In an interview with Express UK, Casino Royale director Martin Campbell revealed that he was concerned that actor Daniel Craig wasn’t as good-looking as other Bond actors to be cast as James Bond. Daniel’s name had been suggested in a list of other actors to replace the previous bond, Pierce Brosnan.
Martin had previously directed Pierce in the 1995 Bond film “GoldenEye” and was returning to direct a new Bond movie after Pierce’s exit after “Die Another Day” which was released in 2002.
“My only reticence with Daniel…he was really a superb actor, there’s no doubt about that,” began Martin.
“It was the fact that 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,” he shared.
“So I just thought about that for a minute and apart from that, absolutely it was always him.”
As per Martin, there were eight contenders for the role.
Explaining the process of selection he said, “So I just thought about that for a minute and apart from that, absolutely it was always him.”
“You sit around a table…It was myself the producers, the 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.”
Interestingly Henry Cavill was one of the actors who was being considered for the role during that time. Talking about Henry, Martin said that he “looked great in the audition” and “his acting was tremendous,” but “he just looked a little young at that time back then.”
Ultimately, Daniel was cast for the role. However, his selection did not win praise from all sides especially the media who thought he didn’t fit the part.
“It was unbelievably negative, I have to say,” said longtime Bond casting director Debbie McWilliams in an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2021.
“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.”
Consequently, Daniel played the iconic 007 in five movies. He said his goodbye to the role in 2021 after his last Bond movie “No Time to Die.”