The James Bond franchise is iconic for its dapper leading men, enigmatic Bond girls, and cinematic theme songs. With 24 official Eon-produced James Bond films released since 1962, the series has earned a powerful reputation in the box office, and pop culture. The most recent James Bond is played by Daniel Craig, who has starred in the last four Bond films since 2006 following the performance of Pierce Brosnan. Craig’s last stunt as 007 will be in the upcoming film, No Time to Die. In 2015, Craig had just starred in Spectre and DuJour’s Jason Binn arranged for Craig to be interviewed by playwright Martin McDonagh. Below is a snippet of their conversation featured in DuJour‘s fall 2015 issue:
Martin McDonagh: I’m assuming you don’t care who plays Bond next…
Daniel Craig: NO!
But do you like playing him?
When I first started, they offered me a blank page, really, and what that means is I was allowed to add my own bits. I wanted there to be gags, and I wanted there to be funny bits, but I wanted them to come from a fresh place.
Do you get nervous doing the stunts?
You always get nervous a bit. There was this part where I’d fucked up my knee halfway through shooting, which curtailed a lot of the serious action stuff. I’m so fucking gung ho about wanting to do every stunt I can, I had to ask, “What can I do, and what can’t I do?”
How involved do you get in the scripts?
As much as I possibly can without treading on toes, although you have to offend some people sometimes to move on. I wanted desperately for Sam Mendes to do this movie, but at the time he had other commitments. I said he’s got to do it. We started something with him on the last movie, the beginning of a relationship with a director I haven’t had in a long time. Then there was that added pressure because the last movie was huge and everyone’s asking, “What are you going to do now?” We’ve got to make a better movie, that’s what we’re going to do!
Does that involve making it a bigger money-making movie?
Not for me. The idea that we’re going to make a lot of money from these, even now, is a strange one. That’s not how I started out. If they got into a cinema, “Yay! Success!”
And you probably can’t put your finger on why the last one made so much more than the previous ones.
Hollywood would disagree, wouldn’t they? They’d say going big is how you make lots of money, but I think, How many times have you watched that fail?
Since then, Craig signed on for one last Bond film–the 25th Bond film. Originally slated to be released in April 2020, No Time to Die was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the postponement, in January 2020, it was announced that Billie Eilish would be the performer of the film’s theme song, accompanied by her brother and creative partner, Finneas O’Connell, as the co-writer and producer. “No Time to Die” would join the ranks alongside past Bond theme songs such as “Goldfinger” by Shirley Bassey and “Skyfall” by Adele.
Given her powerful narrative and revolutionary artistry, it feels fitting that Eilish would be tapped as the voice of the 2020 Bond theme song. She told DuJour back in 2018, “I feel like there are so few girls who feel okay with being something more than ‘pretty’ and it breaks my heart because I know how badass girls are, and I know what girls are capable of.” With the newly released music video for the title track, “No Time to Die,” featuring clips of Craig in the film and Eilish poetically performing, the youngest-ever singer to write and record a Bond theme is certainly showing us what she is capable of.
Watch the official music video below.