Daniel Craig has explained the long wait for the new James Bond film, saying he suffered anxiety over the role and felt he physically wasn’t up to playing 007 again.
No Time To Die comes five years after the actor’s last outing as the British agent in Spectre, and has now faced further delays due to coronavirus.
In an interview with GQ magazine, Craig, who returns for his fifth and final outing as the spy, said he struggled with the physicality of preparing for the films.
“I was never going to do one again,” the star said.
“I was like, ‘Is this work really genuinely worth this, to go through this, this whole thing?’ And I didn’t feel… I felt physically really low.
“So the prospect of doing another movie was just, like, off the cards. And that’s why it has been five years.”
Spectre, released in 2015, was reported to be Craig’s last time playing Bond, with the star saying at the time that “I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists” than play the character again.
In his new interview, the 52-year-old said preparing to play one of the most famous characters in modern cinema without seeing scripts beforehand caused him to have anxiety.
“I have suffered from it in the past,” he said. “I have suffered because it’s been like, ‘I can’t cope. I can’t deal with this.'”
Another reason for the delay with No Time To Die was the change in directors, with Cary Joji Fukunaga stepping in after the departure of Danny Boyle.
Fleabag creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge was also brought in to work on the script.
Craig said he had regrets about not speaking up about the scripts for the previous four Bond films he starred in.
“I’ve kept my mouth shut before and I’ve stayed out of it and I’ve respected it and I’ve regretted that I did,” he told GQ.
Looking ahead to life after the spy, Craig, who is married to actress Rachel Weisz, said his future may involve “having another kid, maybe just being older”.
On future acting roles, he said: “I’m pretty sure I can play just about anything.
“Yeah. I’m pretty sure I can, or at least I can make a f****** good fist of it.”
Craig also said No Time To Die will have references to Donald Trump.
“We struggled to keep Trump out of this film, but of course it is there,” Craig said.
“It’s always there, whether it’s Trump, or whether it’s Brexit, or whether it’s Russian influence on elections or whatever…”
No Time To Die stars Lea Seydoux, Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch and Ana De Armas, alongside Craig, and finds Bond after he has left active service and is enjoying a more peaceful life in Jamaica.
But that doesn’t last long, of course, with 007’s old CIA friend Felix Leiter, played by Jeffrey Wright, turning up asking for help with a mission.
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Fukunaga says the film – which is the 25th in the legacy – will be “a culmination of all that Bond has become” over the years.
Teenage star Billie Eilish performs the theme tune, and showcased the song for the first time at the Brit Awards in February.
Originally due to hit UK cinemas in April, the release of No Time To Die has been pushed back to 12 November due to concerns about coronavirus.
It is not the only major entertainment event to be called off, with Disney axing a European launch event in London for its new Disney+ streaming service last week and several music stars cancelling gigs.