Remember all the fun we had last year finding neat similarities between The Social Network and Citizen Kane? Good times! Get ready for more of that same sort of cordial debate now that Daniel Craig has compared The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to classic adult thrillers of the ’70s like The Godfather. But hey, no pressure, Mr. Fincher! Craig’s complete interview with Tom Chirella can be found at Esquire.com. Choice excerpts right here.
What is certain, however, is that Daniel Craig wants to make movies for adults. Did he actually say that?
Directly. Listen to him speak on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: “It’s as adult as you can possibly make it. This is adult drama. I grew up, as we fucking all did, watching The Godfather and that, movies that were made for adults. And this is a $100 million R-rated movie. Nobody makes those anymore. And Fincher, he’s not holding back. They’ve given him free rein. He showed me some scenes recently, and my hand was over my mouth, going, Are you fucking serious?”
He raises his eyes, looks upward to describe what he saw in a set of Fincher’s dailies that startled him this way. You can imagine — the book contains sodomy and torture chambers and lighting people on fire. And yet, “it’s not that he simply showed me footage that was horribly graphic,” Craig says. “It was stuff that was happening, or had happened. And somehow you don’t see it.”
What’s that mean?
This is the adult thing: to not be obvious about it. “There’s more than one way to sense violence,” he says. “Much more powerful ways than seeing it step-by-step.”
About Jim Sheridan’s Dream House and James Bond 23:
The release of Dream House was delayed seven months largely by Craig’s scheduling conflicts. Sheridan is sanguine about the trade-off that came with employing the world’s most in-demand actor. “Ah, it took forever,” he says. “Daniel just got very busy and we needed to do these reshoots. But I really think he’s one of the very good British actors. They are not many, you know? I suppose you’d say Ralph Fiennes and a few others, but they always dwell in the area of being, you know, very good actors. But who was the last great British star, really? Was it Peter O’Toole? Daniel Day-Lewis? Is he a star or an actor? Ewan McGregor looked like he would be for a while. I don’t think he is anymore. And what about Jude Law? He seems to have gone back a bit, yeah? I think Daniel is a star. Or he can be a star.”
Before he hangs up, Sheridan says of Dream House: “Daniel is terrific in this. Very vulnerable, very damaged, very lovable. Great, great acting. Very accommodating man.” He hums a little, pondering across the ocean’s breadth of our phone connection. “I’m just trying to think of something funny that happened. If I thought about one, I’d come back to you.”
So not one word about the next installment of Bond, which he refers to simply as Bond 23?
“No-no-no, Sam’s gonna do it, Sam Mendes, and I’m really fucking really lookin’ forward to the fact that he’s gonna do it,” he says, snapping to. Mendes directed him in the gloomy thriller Road to Perdition in 2002. Craig tricks out a little smirk then. A concession, a comfort maybe.
“This has become my way, it’s as simple as that,” he says. “I mean, since I’ve just become James Bond. And I think, you know, that means being something that people feel they own. And all of the sudden I’m getting magazine covers, when I got nothing for ten years before that. I say it’s just pure luck. And doing covers, people interviewing me, and they want to know everything and I’m going, I’m not gonna fucking tell you!”