Vesper Lynd is the beginning and the end of James Bond, or at least the James Bond played by Daniel Craig. Only in Craig’s debut performance as Agent 007 did the tragic and beloved figure, so brilliantly portrayed by Eva Green in Casino Royale (2006), make an appearance. She has endured however, serving as both a painful reminder of Bond’s past and a creative inspiration for Craig as he attempts to comprehend a character he has returned to time and time again, notably in this week’s No Time to Die, which marks his final appearance in a tuxedo.
In a manner, the five films are connected by Bond’s doomed affair with Vesper, as Daniel Craig explains to Den of Geek when we sit down with him over the weekend. Even while it initially appeared that 2015’s Spectre may be the actor’s final, that link ultimately offered him a cause to come back for one more film.
After first considering that 2015’s Spectre might be his final film, Craig explains, “I felt that there was a tale that we needed to finish off.” In the last 007 film, Bond and Madeleine Swann, played by Léa Seydoux, appeared to be retiring and driving out into the distance. Craig, though, was most interested in the relationship between the two women in Bond’s life.
He was motivated by Casino Royale because Vesper Lynd’s treachery turned him into a resentful and untrustworthy person, according to Craig. “In Spectre, we sort of reached this point where it felt like he was falling in love with someone at the conclusion of the film. And because we reached the type of [happy conclusion], I had the impression that was where the story would stop. But after that, we started discussing a couple concepts that I had been thinking about for a very long time. More people arrived, we received more suggestions, and it came together.
What resulted was No Time to Die, the 25th and current longest Bond film, clocking in at a massive 163 minutes. As a straight follow-up to Spectre, the movie expands on Bond and Madeleine’s romance while also reintroducing the SPECTRE organisation. The movie also acts as a sequel and a definite wrap-up to Craig’s entire acting career, particularly by reopening Vesper’s wound, which Bond appeared to have largely healed in Quantum of Solace (2008). Due to Madeleine’s prodding, Craig’s Bond finally visits Vesper’s grave in the opening scene of No Time to Die.
In this regard, No Time to Die solidifies Craig’s desire to present a single, extended story over the course of multiple movies, with Vesper’s passing serving as sort of the catalyst.
Craig says, “I kind of been intrigued in that from the beginning.” “On almost all of them, we would frequently have these meetings where we would decide to “make it standalone, let’s just throw it somewhere where it doesn’t join in.” We were unable to escape it. We were unable to. I’m not sure if other people can see it, but I was never really able to shake the horrible event that had occurred to him on Casino.
The loss of Vesper in that movie “never felt like it was running out of steam,” according to Craig, and it may have been the most significant event in Bond’s life, even when Madeleine Swann was introduced as a new romantic protagonist in Spectre.
The actor explains, “We brought it back in Spectre by having Mr. White [who planned Vesper’s treachery and death] come in. And then it just felt so right in some way for Mr. White’s daughter to be the person he fell in love with—to find an assassin’s daughter, someone as messed up and complicated as he was. Craig claims that the creative team “certainly tried” to make some of the movies stand on their own, but that “it always ended up creeping in.” There are scripts that the crew played around with.
Craig doesn’t believe that the franchise should continue in the same fashion moving forward—telling one tale over numerous films—as a new 007 comes into the picture.
He responds, “I would if they had a decent tale. We had Casino Royale, a reliable source, and excellent script writing by the men. I doubt you could duplicate it with the same impact without having that. If they can, if you can connect them, then yes, without a doubt. But they’re not required to.
When Craig secured the role, he wanted to put his own unique imprint on a role that had already been played by five actors and had been ingrained in popular culture for more than 40 years. Craig says, “I’m sorry if this seems conceited, but I really didn’t know how else to do it.” I mean, I’m a horrible impersonator. I was unable to follow others’ examples, thus. I had to sort of approach it in the only way I knew how, and all I wanted to do was delve a little deeper into him and discover the essence of who he was.
Craig’s 15-year, five-film tenure as 007 may be best remembered for his exploration of the character’s core, which may have made him more complicated than in any prior incarnation. It may also serve as a benchmark for whoever plays the enduring secret agent’s role in the future.
‘If you give me a say and enable me to have input… if you give me the responsibility, I will try and repay you,’ I said to [Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson] very early on. They did, too. Craig gently chuckles. And as I’ve previously stated, they’ve felt regret ever since.
We have our doubts, Mr. Bond.
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