Renowned for taciturn answers and keeping his private life just that, GABRIELLE DONNELLY discovers what makes Bond star Daniel Craig tick…
You really wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of Daniel Craig. Oh, he’s affable enough when we meet this crisp Beverly Hills morning in a posh hotel just off Wilshire Boulevard, and looking elegantly tousled with golden stubble adorning his manly jaw and a set of muscles, impressive even by Hollywood standards, bursting from a black T-shirt.
But if you ask him a question he doesn’t want to answer – anything about his personal life, his Christmas plans, who his favourite Liverpool Football Club player was when he was a boy or, heaven forbid, anything about his marriage last year to actress Rachel Weisz – then he will politely explain that he’d rather not talk about that, thank you very much. And, perfectly pleasantly, he’ll sit and wait for you to change the subject.
There is only the occasional tightening of that same stubbled jaw and a splinter of ice in those mesmerising pale blue eyes to suggest that, were one to not to change the subject, but instead point out that the reason that he is sitting here is that he chose to enter a profession where success guarantees a certain sacrifice of privacy; and that he is currently receiving a great deal of money for portraying probably the single most famous character in contemporary British cinema; and in view of that, he might just toss the hard-working journalist a funny anecdote or two for her readers – well, in that case, Daniel might not be very happy. And the prospect of an unhappy Daniel is enough to send even the most hard-nosed interviewer scurrying down her list of questions for less intrusive fare.
To his credit, he does acknowledge that his personal life is his Achilles heel when it comes to interviews. “And it’s nothing I should complain about really, because I also have huge benefits out of being who I am. But the fact is that privacy is a hugely important part of my life, and this being a… celebrity…makes me nervous, actually.There is a side of my life that I just choose not to share and not to discuss. I think people’s private life is something private, and that’s that.”
He was born on 2 March 1968 in Chester and brought up on Merseyside, the son of Carol Olivia Craig, an art teacher, and Timothy Craig, a pub landlord, who divorced, amicably, when he was small. He and his older sister, Lea, seem to have had a happy childhood nevertheless, and Daniel has been interested in acting since he was very young. “There’s an essay that my mother kept that I wrote at school when I was six, saying I wanted to be an actor,” he admits now. “I don’t remember writing it, but I do remember that I had a toy Winchester rifle and that my friends and I used to go out to the sand dunes and we’d pretend to shoot each other and roll down the hills. I think that early pretending to be dead was the first acting I ever did!”
This is just a snippet of the full interview featured in the November issue of Candis Magazine.