Essential Daniel Craig Details For Every Fan

Daniel Craig is one of those rare actors whose fame has grown so immense that he really needs no introduction. That's largely due to the decade-and-a-half he spent in what is arguably Hollywood's most enduring film franchise, playing super spy James Bond in five films: "Casino Royale," "Quantum of Solace," "Skyfall," "Spectre," and "No Time to Die." 

While 007 looms large in Craig's career, it's far from his only achievement in Tinseltown. In fact, other notable films include "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," "Road to Perdition," "Layer Cake," "Munich," "Defiance," "Cowboys & Aliens," and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," to highlight just a handful. Meanwhile, Craig is also at the center of what's shaping up to be another successful franchise thanks to his role as Southern-fried sleuth Benoit Blanc in the 2019 whodunit "Knives Out" and its 2022 sequel "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery."

Along the way, Craig has established himself as an internationally famous actor whose face is recognizable in practically every country in the world, sharing the screen with some of the best actors in the business — and, on one occasion, co-starring with no less than Queen Elizabeth II herself. To find out more about this wildly talented actor, keep reading to discover essential Daniel Craig details for every fan.

Daniel Craig's a former rugby player and lifelong fan

Daniel Craig's early interest in acting was accompanied by another passion: rugby. As BBC Sport pointed out, he was no slouch on the rugby pitch, having played for the junior division of the Hoylake Rugby Club while growing up just outside of Liverpool. Even though Craig hasn't lived there for decades, he has proudly maintained his loyalty to the team over the years. In fact, as ITV News reported, in 2021 Craig recorded a personal message of support for the team as they prepared for a charity event in honor of Dan Miller, a player on the team who died unexpectedly at age 43, by playing touch rugby for over 30 consecutive hours. "It's an incredible thing you're doing," Craig marveled in his video. 

In addition to his devotion to Hoylake RFC, Craig has also remained a lifelong fan of the sport itself. While his status as a world-famous actor has made it difficult for him to attend rugby matches without being recognized by fans, he's managed. That was the case in 2019 when Metro reported that Craig — somewhat disguised by donning a pair of dark sunglasses and a cap pulled down low on his face — was spotted in Twickenham, England to take in a match between England and Wales ahead of the World Cup.

He can always go back to waiting tables

Daniel Craig was born to be an actor. As a profile in GQ made clear, he cut his teeth as a child by performing for the patrons of the pub that his parents ran. "I'd get money," Craig mused of his well-received impersonations of various celebrities that he'd watched on the telly. "I suppose I've been making a living out of this from a very early age." He was 14 when some friends encouraged him to try out for a role in their school's production of the musical "Oliver!" and he agreed to give it a shot. The first time he stepped onstage, he was absolutely hooked. "I'm not saying it's like the first time you take really good drugs," Craig told the magazine. "But it was a body shock of emotion, of adrenaline, in a way that I'd never felt before."

Two years later, an ambitious 16-year-old Craig was accepted at Britain's National Youth Theatre. This led him to move to London, where he made his professional stage debut in a production of William Shakespeare's "Troilus and Cressida." During those years, Craig did what many actors, before and since, have done to make ends meet: he worked as a waiter. 

As the star told GQ, waiting tables was an essential means of survival during his early years in London while studying theater. "My mother would hate me saying this," Craig explained, "but I was on my own."

Daniel Craig needed a lot of convincing to play 007

When Daniel Craig was ultimately offered the role of James Bond in the mid-2000s, he approached the opportunity with a healthy degree of skepticism. "I had done weird arty movies," Craig said in the 2021 Apple TV+ documentary "Being James Bond" (via Radio Times). "... And I didn't really want to do it, because I thought I wouldn't know what to do with it." In fact, Craig had actually made up his mind, revealing, "I was going to get the script, read it, and say, 'Thanks but no.'" But then he received the script for "Casino Royale" and gave it a read. "The story was solid," Craig recalled. 

"There was a period of trying to woo him," Bond producer Barbara Broccoli previously told Vanity Fair, noting that the actor's questions and concerns were addressed in multiple meetings. "... He's someone who's very professional, and he throws himself into whatever he's doing, and he understood it'd be a long commitment."

That commitment was all-encompassing, and Craig realized early in the process that a full-on physical transformation would be necessary if he was going to be believable as the "blunt instrument" being reintroduced in "Casino Royale." "I met a [personal trainer] while smoking a rollie [British slang for a hand-rolled cigarette] and eating a bacon sandwich," Craig recounted, "but I said to him, 'I want to change.' And we did."

