DriveTribe Spends a Few Minutes with James Bond aka Daniel Craig
The actor waves the green flag for a NASCAR race in Charlotte on the weekend No Time to Die is released in America
It was an odd and somewhat surprising mix Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. NASCAR and James Bond couldn’t be more different yet standing there in the flagstand waving the green flag to start the race was the latest James Bond, actor Daniel Craig.
NASCAR and the Speedway had somehow gotten Craig, who is promoting his newest Bond film, No Time to Die, to come to Charlotte and be the honorary starter.
That’s how I, representing DriveTribe, was among a handful of reporters who got to spend a few minutes with Craig prior to the race.
Of course, being a car guy, I was dying to know if Craig considers himself a car guy, especially given all the cars that are associated with the Bond franchise, and if he had his own car collection.
“It’s quite small actually,” he said smiling. “Because It would get out of hand very quickly if I went down that road.”
So what does the actor who plays the worlds most recognized spy, one who wheels all manner of supercars, drive when he’s off the set?
Answer: An Audi RS6.
“It’s quite pokey,” Craig said grinning.
Many of the cars Bond drives in the movies are Aston Martins. And one of the perks that go along with that is being able to test for Aston.
“Aston has been incredible to me,” he said adding that he gets to spend time at such places as the Aston Martin Test & Development Centre, located on Stowe Circuit, Silverstone.
I mentioned the interview I had with Charlie Noble the Special Effects Supervisor for the movie. Noble talked about how some cars had to be replaced in a shot. Craig said he had little to worry about when it came to damaging a DB5.
“The way I treat them?” he said chuckling, “I just drive them. Listen those guys do an incredible job; the DB5, we tricked out 10 of them to get one shot. The DB5 is about a $2 million motor car and we can’t really pass them around too much so we make them out of carbon fiber, put little race engines in them, do a job on the suspension; I got a chance to drive those and that was a lot of fun. "
An interview with the special effects supervisor on the 25th James Bond movie
His days as James Bond have come to a close. No Time to Die is the fifth and final installment with Daniel Craig in the lead role as James Bond, the sixth in the line stretching back to 1962.
Now that it’s over, what’s next for Craig? He said he is already working on his future having just completed a second installment of Knives Out where he plays Benoit Blanc a private detective.
“We finished that off about three months ago,” he said. “That comes out next year. And then we have a play on Broadway next year, maybe a little Shakespeare.
“But staying home and being with family is what I want to do right now.”
Craig said he was an avid Bond fan before being earning the role, adding he watched Bond movies as soon as they came out.
Now that he’s completed his final movie as James Bond, will he miss the character he helped mold?
Craig first played the iconic role in Casino Royale in 2006. (Photo MGM)
“Of course,” he said without hesitation. “It’s been amazing, but it’s time to move on.”
And he isn’t thinking about any sort of legacy.
“I’ll leave that to others to decide, what that is,” he said. “I’ve tried to leave it in as good a place as I possibly can. It’s an amazing franchise, I hope it lasts for a long time after me. Whoever’s going to do it, just make it their own with it.
“All I ever tried to do was instill him with a bit of life. I felt like a guy who killed people for a living might study it a bit in his head, so I just wanted to bring that into it. I was given so many opportunities with it, such an amazing depth with it; Casino Royale was a love story where he got his heart broken, that sort of followed everything I’ve done since then. “
No Time to Die had a delayed release due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Craig is glad it’s finally out.
No Time to Die is the last movie where Craig will play James Bond. (EPK)
“I’m just grateful it’s in the cinemas and people are getting a chance to see it,” he said. “I’m very proud of it as I am with all the movies. I just want people to go see it. It’s what we do, we are a social species, we need to get together.”
There was another thing he missed due to the delay, however.
“It’s been very emotional,” he said. “One of things I missed with not being able to get the film into theaters was getting to hang out with the cast and the crew. Ordinarily when you do a movie like this, you get to say goodbye to each other; you get to come back and celebrate, and I thought we were going to be able to do that and have a little fun.”
Craig was part of the movie Logan Lucky where he played Joe Bang
Craig did have a small NASCAR connection prior to last Sunday. In 2017 he was part of the movie Logan Lucky where he played Joe Bang, a redneck serving time in prison who is known for safe cracking. The plot involved a robbery during a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Craig’s speedway scenes were filmed at Atlanta Motor Speedway) and featured cameos from six NASCAR drivers.
That of course begs the question: Now that his days as James Bond have ended, might there be another NASCAR themed movie in his future?
“Why have you got a script?” Craig said with a laugh.