Harsh Words: The Actor Who Described His Time in the James Bond Series as ‘Really Shit’

Though James Bond purists would protest at such a statement, many believe that the British spy franchise only truly became great when Daniel Craig took up the 007 mantle in 2006, taking the series into entirely more serious territory.

Harsh words: the actor who called his time in the James Bond series "really shit"

Previously obsessed with fast cars, cartoon gadgets and taking down crime lords in secret lairs buried beneath volcanoes, Bond has certainly come a long way since the 1960s.

Brought into the world by writer Ian Fleming, Sean Connery was the first to play Bond, taking to the role like a fish to water in 1962’s Dr. No. Earning critical acclaim and cultural popularity, a franchise was born, with Connery’s era as the character being typified by classy adventures that took him from the deep seas of the Bahamas in 1965’s Thunderball to a missile launch facility in Tokyo in 1967’s You Only Live Twice.

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Though camp, Connery’s tenure began the Bond franchise with much more sincerity than the movies that would follow his time as 007, with the likes of Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan taking fans on madcap adventures, including invisible cars, space battles and popping villains.

By the time Craig took over in 2006, the franchise was certainly in need of a change, with quality being the long-standing issue.

Arriving like a shot of adrenaline, Casino Royale made people remember that Bond has the capabilities of being a cool character while also being a questionable womaniser and general man of violence.

Revolutionising the character and the franchise, Craig made Bond a fallible star who bore little resemblance to the seemingly ‘perfect’ examples of masculinity that had come before him.

Yet, not everyone was so keen on Bond’s reinvention, with some fans preferring the character’s camp origins, while some actors even believed that the quality still wasn’t up to par with the rest of the industry.

Actor Gemma Arterton, who played the awfully named Strawberry Fields in 2008’s Quantum of Solace, saw inherent misogyny within her character, and Jesper Christensen, who played villain Mr White in Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace, had even harsher words.

Happily announcing that his “interlude as a villain in the James Bond series is over” at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival, the Danish actor added: “Today, I admit that I regard [Casino Royale] and [Quantum Of Solace] as really shit”.

He keeps exactly why he hates the 007 films close to his chest, but considering the latter was decimated by the effects of the writer’s strike, his dislike of the critically-bashed flick isn’t too surprising.

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A public disaster, the 2008 sequel to Casino Royale tracked Bond as he tried to stop a shadowy organisation from wiping out a valuable natural resource in the name of profit.

“On Quantum, we were fucked,” Craig once admitted, using similarly fruity language to Christensen, “We had the bare bones of a script, and then there was a writers’ strike, and there was nothing we could do. We couldn’t employ a writer to finish it.”

Still, despite Christensen hating his time on his first two Bond flicks when he was asked to return to the franchise by Sam Mendes for 2015’s Spectre, the actor happily obliged.

It’s exactly the sort of unpredictable duplicitousness we’d expect from a Bond villain.

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