The actor has set some Bond records

When Daniel Craig finally did settle into his role as James Bond, he wound up blazing some trails for the franchise, such as becoming the first blond Bond. Craig also holds the distinction of being the first Bond to have been born after the film series had launched; the first Bond flick "Dr. No" was released in 1962, while Craig wasn't born until a few years later, in 1968.

In addition, Craig holds bragging rights as the single actor to have played Bond for the longest consecutive period of time; his first outing as 007, "Casino Royale," came out in 2006, while his swan song "No Time to Die" was released in 2021, resulting in Craig starring in five Bond films in a row over the course of 15 years. This tops predecessors Sean Connery (who starred in six official Bond films between 1962 and 1972), George Lazenby (just one Bond film, 1969's "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"), Roger Moore (seven movies, from 1973 until 1985), Timothy Dalton (two Bond flicks, one in 1987, the other in 1989), and Pierce Brosnan (four films, from 1995 until 2002). 

Craig also holds another Bond record, although it's one of which he may not be particularly proud. According to the Daily Mail, Craig's height is estimated at somewhere around 5'8" to 5'10", making him the shortest actor to ever play 007. The tallest? That honor goes to the late Connery, who stood at 6'2".

His physical training to play Bond evolved from film to film

When Daniel Craig was first cast as James Bond, he embarked on a physical transformation, as previously mentioned. According to a special piece for The Guardian, in which Craig answered questions from various celebrities, he explained how he trained so that Bond would appear as if he'd just been released from Britain's Special Forces. "It was heavy weights," the star said of his regimen, which also included a high-protein diet and a personal trainer. Craig also noted to RSNG magazine, "When Bond takes his shirt off, it should look like he could kill someone, not that he's been out in the pub for the last two months!"

For his second outing as Bond in "Quantum of Solace," Craig's training focused more on overall fitness in order to tackle the arduous stunt work that's part and parcel of playing 007. "I had an awful lot of physical activity to do, and I had to get myself fit in a more cardiovascular way," he said to RSNG of the way his training evolved from film to film. 

When it comes to those spectacular stunts, Craig was asked to single out his favorite during a video interview with GQ. "Probably the whole [sinking house] sequence that we filmed in Venice on 'Casino Royale,'" he said. "... I had to be jumping off things and flying into water. So I'm most proud of that probably because it was my first movie and it was just one of the most incredible sets I've ever been on."

Daniel Craig's had a long friendship with Hugh Jackman

While it's Hugh Jackman's hilarious faux feud with pal Ryan Reynolds that captures the headlines, the "X-Men" alum has long been a close friend of Daniel Craig, as well. Not only did the two cement their friendship onstage, co-starring on Broadway in a 2009 production of "Steady Rain," Craig also credits Jackman for helping guide him to cope with become instantly famous throughout the world when he was cast as James Bond in "Casino Royale." "My personal life was affected by being that famous all of a sudden. I used to lock myself in and close the curtains, I was in cloud cuckoo land. I was physically and mentally under siege," Craig said in the "Being James Bond" doc (via The Sun). "I didn't like the newfound level of fame. It was Hugh Jackman who helped me to come to terms with it and appreciate it."

Interestingly, Jackman was once under serious consideration for Craig's signature role, during the same period when Craig was ultimately cast. He took a pass, the Aussie actor told IndieWire, because he was already deeply entrenched in the "X-Men" movie franchise. "I was like, 'If I'm doing that and Wolverine, I'll have no time to do anything else,'" Jackman explained. 

Craig made his feelings known on the possibility of Jackman becoming 007 in a TV interview, a clip of which Jackman posted on Instagram in September 2021. "He's not going to be it," Craig joked. "Over my dead body."

His favourite Bond film is one he isn't in

Daniel Craig has been asked on occasion to single out his favorite James Bond film. Responding to the question during an interview with RSNG, Craig offered an intriguing response. "It's none of mine, haha! Mine would have to be 'From Russia with Love,' particularly because it's with Robert Shaw," Craig said. "He plays the Bond villain Red Grant and he's blonde! You know, the blond thing..."

To be fair, Craig offered up an entirely different favorite in an interview with The Times. "I'll never get over Sean Connery in 'Goldfinger,'" Craig recalled. "As a kid, it was my favorite. ... Just everything about it — the suits, and the car, and the look and the feel of it — this is Bond firing on all cylinders."

