they’re just perfect.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
What is your most treasured possession?
Apart from my penis and my health?
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Gastric flu on an airplane.
Where would you like to live?
Where I live now.
What is your most marked characteristic?
My third nipple.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
A good mustache.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
A good mustache.
What do you most value in your friends?
Who are your favorite writers?
E. E. Cummings and Kurt Vonnegut.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Those who give up all they have to help others.
What are your favorite names?
Maggie and Milly and Molly and May.
What is it that you most dislike?
How would you like to die?
What is your motto?
“Breathe in … breathe out. Repeat.”
Skyfall is of course in theaters in the UK on 26th October, in the US in IMAX on November 8 and the 9th on regular screens.