skyfall banner*As the North American release date for “Skyfall” draws nears, it is quite interesting that Daniel Craig is being hailed as the “best Bond ever” and even one of the world’s most influential men.

But back in 2008 when being interviewed for “Quantum of Solace,” Craig was still being disdainfully referred to as the “blond Bond.” When in New York promoting “…Solace,” The Film Strip made the blond Bond blush when he was asked about being the brunt of reversed bigotry.

“I mean, what can you do?,” he laughed. “‘You’re blond,’ ‘you’re too blond.’ I’m too blond?” he quipped.  “Someone said to me, ‘Did you ever think about dyeing your hair?’ And I went, ‘god, no!’

The whole thing was a nightmare to think about. Most of criticism was directed through the Internet.” A detractor even set up a site in protest his selection.  Fast forward to 2012 and critics and audiences alike have embraced Craig. Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson were determined to sign on Craig and defied naysayers when the heat was on in after it was announced he would be the next Bond.

Although it was never said, the producers most likely were banking on Craig’s Steve McQueen likeness. McQueen was one of the 60s and 70s most touted actors. McQueen was tagged as “King of Cool” and one of the “biggest and baddest” onscreen performers. Suffice to say, the blond hair and blue eyes did not hamper McQueen’s popularity with men and women alike. With Craig, however, he has an extensive background in theater. He is surely capable of any emotional task directors present to him. Craig was concerned when first offered the role of 007 because he did not want to be typecast. That should not had been a concern because he is different in every role. Watching him in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” conjured up no images of 007, nor “Defiance,” “Cowboys & Aliens” or “Dream House.”

daniel craig With the success of “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace,” that both also starred Jeffrey Wright, Craig continues to receive praise for re-igniting the 50-year-old James Bond franchise. Joining Craig (007) and Judi Dench (M) in “Skyfall” are newcomers Naomi Harris (Moneypenny), Javier Bardem (Silva), Ben Whishaw (Q), Berenice Marlohe (Severine) and Ralph Fiennes (Gareth Mallory). When interviewed earlier this year, Fiennes was very secretive about his role in “Skyfall.”  Not wanting to give away any spoilers, it’s understandable why he said very little.  In the game changing “Skyfall,” James Bond has a back story that gives you some insight into his persona.

Daniel, what was it like exploring the personal side of Bond?  
Nobody told me that we couldn’t make an action film with a good story. We always go back to Ian Fleming when we discuss the film. If you look at the novels, he’s so conflicted. I mean, Fleming tries to kill him off. He gets really pissed at him. He’s a killer you know. He kills for a living. It’s really kind of a dark place he goes to but what I’m so proud about this movie is that the writing is so good and the lightness of touch is back that we wanted so much; that we all desperately wanted. You need good writing for that and hopefully that’s what we’ve done. Having that, we’ve combined it with a very emotional story. I just think that good action movies have good storylines.

Getting back to the back story, it was great seeing that.
Yeah. I mean, it’s about families. This one’s a little bit about families and parents and children and you know, not in a heavy way. That’s part of the plot, to go back to his childhood just to sort of destroy it really so he can move on. You know, begin again.

It’s interesting that you were concerned at one point of being typecast and now you’ll be going into Bond 24 and Bond 25?
 I think that fear was there a bit when Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson asked me originally. I was just a little bewildered that they would even come to me. It wasn’t really on my radar. Being typecast is a concern but when you weigh in on it, it’s not a bad thing to be typecast as James Bond. Is it really? I’m incredibly proud and lucky to be in the position I’m in here, especially to have made this film and to be around when it’s celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Syndicated columnist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]