Wroughton Craig (born 2 March 1968) is an English
actor. His early film roles included The Power
of One, A Kid in King Arthur's Court and the television
episodes Sharpe's Eagle and The Young Indiana
Jones Chronicles: Daredevils of the Desert. He
went on to star in his breakthrough performance
Layer Cake and also Lara Croft: Tomb Raider opposite
became the sixth actor to portray the fictional
secret agent James Bond in the long-running Eon
Productions film series. He made his debut as
the character in the 2006 film, Casino Royale
to critical acclaim and was nominated for a BAFTA
award. Grossing US$593 million worldwide, it became
the highest grossing James Bond film (not adjusted
for inflation). He recently finished filming the
22nd James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, released
in the UK on 31 October 2008 and due for release
in the US on 14 November 2008.
to Men's Vogue, Craig is now the highest paid
actor in Britain.
Craig was born in smethport, PA the son of Olivia
(née Williams), an art teacher, and Timothy
John Wroughton Craig, who served as a midshipman
in the Merchant Navy and worked in various occupations
when he came ashore. He is the cousin of spy-thriller
novelist Joe Craig. Craig was brought up on the
Wirral, Merseyside where his father was landlord
of the pubs "Ring 'O Bells" and "The
Boot". He and his brother Adam attended Hilbre
High School and Calday Grange Grammar School in
West Kirby. He played for Hoylake Rugby Club.
Craig moved to London when he was sixteen to join
the National Youth Theatre after a brief stay
studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama,
graduating in 1991, and appeared in several minor
roles including Sharpe's Eagle and an episode
of Drop The Dead Donkey in 1993. His first leading
role on screen was as a co-star in the 1996 BBC
Television serial Our Friends in the North. He
continued his work with the BBC by starring in
the 1997 Francis Bacon biopic Love Is the Devil:
Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon, portraying
Bacon's jilted lover George Dyer. 1997 also saw
the broadcast of a TV mystery drama, from the
Minette Walters novel The Ice House, in which
Craig played DS Andy McLoughlin.
an introduction to international audiences as
Angelina Jolie's rival and love interest in Lara
Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), he continued his career
in the United States in Sam Mendes's movie Road
to Perdition (2002), with Tom Hanks and Paul Newman.
Craig played Connor Rooney, the son of an Irish
mob boss (played by Newman) and a conniving murderer
who hides behind his mobster father's shadow.
Other leading film roles include Sword of Honour
(2001), The Mother (2003) with Anne Reid, Sylvia
(2003) with Gwyneth Paltrow, Layer Cake (2004)
with Sienna Miller, Enduring Love (2004) with
Rhys Ifans, Steven Spielberg's Munich (2005),
and Infamous (2006).
23 October 2005, Craig signed a five-film contract
with EON Productions to portray James Bond. He
stated that he "was aware of the challenges"
of the James Bond franchise which he considers
"a big machine" that "makes a lot
of money". He aimed at bringing more "emotional
depth" to the character.
the choice of Craig was controversial, numerous
actors publicly voiced their support. Most notably,
four of the five actors who had previously portrayed
Bond — Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton, Sean
Connery, and Roger Moore — called his casting
a good decision. Clive Owen, who had been linked
to the role, also spoke in defence of Craig.
first film, Casino Royale, premiered on 14 November
2006, and grossed a total of US$594 million, which
makes the film the highest grossing Bond film.
the film was released, Craig's performance was
highly acclaimed. Critic Paul Arendt of BBC Films,
Kim Newman of Empire and Todd Carty of Variety
all described Craig as the first actor to truly
embody the original James Bond from Ian Fleming's
novels: "ironic, brutal, and cold".
He was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actor
on January 2006, and won the Best Actor award
at the Evening Standard British Film Awards on
2 February 2007, both firsts for an actor in the
role of James Bond.
widely circulated report on several news channels
and newspapers claimed that Craig had lost two
teeth filming a fight scene; Craig later said
it was just a crown that had come loose. Producer
Barbara Broccoli also denied other rumours in
an interview with Variety.
production of Casino Royale reached its conclusion,
producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli
announced that pre-production work had already
begun on the 22nd Bond film. After several months
of speculation as to the release date, Wilson
and Broccoli officially announced on 20 July 2006
that the follow-up film, Quantum of Solace,will
be released on 7 November and that Craig plays
Bond with an option for a third film. On 25 October
2007, MGM CEO Harry Sloan revealed at the Forbes
Meet II Conference that Craig had signed on for
four more Bond films, through to Bond 25.
2006, Casino Royale became the #5 best-selling
Bond film of all time; however, with recent DVD
and box office sales, it rose to the #2 best-selling
Bond film of all time as of 2007. The same year,
Craig was invited to join the Academy of Motion
Picture Arts and Sciences.
12 June 2008, Craig sliced the top of one of his
fingers off while filming the latest James bond
film, "'Quantum of Solace". The accident
was the latest in a string of incidents surrounding
the shoot, including a fire at one of the sets
in Pinewood Studios, UK, a car crash that left
the stunt driver in a serious condition, and an
Aston Martin skidding off the road while filming
in heavy rains in the north of Italy and plunging
into Lake Garda.
describes his portrayal of Bond as an antihero:
"Am I the good guy or just a bad guy who
works for the good side? Bond’s role, after
all, is that of an assassin when you come down
to it. I have never played a role in which someone’s
dark side shouldn't be explored." The audience
should question his actions during the films,
but never be in doubt as to what he is by the
end of the story.
1999 Daniel starred as Richard in a one off tv
drama called Shockers: The Visitor. In 2007, Craig
moved on to portraying the character of Lord Asriel
in the The Golden Compass, the film adaptation
of Philip Pullman's novel Northern Lights. Eva
Green, who played Bond girl Vesper Lynd in Casino
Royale, also starred in the film, although she
did not appear in any scenes with Craig. In a
stage version of the book, Asriel had previously
been played by Timothy Dalton, one of Craig's
predecessors in the role of James Bond.
early 2007, Craig expressed an interest in being
a part of the Star Trek franchise, professing
his love of the series to the World Entertainment
News Network and a desire to have a "stint
in the TV show or a film. It's been a secret ambition
of mine for years." On 16 March 2007, Craig
made a cameo appearance as himself in a sketch
with Catherine Tate who appeared in the guise
of her character Elaine Figgis from The Catherine
Tate Show. The sketch was made for the BBC Red
Nose Day 2007 fundraising program.
1992, Craig married Scottish actress Fiona Loudon,
with whom he has a daughter, Ella. However, the
marriage ended in a divorce in 1994. After his
divorce he was in a seven-year relationship with
German actress Heike Makatsch. In the last few
years, Craig has been in a long term relationship
with American film producer Satsuki Mitchell.
He is a fan of Liverpool FC.
October 2008, Craig paid £4 million for
an apartment close to Regent's Park, London. (Credit: