Daniel Craig: I'm 'incredibly grateful' to have been James Bond (exclusive)
Watch: Daniel Craig reflects on sixteen years as James Bond
After sixteen years and five films, Daniel Craig is finally hanging up his Walther PPK as 007 after No Time To Die hits cinemas on 30 September.
Talking to Yahoo, the 53-year-old actor says he's feeling blessed for being given the opportunity to play James Bond.
"It's been a huge part of my life," Craig tells us, "and it's not just effort from me, it's the effort of many, many people. I'm just incredibly grateful for the chance I've had to make these films and to have this opportunity just to play this part. It's been incredible."
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Announced to an unsure press as the new 007 in 2005, Craig quickly silenced his critics with the release of Casino Royale in 2006. His muscular, emotional Bond shattered expectations, leading to an unprecedented run of box office success for the Bond franchise.
Producer Barbara Broccoli, who handpicked Craig for the part, said his impact on cinema extends beyond the Bond films.
"He's brought a lot of humanity to the role, I think," Broccoli explains. "And we've really been able to explore the emotional complexity of the character and the relationships. I think he's been remarkable. And not just for Bond films. But for cinema in general."
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Cary Joji Fukunaga, who directs Craig's final Bond adventure, says he was thrilled to have worked with his iteration of 007: "When he came in with Casino Royale, he was a Bond that people definitely didn't expect, and he brought a level of sheer masculine brutality mixed with vulnerability."
And at 33, Lashana Lynch represents a new generation of Bond fans who grew up with Daniel Craig as their Bond. The actor who plays another Double-O agent in NTTD, says Craig's Bond felt very relatable to her.
"I could really relate to this version of Bond," says Lynch.
"He was gritty, dangerous, troubled... it seemed like there was just so much going on that my London self just related to him."
Synopsis: In No Time To Die, Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help.
The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
No Time To Die is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, from a screenplay by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Cary Joji Fukunaga and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, with a story by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Cary Joji Fukunaga.
No Time To Die will be released in UK cinemas 30 September. Watch a trailer below.