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CASINO ROYALE

About The Production
With his starring role in CASINO ROYALE, Daniel Craig joins the elite group of actors who have donned the impeccably tailored tuxedo of quintessential superspy James Bond. Described by longtime Bond franchise producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli as "the definitive British actor of his generation,” Craig says he was honored to be asked to play the iconic MI6 agent, but he was especially drawn to CASINO ROYALE because of the emotional complexity of the script and the way his character evolves throughout the course of the film.

"In this film James Bond is a darker character, which is how Ian Fleming originally wrote him,” says the actor. "We start right at the beginning of Bond's career, when he has a lot of rough edges. He's a loner, and he doesn't like to get involved with people. As the movie goes on, though, he becomes more refined.”

In conducting their exhaustive search for a new lead actor for the 21st installment of the phenomenally successful franchise, Wilson and Broccoli turned to a tried-and-true approach. "When we audition for the role of Bond, we ask actors to do the scene in From Russia with Love, where Bond meets Tatiana Romanova for the first time,” says Wilson. "That scene has everything you want to know about a potential Bond: drama, romance and action.”

Craig passed the test with flying colors, according to Broccoli. "As soon as we met him, Daniel was the obvious choice for James Bond. He is charismatic, versatile and sexy. The role is a big challenge, but he has proven to us that he is an incredible Bond.”

Craig, whose previous screen credits include Munich, Road to Perdition and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, was working in Baltimore when he got the news he had landed the coveted role. "I was on my own, so I went out alone to have a drink and celebrate. Of course, I couldn't very well start telling people in the bar, ‘I'm James Bond!' They probably would have thrown me out, or called the hospital to collect me.”

However, Craig says, as soon as the reality of the situation sank in, he was anxious to begin preparing for the role. Knowing the physical challenges he would face, the actor embarked on a rigorous fitness regimen to prepare for the shoot. The effort paid off as soon as production began in Modrany Studio outside Prague. The first scene he shot was the pulse-pounding chase sequence in which Bond pursues would-be bomber Mollaka through the Nambutu Embassy.

"I wanted to do as much of the action work as I could so that the audience can see it's me and it's real,” says Craig. "I feel like I became a sportsman of sorts, and that meant acquiring injuries and carrying on, bashing through to the next level of pain. Although Gary Powell and his stunt team did fantastic work to make sure that everything was as safe as possible, if you don't get bruised playing Bond, you're not doing it properly.”

"Daniel will be a revelation to the audience,” predicts director Martin Campbell, who also directed Pierce Brosnan in his Bond debut, GoldenEye. "He combines toughness with charm and a sense of humor, and because this is a much more character-driven story, his depth and gravitas are a perfect match for the role. At the same time, he's in great physical shape and proved himself to be excellent in the action scenes.”

Craig repays the compliment, crediting Campbell with galvanizing the cast and crew and even more importantly, translating the electricity on the set to excitement on the big screen. "Martin fires everyone up. You obviously need that level of energy in the action sequences, but it's equally valuable in quieter, dramatic scenes like the poker tournament.”

After an extensive search, the filmmakers offered French actress Eva Green the role of Vesper Lynd, the alluring and enigmatic beauty who steals the heart of the seemingly imperme

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