“Casino Royale” Director Martin Campbell Worried That Other Bond Actors Were More “Sexy” Than Daniel Craig

In a recent interview with Express UK, “Casino Royale” director Martin Campbell expressed his worries that Daniel Craig wasn’t seductive enough to play James Bond when his name was put forward to take Pierce Brosnan’s position as 007. The director had previously helmed Brosnan in the acclaimed 1995 Bond tentpole “GoldenEye,” and at the time, he was returning to the series to introduce a new 007 after Brosnan’s departure following 2002’s “Die Another Day.”

Campbell stated, “My only reticence with Daniel…he was really a superb actor, there’s no doubt about that. It was the fact that with people like Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan was that they were all traditional-looking Bonds. All handsome guys, all sexy, all very attractive to women and so forth. Daniel was obviously tougher and rugged, but he wasn’t a traditional handsome guy, so I just thought about that for a minute and apart from that, absolutely it was always him.”

According to Campbell, “eight people” were vying to play the role of the next Bond in “Casino Royale.” He described how candidates were chosen, “It’s very democratic. You sit around a table…It was myself and the producers, casting director, etc. And you go through the eight people and you put your hand up as you talk through each person and ultimately everybody has to be unanimous in their decision if you see what I mean.” Long before he would become DC’s Superman, Henry Cavill was one of the actors that was considered for the role of Bond at the time. While Cavill “looked great in the audition” and “his acting was tremendous,” according to Campbell, “he just looked a little young at that time back then.”

Craig’s final casting in “Casino Royale” did not receive universal acclaim. Debbie McWilliams, a veteran Bond casting director, admitted to Entertainment Weekly in 2021 that she “felt sorry” for Craig after his casting caused intense backlash from the media, which believed Craig didn’t match the part of Bond. Regarding the response to Craig’s casting, McWilliams commented, “It was unbelievably negative, I have to say, The press response was awful and I felt so sorry for him, but in a funny kind of a way I think it almost spurred him on to do his damndest to prove everybody wrong.”

“The whole way through the film, stuff would come out about [how] he couldn’t walk and talk, he couldn’t run, he couldn’t drive a car properly, so much stuff which was completely and utterly untrue,” she continued. “And he just kept his head down, got on with the job and then the film came out and everybody went, ‘Oh wow, I think we quite like him after all.’”

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