I had to ask, because I absolutely adore him. Now, you might be asking; Bond, who. Well, James Bond of course, who else did you think I was talking about, silly? Trouble is though; this old man has had so many changes over the years since long before I was born. And throughout my adult life, I have been gleefully watching re-runs of the master spy’s derring-do’s. He’s aged well too, don’t you think. After all, he must be in his eighties by now. In his latest epic adventure, Spectre, this time played by British-born actor, Daniel Craig, he continues to look lovely with his short, cropped, sandy-blonde hair, piercing eyes and those muscles.
It’s pure coincidence, really, we’d just had another dose of re-runs which ended with a tired-looking 007, played by Sir Roger Moore, all in plaster of Paris, struggling to keep it up right to the end with his latest bombshell, Octopussy. Just a week or so later, just when I thought all the muscle-bulking, skin toning and face lifts had done James some good, his pretender, Daniel Craig, announces to the paparazzi that he’d much rather ‘slit his wrists’ than endure another three years of shooting a Bond movie.
Movie fanatics like me can be quite cynical when their heroes let them down sometimes. We had to wonder what’s going on. Rumor has it that what Craig has purportedly said is all nonsense. But without much further reading into Craig’s alleged musings, it did begin to make sense to me. Let’s see now, he’s made four high-grossing thrillers already and in today’s currency we’re talking about millions. So, perhaps Mr. Craig has decided to bank his winnings, from the ticket offices to the roulette tables, and return to something that he truly loves doing.
And if all else fails, he still has his millions to Skyfall back on, right? Daniel Craig’s reputable passion is stage acting, so you begin to understand his frustration in continuing to rehearse all the high drama action sequences and cheesy one-liners (which I absolutely love, so don’t you laugh). But of all the handsome men who have played the master spy and not-so perfect gentleman over the years, it is only Timothy Dalton who has a better reputation than Craig for high, dramatic art. Dalton had been doing it for years before he was called up to reprise the role of James Bond after Roger Moore’s sudden retirement from the game.
I rather thought that Timothy Dalton was turning out to be a pretty good spy after the Broccoli family decided to can him. And so it turned out that after the first missed call, Irishman, Pierce Brosnan became Bond no. 4. He realized his childhood acting dream of playing James Bond for real and threw everything he had into the role. Nowhere near as talented an actor as his predecessor was, Brosnan was loved the world over and made millions for the Bond franchise. He was approaching something of a record when that family suddenly announced that Bond needed a make-over.
I missed him already by the time the more serious and quite brilliant reprisal of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale surprised the world. The producers’ stunt had paid off after all. But before Craig, Brosnan and Dalton, there was always Roger Moore, and as children we enjoyed watching him. I remember squealing every time the giant Jaws flashed his metal teeth at Commander Bond. But even as early as the sixties, long before our time, Bond was enduring something of a mid-life crisis. He looked awfully odd in his quilted shirts and kilt and was unconvincingly far too polite with the ladies.
Even the crooks couldn’t help laughing at the poor bugger. Anyway, poor old George Lazenby was booted out of service after just one tour on her Majesty’s Secret Service. The Australian born model-turned actor never made another splash and sadly drowned out his career making cameo appearances in soft-porn movies. Ok, I admit, I saw one, and was horrified to see a much older George Lazenby calmly keep his nerve while some tart stripped down to her, well, you get the picture.
Gosh, when you’re having so much fun reminiscing you sometimes forget the time. So, without further ado, let’s return to my question; who’s your favorite James Bond. Over twenty-odd films have been made to date, played by no fewer than eight actors, if you count legendary British actors David Niven and the world’s funniest ever funny man, Peter Sellers. But through the years, those familiar introductions could never quite match the very first and dramatic introduction of ‘Bond, James Bond’ in the first spy adventure, Dr. No, made by Scotsman, Sir Sean Connery. Connery’s distinctive accent was to die for.
There have been many evil villains too. This time, the likeable German actor, Christoph Waltz, cheeses off Daniel Craig in Spectre. But let’s assume that Craig means business. What now? The Bond franchise will continue, thank goodness. But who’s going to play 007 next time? For very obvious reasons it won’t be my favorite action man, Denzel Washington, nor will it be body-builder-turned actor-turned politician-turned actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Connery’s fellow-Scotsman, Ewan McGregor, has been putting up his paws for a number of years during his travels. But my smart money (and looks) tells me that handsome Orlando Bloom would make a fine debutant and could grow well into the role for the next ten years or so. But you will have your own preference or taste in men, no matter what genre they play or how they behave and look in public. Why don’t you let the world know (and me, of course) who you think should be the next James Bond.