Daniel Craig has defended James Bond’s new partnership with Dutch beer company Heineken, calling it “an unfortunate” but necessary part of making a film on this large a scale.
Speaking on the set of Skyfall, the 23rd Bond film currently in production, the actor explained:
"We have relationships with a number of companies so that we can make this movie. The simple fact is that, without them, we couldn’t do it. It’s unfortunate but that’s how it is."
"We haven't sold out completely"
Craig is looking as fit as you’d expect, his understated preppy ensemble of white shirt and grey lambswool jumper doing little to disguise a surprisingly barrel-shaped chest. He may only be acting the role of a special agent, but you wouldn’t mess and I don’t believe he’d have any of the wobbles pulling a trigger that previous 007 Roger Moore recently admitted to. (A trip to the arms specialist on the set confirmed this, with him revealing that Craig had done the most arms training of all six Bonds.)
He continued: "This movie costs a lot of money to make, it costs as nearly as much again if not more to promote, so we go where we can.
"The great thing is that Bond is a drinker, he always has been, it’s part of who he is, rightly or wrongly, you can make your own judgement about it. Having a beer is no bad thing, in the movie it just happens to be Heineken.
“There’s a big furore about it, but it’s not what the movie’s about, I promise you. We haven’t sold out completely."
He added helpfully: ”It’s my favourite choice of beer. I drink it every morning – doesn’t everybody?”
Craig, who has been known to keep very quiet when journalists are about, was in good-humoured, expansive form, happily claiming credit for recruiting Oscar-winning fellow Brit Sam Mendes to director duties.
"Sam doesn't miss a trick"
“I didn’t realise you weren’t supposed to go up to people and just ask them. I was in a social situation with Sam, started chatting to him, and it just came to me in a flash. I said, ‘It’s not my place to do this but would you be interested?’
“So he came to see the producers, they really got on and it snowballed from there.
Craig cannot praise Mendes enough for his thoroughness and extra eye on set:
“It’s really been great for me because he takes a care of the lot of stuff that I would worry about normally on a film set. We’ve got a scene to shoot on Sunday, and it’s great, it’s written really well, but Sam and I are going to sit down with it this week, jig with it, get it right, because Sam doesn’t like to miss a trick, and that’s very reassuring.”
And while Craig is the first to say he’s not doing this on his own – “I’m standing with a whole bunch of incredibly talented, committed people, without that you don’t exist” – it’s clear he takes his own part in it very seriously, as he outlines the routine that has been his daily lot since they started shooting:
“We’re here about seven in the morning, start work at eight, work until about 8.30pm, then I go to the gym for 40 minutes in the evening, and then I go home to bed.”
And how do you feel after all that? ‘F**ked.’
Skyfall is in UK cinemas on 26 October. See new pictures from the set here: