Craig at the premiere of Spectre in 2015
Daniel Wroughton Craig
2 March 1968
|Alma mater||Guildhall School of Music and Drama|
(m. 1992; div. 1994)
Daniel Wroughton Craig (born 2 March 1968) is an English actor. After training at the National Youth Theatre and graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1991, Craig began his career on stage. He made his film debut in the drama The Power of One (1992) and attracted attention with appearances in the historical television war drama Sharpe's Eagle (1993), the family film A Kid in King Arthur's Court (1995), the television serial drama Our Friends in the North (1996), the biographical film Elizabeth (1998), the television film Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998), the indie war film The Trench (1999), the drama film Some Voices (2000), the action film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), the crime thriller film Road to Perdition (2002), the crime thriller film Layer Cake (2004), and the historical drama film Munich (2005).
Craig achieved international fame when he began starring as James Bond in the eponymous film series, taking over from Pierce Brosnan, beginning with Casino Royale (2006). It earned him a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He followed this with the sequels Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), which ranks as the series' highest-grossing film, Spectre (2015), and No Time to Die (2020).
Craig has continued to star in other films, such as the fantasy film The Golden Compass (2007), the historical film Defiance (2008), the science fiction western Cowboys & Aliens (2011), the mystery thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), the heist film Logan Lucky (2017), and the mystery film Knives Out (2019). The lattermost earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
Daniel Wroughton Craig was born in Chester on 2 March 1968. His mother, Carol Olivia (née Williams), was an art teacher, and his father, Timothy John Wroughton Craig, was a midshipman in the Merchant Navy before becoming the landlord of two Cheshire pubs: the Ring o' Bells in Frodsham and the Boot Inn in Tarporley. Craig has French Huguenot, Scottish, and Welsh ancestry. He counts Huguenot minister Daniel Chamier among his ancestors alongside Sir William Burnaby, 1st Baronet. His middle name, Wroughton, comes from his great-great-grandmother, Grace Matilda Wroughton. Craig was raised primarily on the Wirral Peninsula, and attended primary school in Frodsham and Hoylake, Merseyside. After failing his eleven-plus exam, he later attended Hilbre High School in West Kirby, Merseyside, along with his elder sister Lea (born 1965).
When his parents divorced, Craig and his sister lived with their mother and moved to Liverpool. Upon finishing his compulsory secondary school education at the age of 16, he briefly joined Calday Grange Grammar School as a sixth form student. He played rugby union for Hoylake RFC. He began acting in school plays at the age of six, and was introduced to serious acting by attending Liverpool's Everyman Theatre with his mother. At the age of 16, he was accepted into the National Youth Theatre; he left school and moved to London, where he worked part-time in restaurants to finance his training. Later, after multiple attempts at auditioning for drama schools, he was accepted at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating in 1991 after three years of study under Colin McCormack.
Early roles and breakthrough (1992–2005)
Craig appeared in his first screen role in 1992, playing an Afrikaner in The Power of One. He then appeared as Joe in the Royal National Theatre's production of Tony Kushner's Angels in America in November 1993. Also in 1993, Craig was featured in two episodes of the American television shows Zorro and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, and British shows Heartbeat, Between the Lines, Drop the Dead Donkey and Sharpe's Eagle. Craig was featured in the poorly received Disney film A Kid in King Arthur's Court (1995). In 1996, Craig starred in the BBC drama serial Our Friends in the North as the troubled George 'Geordie' Peacock. Appearing alongside Christopher Eccleston, Gina McKee and Mark Strong, Craig's part in the series is considered his breakthrough role. In the same year, Craig guest starred in an episode of the HBO horror anthology series Tales from the Crypt and was featured in the BBC television film Saint-Ex. Craig gave a lead performance in the Franco-German drama Obsession in 1997, about a love triangle between Craig's character and a couple.
Craig appeared in three films in 1998: the independent drama Love and Rage, the biographical drama Elizabeth, in which he played Jesuit priest John Ballard, who was executed for being involved in an attempt to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I of England in the Babington Plot, and the BBC television film Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998), in which Craig played small-time thief George Dyer who becomes the lover and muse of painter Francis Bacon, who was portrayed by Derek Jacobi. The following year, Craig starred in a television drama called Shockers: The Visitor and as Sergeant Telford Winter in the independent war film The Trench, which takes place in the confines of the trenches in the First World War during the 48 hours leading up to the Battle of the Somme. Craig played a schizophrenic man who falls in with a woman (played Kelly Macdonald) after being discharged from psychiatric hospital in the drama Some Voices (2000). Also in 2000, Craig co-starred alongside Toni Collette in the dark comedy Hotel Splendide and was featured in I Dreamed of Africa, based on the life of Kuki Gallmann (played by Kim Basinger).
Craig played a "tomb raider" and the romantic interest to Angelina Jolie's character Lara Croft in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), based on the video game series Tomb Raider. He later admitted to only accepting the role in the ill-received yet commercially successful film for the paycheque. In 2001, Craig also starred in the four-part Channel 4 drama Sword of Honour, based on the trilogy of novels of the same. Craig appeared in the anthology film Ten Minutes Older: The Cello (2002), starring in the segment "Addicted to the Stars", directed by Michael Radford. His second release of 2002 was Sam Mendes' crime film Road to Perdition with Tom Hanks and Paul Newman as Irish mobster Connor Rooney, the son of the crime organisation's boss, played by Newman. Craig portrayed German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg in the BBC television drama Copenhagen (2002), which depicts Heisenberg's involvement in the German nuclear weapon project during World War II. On stage, Craig starred opposite Michael Gambon in the original production of Caryl Churchill's play A Number from September to November 2002 at the Royal Court Theatre. Craig received a London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor nomination for his role as a man who is cloned twice by his father. Craig starred as poet Ted Hughes opposite Gwyneth Paltrow as Sylvia Plath in the biographical film Sylvia (2003), which depicts the romance between the two poets. In the same year, he appeared in The Mother as a man who engages in an affair with the much older mother (played by Anne Reid) of his lover and best friend.
The crime thriller Layer Cake, directed by Matthew Vaughn, starred Craig as a London-based cocaine supplier known only as XXXX. Los Angeles Times writer praised Craig's "stunningly suave performance", while Roger Ebert thought he was "fascinating" in the film. Craig next starred as a man who becomes dangerously close with a stranger (played by Rhys Ifans) after witnessing a deadly accident together in Enduring Love (2004). Craig appeared in three theatrical films in 2005, all of which were supporting roles. His first release of the year, was the thriller The Jacket starring Adrien Brody and Keira Knightley. He then made a brief appearance in the Hungarian film Fateless as a United States Army Sergeant who takes a liking to a teenage boy who survives life in concentration camps. Craig's third and final role of the year was a South African driver who is a part of a covert Israeli government assassination mission against eleven Palestinians allegedly involved in the Munich massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics. The film, Munich, directed by Steven Spielberg, starred Eric Bana as a member of the operation, a Mossad agent. Also in 2005, Craig starred in the BBC television film Archangel – based on Robert Harris' eponymous novel – as an English academic who stumbles upon a notebook believed to have belonged to Joseph Stalin.
James Bond and studio lead roles (2005–present)
In 2005, Craig was contacted by Eon Productions to portray James Bond. He stated he "was aware of the challenges" of the Bond franchise, which he considered "a big machine that makes a lot of money". He aimed at bringing more "emotional depth" to the character. Born in 1968, Craig is the first actor to portray James Bond to have been born after the Bond series started and after the death of Ian Fleming, the novels' writer. The casting choice caused significant controversy. Throughout the entire production period, internet campaigns expressed their dissatisfaction and threatened to boycott the film in protest. The 5-foot-10-inch (178 cm) blond Craig was not considered by some protesters to fit the tall, dark-haired Bond portrayed by the previous Bond actors, to which viewers had apparently become accustomed. Although the choice of Craig was controversial, numerous actors publicly voiced their support. Most notably four of the five actors who had previously portrayed Bond – Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton, Sean Connery and Roger Moore – called his casting a good decision. George Lazenby has since voiced his approval of Craig also. Clive Owen, who had been linked to the role, also spoke in defence of Craig.
The first film, Casino Royale, premiered on 14 November 2006, and grossed a total of US$594,239,066 worldwide, which made it the highest-grossing Bond film until the release of Skyfall. After the film was released, Craig's performance was highly acclaimed. As production of Casino Royale reached its conclusion, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli announced that pre-production work had already begun on the 22nd Bond film. After several months of speculation as to the release date, Wilson and Broccoli officially announced on 20 July 2006 that the follow-up film, Quantum of Solace, was to be released on 7 November 2008, and that Craig would play Bond with an option for a third film. On 25 October 2007, MGM CEO Harry Sloan revealed at the Forbes Meet II Conference that Craig had signed on to make four more Bond films, through to No Time to Die. Craig lent his voice and likeness as James Bond for both the Wii game GoldenEye 007, an enhanced remake of the 1997 game for the Nintendo 64, and James Bond 007: Blood Stone, an original game for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, and Microsoft Windows. In addition to Casino Royale, Craig also appeared in two more films in 2006: the drama Infamous as mass murderer Perry Edward Smith and as the voice of the lead character in the English-language version of the French animated film Renaissance. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences extended a membership invitation to Craig in 2006.
Craig starred opposite Nicole Kidman in the science fiction horror film The Invasion in 2007, the fourth film adaptation of the novel The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney. The film was met with a negative reception from critics, with Roger Ebert believing it to be the worst adaptation of Finney's novel. He portrayed Lord Asriel in The Golden Compass, the 2007 film adaptation of Philip Pullman's novel. Eva Green, who played Bond girl Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, also starred in the film, although she did not appear in any scenes with Craig. In a stage version of the book, Asriel had previously been played by Timothy Dalton, one of Craig's predecessors in the role of James Bond. In March 2007, Craig made a cameo appearance as himself in a sketch with Catherine Tate who appeared in the guise of her character Elaine Figgis from The Catherine Tate Show. The sketch was made for the BBC Red Nose Day 2007 fundraising programme. In 2008, Craig, along with Quantum of Solace, starred in the drama Flashbacks of a Fool alongside Emilia Fox, as a washed-up Hollywood actor who reflects upon his life and what might have been had he stayed in England, after the death of his childhood best friend. In his final release of 2008, the war film Defiance, Craig starred as Tuvia Bielski, the leader of the Bielski partisans, fighting in the forests of Belarus during World War II, saving 1,200 people.
He co-starred with Hugh Jackman in a limited engagement of the drama A Steady Rain, on Broadway, which played from 10 September through 6 December 2009 at the Schoenfeld Theatre. His performance received praise from the New York Times, with the reviewer writing "Mr. Craig, a highly reputable stage actor in London (“Angels in America,” “A Number”) before he became the screen's sixth James Bond, creates a more complete portrait as Joey." In August 2010, Craig was cast as crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist in David Fincher's 2011 adaptation of Stieg Larsson's novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In 2011, he starred in Dream House, a psychological thriller directed by Jim Sheridan and co-starring Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts and Marton Csokas. It garnered mostly negative reviews and low box office results. Craig co-starred with Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde in Cowboys & Aliens, an American science fiction Western film, based on Scott Mitchell Rosenberg's 2006 graphic novel of the same name. Craig provided his voice to Steven Spielberg's animated film The Adventures of Tintin in 2011, playing the villainous pirate Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine and his ancestor Red Rackham in a dual role.
The planned 19 April 2010 release of Craig's third Bond film (the 23rd overall in the series) was delayed, because of financial troubles with MGM; the film, titled Skyfall, was eventually released on 23 October 2012, as part of the year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. No. On 8 September 2012, Bond producers announced Craig had signed on for two future Bond films, meaning he would appear as 007 in at least five films, making him the third-longest-serving Bond after Roger Moore, who starred in seven Bond films, and Sean Connery who starred in six EON Bond films and one non-EON Bond film. Craig hosted the American late-night live television sketch comedy Saturday Night Live on 6 October 2012. He appeared in a sketch about "forgotten" Bond women, including Diane Keaton, Penny Marshall, Jodie Foster, Ellen DeGeneres, Lea Michele, and Molly Ringwald. He and his wife Weisz starred in a Broadway play titled Betrayal. It began performances in October 2013, and continued until January 2014. Despite mixed reviews, it grossed $17.5 million, becoming the second highest broadway play of 2013. Craig's fourth Bond film, Spectre, began filming in December 2014 and was released on 26 October 2015. His four Bond films released by Sony has earned a combined gross of $3.5 billion globally, after adjusting for inflation.
Prior to the inaugural Invictus Games held in London in September 2014, Craig along with other entertainers and athletes read the poem "Invictus" in a promotional video. He made an uncredited cameo appearance as a Stormtrooper in the Star Wars sequel Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015. Craig appeared in a modern production of William Shakespeare's tragedy Othello at the Off-Broadway New York Theatre Workshop throughout late 2016 and early 2017. The production starred David Oyelowo as the titular character and Craig as the main antagonist, Iago. Diane Snyder of The Daily Telegraph praised his "chilling" portrayal of Iago in the play. In 2017, Craig co-starred in Steven Soderbergh's comedy Logan Lucky, about two brothers who pull off a heist during a NASCAR race. Craig starred alongside Halle Berry in the drama Kings set during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. The film premiered in September 2017 and was distributed by The Orchard the following year; it was harshly reviewed by many film critics. In April 2018, Craig told the Associated Press that his fifth Bond film No Time to Die would be his next project; the film was to be directed by Danny Boyle, but its release date was delayed after Boyle left the project due to creative differences. It was ultimately directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga with a scheduled (North American) release date of 8 April 2020. In an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Craig confirmed that No Time to Die would be his last James Bond film.
During the delay of No Time to Die, Craig joined Rian Johnson's comedic murder-mystery Knives Out, as a detective investigating the sudden death of a family patriarch. The film was released by Lionsgate on 27 November 2019.
Opinions on Bond
Craig has described his portrayal of Bond as an anti-hero: "The question I keep asking myself while playing the role is, 'Am I the good guy or just a bad guy who works for the good side?' Bond's role, after all, is that of an assassin when you come down to it. I have never played a role in which someone's dark side shouldn't be explored. I don't think it should be confusing by the end of the film, but during the film you should be questioning who he is." Craig has stated that his own favourite previous Bond actor is Sean Connery, but says, "I'd never copy somebody else. I would never do an impression of anybody else or try and improve on what they did. That would be a pointless exercise for me." His own favourite Bond film is From Russia with Love. On an episode of The South Bank Show, Connery divulged his thoughts on Craig's casting as Bond, whom he described as "fantastic, marvellous in the part". When told that Craig had taken particular note of his performances, Connery said that he was "flattered" and that Craig really gets the "danger element" to Bond's character. Craig has remarked that Bond is "...actually a misogynist... A lot of women are drawn to him chiefly because he embodies a certain kind of danger and never sticks around for too long."
Craig participated in the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS fundraising 8 December 2009, raising $1,549,953 in the 21st annual Gypsy of the Year competition, from six weeks of curtain appeals at their hit Broadway drama, A Steady Rain.
He is involved with multiple charities including S.A.F.E. Kenya, which uses street theatre to address social issues. He is also involved with the Opportunity Network, which provides access to education for low-income students in New York. In 2011, he collaborated with Dame Judi Dench to highlight gender inequality for International Women's Day. In August 2014, he added his name to a letter to British broadcasters calling for better representation of ethnic minorities.
In April 2015, the United Nations appointed Craig the first global advocate for the elimination of mines and explosive hazards. The role involves raising awareness for the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), and political and financial support for the cause. Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Craig: "You have been given a licence to kill, I'm now giving you a licence to save."
In 1992, Craig married actress Fiona Loudon; they had a daughter named Ella before divorcing in 1994. He later began a relationship with German actress Heike Makatsch, which lasted for seven years before ending in 2004. He subsequently dated and was engaged to film producer Satsuki Mitchell from 2005 until 2010.
Craig and actress Rachel Weisz had been friends for many years, and worked together on the 2011 film Dream House. They began dating in December 2010. They were married in a private ceremony in New York City on 22 June 2011 with only four guests in attendance, including Craig's daughter and Weisz's son. It was reported on 1 September 2018 that their first child together, a daughter, had been born.
In October 2008, Craig paid £4 million for an apartment in a converted old house in the Primrose Hill area of London. He also has homes in the Tribeca neighbourhood of New York City and Sunninghill, Berkshire. He is an avid fan of Liverpool FC and is a rugby fan, having travelled to Australia in 2013 to watch the British and Irish Lions tour.
Craig is an atheist. He has been vocal about his opposition to Brexit. In 2016, he was pictured wearing a "Vote Remain" t-shirt which was adorned with the words, "No man is an island. No country by itself."
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|1993||Zorro||Lieutenant Hidalgo||2 episodes|
|Drop the Dead Donkey||Fixx||Episode: "George and His Daughter"|
|The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles||Schiller||Episode: "Palestine, October 1917"|
|Between the Lines||Joe Rance||Episode: "New Order"|
|Heartbeat||Peter Begg||Episode: "A Chilly Reception"|
|Screen Two||Lt. Guth||Episode: "Genghis Cohn"|
|Sharpe's Eagle||Lt. Berry||Television film|
|1996||Our Friends in the North||Geordie Peacock||8 episodes|
|Tales from the Crypt||Barry||Episode: "Smoke Wrings"|
|Kiss and Tell||Matt Kearney|
|The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders||James "Jemmy" Seagrave|
|1997||The Hunger||Jerry Pritchard||Episode: "Ménage à Trois"|
|The Ice House||DS Andy McLoughlin||Television film|
|1998||Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon||George Dyer|
|1999||Shockers: The Visitor||Richard|
|2001||Sword of Honour||Guy Crouchback|
|2005||Archangel||Prof. Fluke Kelso|
|2012||Saturday Night Live||Himself (host)||Episode: "Daniel Craig/Muse"|
|2014||Superheroes Unite for BBC Children in Need||Narrator (voice)||Television film|
|2017||Comrade Detective||Father Anton Streza (voice)||2 episodes|
|1993||Angels in America||Joe Pitt||Royal National Theatre|
|1997||Hurlyburly||Mickey||The Old Vic|
|2002||A Number (with Michael Gambon)||Bernard 1
|2009||A Steady Rain (with Hugh Jackman)||Joey||Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre|
|2013||Betrayal (with Rachel Weisz and Rafe Spall)||Robert||Ethel Barrymore Theatre|
|2016||Othello (with David Oyelowo)||Iago||New York Theatre Workshop|
|2008||007: Quantum of Solace||James Bond|
|James Bond 007: Blood Stone|
|1997||The Rover (with Andy Serkis)||Blunt||BBC Open University Productions (an educational theatrical performance available on DVD)|
|2012||Through Their Eyes||Himself||Produced by Omega and Orbis International. Documents Daniel Craig's visit to Mongolia with the Orbis medical team.|
Awards and nominations
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- The South Bank Show James Bond Special (2008)
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- "The Opportunity Network's 2016 Night of Opportunity Gala". Retrieved 12 April 2016.
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- "Stars Write To Broadcasters For Diversity". Look to the Stars. 21 August 2014.
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- Webster, Ben (16 October 2005). "Heike". The Sunday Times. London.
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- "The celebrities that support Brexit (and the ones backing Remain)". The Independent. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
- Hidalgo, Pablo (3 July 2016). "Yeah, same with Infinity". @pablohidalgo. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
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- Marshall, Sarah (2007). Daniel Craig: The Biography. John Blake Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84454-454-7.
- O'Brien, Daniel (2007). Daniel Craig – Ultimate Professional. Reynolds & Hearn Ltd. ISBN 978-1-905287-44-4.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Daniel Craig.|
- Daniel Craig on IMDb
- Daniel Craig at the Internet Broadway Database
- Daniel Craig at Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Daniel Craig at AllMovie
- Daniel Craig at People.com
- Daniel Craig biography and credits at the BFI's Screenonline
- Detailed biography from Tiscali Film & TV
- Personal interview on "being Bond", Parade Magazine 26 Oct 2008
- Works by or about Daniel Craig in libraries (WorldCat catalog)