Daniel Craig Hates Being Bond (or how the Internet blows something out of context)

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Earlier this week Time Out published their interview with Daniel Craig, the star of the upcoming Bond film, Spectre.  In the days since the article was posted, the story has grown from being a simple interview, to Craig stating he never wants to play the role again, to him stating he doesn’t care about the character, and now to him saying he’d rather kill himself than be in another Bond film.  The public response to this has been generally a lot of comments about how ungrateful he is, and how he should just sod off then if he hates it so much.  But did he really say he hated the role?

Well, anyone who actually read the interview fully will have seen that it was conducted in July.  Craig had only finished filming for the movie four days earlier, after a gruelling 8 month shooting schedule.  If you know anything about films then you will know that an 8 month schedule is quite extensive.   Now the interview begins by making clear it is early morning, and the actor is knocking back espressos like there is no tomorrow. Here’s a guy who is finally getting a chance to relax after a long shooting schedule. Earlier questions in the interview are responded to with Craig’s usual dry wit and bluntness. Then, the question that every media outlet has focused on over the past few days is rolled out…

Can you imagine doing another Bond movie?
‘Now? I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists. No, not at the moment. Not at all. That’s fine. I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on.’

Whilst I read that, and imagined a wry smile on the actors face, the junk media has taken it as venomous spite, as though it was yelled in anger, and have clearly missed the other questions about the role and his responses… especially the very next question in the article…

You want to move on from Bond for good?
‘I haven’t given it any thought. For at least a year or two, I just don’t want to think about it. I don’t know what the next step is. I’ve no idea. Not because I’m trying to be cagey. Who the fuck knows? At the moment, we’ve done it. I’m not in discussion with anybody about anything.

It is worth noting that production on Spectre began pretty swiftly after Skyfall, so the series has dominated Craig’s life for a good while now. All he was saying was that he just wants to take some time off, look at other projects (an earlier answer highlighted that the schedule for something like Bond meant he had to turn away other jobs), and doesn’t want to even think about the role for a while. He further goes on in later questions to point out how great it is to be associated with such a character, and how much of an opportunity it is for an actor to be a part of something so important to so many. As he concludes himself in the interview…

You’ve got to push yourself as far as you can. It’s worth it, it’s James Bond.

The reporting of this story by various press outlets this week has highlighted how you should never pay attention to second hand storytelling. As any good historian will tell you, first hand evidence is the important stuff, and any secondary recitals will contain embellishment and must be taken with a hint of skepticism. If you ever read an article that refers to another article, make sure you check out the original article yourself. That way you can see the story in the correct context and not be duped by sloppy reporting.

So, if you haven’t already, check out the full interview at Time Out

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