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Much will be written about the finale of the Daniel Craig era of the James Bond 007 franchise in the next few weeks, as No Time to Die prepares to hit theaters, but the actor was looking to the past during a brief farewell speech to the cast and crew.
“A lot of people here worked on five pictures with me, and I know there’s a lot of things said about what I think about these films or all of those whatever. But I loved every single second of these movies, and especially this one, because I got up every morning, and I’ve had the chance to work with you guys. And that has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” said Craig, who can be seen surrounded by the production team, presumably right after the movie’s wrap. (He’s wearing a tux, so he’s definitely gone out in style.)
The moment was captured for the Being James Bond documentary currently streaming for free on Apple TV+. You can watch the clip below:
Immortalized as the sixth canon James Bond, and more recently as the grumpy dude on Twitter who announces it’s finally the weekend again, Craig has nevertheless had a contentious relationship with 007 during his tenure. After 15 years as MI6’s best secret agent, several on-set injuries, and all the public scrutiny that comes with playing one of the world’s most popular characters, the actor has at times had less than loving words about Mr. Bond.
During an interview with Time Out in 2015, just days after completing filming for his fourth outing as 007 in Spectre, Craig infamously had this to say about whether he’d consider doing a fifth 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.”
But would he ever change his mind?
“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. If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money.”
If he really was done, would he care about who replaced him?
“Look, I don’t give a fuck. Good luck to them! All I care about is that if I stop doing these things we’ve left it in a good place and people pick it up and make it better. Make it better, that’s all.”
We all know how that turned out, of course. Craig signed on to do a fifth film, a movie that does seem to be somewhat true to the actor playing the main character, since No Time to Die is in part about James Bond begrudgingly returning to MI6 years after he’s already been replaced as 007 (by Lashana Lynch’s badass Nomi, no less).
Whether it’s for show, or a true heartfelt sign off for this era of 007, Craig’s words this time around are much nicer to hear, and a much better exit from the franchise. And I, for one, have loved the work he’s done as Bond. He will be missed.
No Time to Die hits theaters on Sept. 30 in the UK and on Oct. 8 in the US.