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Blond Bond: Daniel Craig Feature

Erin McGinn | Wednesday, November 29, 2006

For Daniel Craig, it has been a rocky transition from a well-regarded actor to high-profile celebrity. Although he was recognizable, it wasn’t until he was named as the sixth actor to portray Ian Fleming’s James Bond that he truly became a household name.

After he was announced as the latest successor to hold the Bond title, there were cries of outrage from die-hard Bond fans, decrying everything about Craig wrong for Bond from his height to his blond hair. Although fans thought that Craig was all wrong, previous Bond actors – Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan – came forward in support of his casting.

Craig also happens to be the first actor who was born after the first Bond film (“Dr. No”) was released in 1962 and after the death of creator Fleming.

Craig was encouraged by his family from an early age to follow his talent of acting in theatre. He left high school at the age of 16 in order to audition for Britain’s Nation Youth Theatre troupe. After four years of performing with the troupe throughout England, Spain and Russia, he finally gained entrance to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. At Guildhall he studied acting alongside other future noteworthy actors Ewan McGregor and Joseph Fiennes.

Although some disagree with the casting of the “Blond Bond,” it is hard to deny Craig’s acting talent, especially when looking at his filmography. One year after graduating from Guildhall, Craig made his film debut in “The Power of One” (1992), alongside Morgan Freeman.

The next several years included small stints on several television shows, such as “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles” and “Tales from the Crypt,” as well as a small part in the ’90s classic “A Kid in King Arthur’s Court” (which also features a young Kate Winslet).

It wasn’t until his role in “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” (2001) as Croft’s (Angelina Jolie) rival and love interest that Craig would receive international recognition. His role a year later in Sam Mendes’ “Road to Perdition” alongside Tom Hanks and Paul Newman continued to bolster his rising success.

His first starring role came in 2004 in the hugely successful British gangster film “Layer Cake,” and his performance garnered him several European awards and accolades. Craig then went on to co-star with Eric Bana in Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed “Munich” (2005).

As production wrapped on “Munich,” Craig was named as the latest actor to portray Fleming’s infamous special agent in “Casino Royale.” Thanks to the immense worldwide success of “Royale,” pre-production has already begun on the as yet unnamed 22nd Bond film, which Craig has already signed on for. His contract includes an option to star in a 23rd Bond movie as well.

He is currently working on the film adaptation of Philip Pullman’s novel “His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass” in the role of Lord Asriel. The film’s director is Chris Weitz (“American Pie”) and Tom Stoppard wrote the screenplay. It co-stars Nicole Kidman, as well as Craig’s Bond girl, Eva Green.

Outside of the spotlight, Craig maintains a quiet lifestyle. He’s known for his reserved demeanor and his avoidance of the ostentatious glitz and glamour of red carpets and premiere parties.

Although Craig is a new power in the acting world, he has already achieved both critical and popular success.

With several movies – including at least one more Bond film – in the works, it is a guarantee that the world can expect even more great performances from Daniel Craig.