James Bond auditions: Casino Royale director shares details of ‘intense’ Daniel Craig test

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In the nearly 60-year history of the James Bond film franchise, only six actors have officially played Ian Fleming’s 007. Being such a coveted role and the face of the brand, it’s no surprise that EON Productions takes the rare Bond auditions very seriously. The last time the screen tests took place was in the mid-2000s when Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson were looking for Pierce Brosnan’s replacement.

The Bond producers had rehired GoldenEye director Martin Campbell, who a decade earlier had successfully rebooted Bond with Brosnan for the post-Cold War era.

Now it was the Kiwi director’s job to do it again with Casino Royale, going back to 007’s roots from when the spy earned his License to Kill.

Speaking to the James Bond Radio podcast, Campbell recalled: “I tested eight Bonds for that. One of them, of course, is Daniel Craig.

“The test is quite intense. There is always a scene from From Russia with Love.”

READ MORE: James Bond Auditions: Why Was Daniel Craig Picked Over Henry Cavill?

James Bond auditions: Casino Royale director shares details of ‘intense’ Daniel Craig test (Image: MGM)

Craig, Campbell, Broccoli, Wilson

Martin Campbell (to Daniel Craig’s right) with Bond producers at the announcement of the new 007 in 2005 (Image: GETTY)


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Campbell, who was promoting his new film The Protégé, continued:[It] is a simple scene where Bond enters his hotel room, takes off his coat, takes off his shoulder holster, puts them on the couch, starts taking a bath, senses someone else is in the apartment, crosses the balcony, goes in and lies there the girl in bed.”

During this scene, made famous by Sean Connery in 1963’s From Russia with Love, Bond is wrapped in a towel and holding a gun.

The director continued: “She has the Lektor [cipher] machine and what Bond has to do is . . . seduce one and make two switch sides to keep the Lektor.”

“So it’s both temptation when he seduces her, not only to put her to bed, but also to get the Lektor machine.”

bond movies

The James Bond movie franchise (Image: EXPRESS)

Campbell added: “So in a funny way it includes all the Bond elements. How does he take off his coat when he enters? How does he take off his shoulder holster?

“Well, the answer to that is very frugal and very neat. He doesn’t fiddle. Bond never fiddles. And so it contains all those elements.”

During the Casino Royale Bond auditions, the director and 007 producers tested eight men, one a day.

The 77-year-old said: “So it’s not a cheap process. We had a full crew and I think two of the scenes were from the new script and one was the From Russia with Love scene.”

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Aside from Craig, future Superman Henry Cavill auditioned, as did Avatar’s Sam Worthington and ER star Goran Visnjic.

Campbell said: “So we tested all those people and we edit the thing together and then we look at it and we decide.

“But Daniel was clearly the best actor, there was no doubt about it. The most experienced and the best actor.

“And Barbara [Broccoli] was the one pushing for Daniel and she was absolutely right because of course Daniel continued to prove how good he was.”

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