Regardless of which film is actually his favorite, it's clear that Connery remains the actor whom Craig felt was the best Bond. When Connery died in October 2020, Craig shared a tribute via the official 007 Twitter account. "Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more," Craig said in his statement. "He defined an era and a style. The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in mega watts; he helped create the modern blockbuster."

Why Daniel Craig needed his Bond to die

After the release of his fourth outing as Bond in "Spectre," controversy ensued when Daniel Craig continually insisted he was done with playing James Bond. During a 2015 interview with Time Out, he was asked whether he saw himself playing 007 a fifth time and provided a response that created international headlines. "Now? I'd rather break this glass and slash my wrists. ... If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money."

Of course, he did return for a fifth film, 2021's "No Time to Die," in which his character definitively met his end and guaranteed Craig would not be returning to the role. Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, Craig shared the two primary reasons why it was necessary for Bond to die in that movie — one for the future of the franchise and the other for himself personally. "I was like, 'Well, you need to reset again.' So let's kill my character off and go find another Bond and go find another story," he explained.

"The other was so that I could move on," Craig continued. "I don't want to go back. ... The sacrifice that [Bond] makes in the movie was for love, and there's no greater sacrifice. So it seemed like a good thing to end on."

His wedding to Rachel Weisz was beyond intimate

Daniel Craig first met fellow actor Rachel Weisz in 1994, when they workshopped a play for the National Theatre Studio together. While a romance wasn't sparked at the time — or at least, not one that they've commented about publicly — they reconnected more than a decade later when they co-starred in the 2011 movie "Dream House," which was filmed the previous year. Shortly after, Craig split from his longtime girlfriend, Satsuki Mitchell, while Weisz broke off her engagement to director Darren Aronofsky. 

Rumors soon emerged that Craig and Weisz were dating, but the two kept their relationship private. That romance was apparently of the whirlwind variety; in June 2011, a rep for the couple simply confirmed to The Guardian that the duo had tied the knot. More details eventually did emerge, however, with Hello! reporting the wedding was held in New York City and boasted a pretty exclusive guest list: in addition to the bride and groom, the only other wedding guests were two friends who served as witnesses, and their two children from previous relationships. "You make it your own," Weisz told ES Magazine of their intimate wedding ceremony. "It's very personal, it's very private."

In April 2018, Weisz announced in a profile with The New York Times that she and Craig were expecting a baby. That September, they welcomed a daughter.

Daniel Craig's biggest Bond regret isn't what most fans would expect

Daniel Craig has admitted to having one key regret involving his 15 years at the center of the James Bond film franchise, and it's something most fans likely wouldn't have guessed: publicly revealing the various injuries that he'd suffered in the course of playing 007, which included tearing the cartilage in his shoulder during "Quantum of Solace," rupturing his calf muscles on "Skyfall," and tearing a knee ligament on "Spectre." 

"I'm pissed off at myself that I ever even spoke about them," Craig admitted to the Los Angeles Times. "It's my fault because I kind of didn't shut up about the fact that I had all these injuries," he continued, blaming only himself for getting injured. "The physical side of the movies was just the job," Craig explained. "I had to do it. I trained, learned the fights, that's kind of my brain not working."

The challenge presented by those injuries, the actor told GQ, was more than just physical. "It's not about recovery, because you know you can recover," said Craig about getting back in the saddle to perform those beyond-ambitious Bond stunts. "It's about psychologically thinking that you're going to do it again," he conceded. Another aspect of getting injured, the star admitted, was receiving a potent reminder that he was no longer a young man. "You get tighter and tighter," he said. "And then you just don't bounce."

He and wife Rachel Weisz keep their personal life private

Ever since they came together as a couple, Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz have fiercely guarded their privacy. "He's just too famous," Weisz told More (via Us Weekly). Given that both are movie stars in their own rights, both have learned the skill of leaving the trappings of celebrity on the doorstep when they go home. "The audience goes and you're in your own life," she explained. As Weisz admitted in an interview with ES Magazine, their private life isn't particularly glamourous. "I cook Sunday lunches," she said, "have people over with their kids."

Of course, Weisz told The New York Times, being private isn't something they try particularly hard at, it's simply a facet of both their personalities. In fact, she admitted that she admired those Hollywood couples who'd managed to be as publicly open about their relationships as they are with their work. "I really take my hat off to them," she said. "But Daniel and I are really similar. We just literally don't know how to do that. We're just really crap at talking about our private lives."

When they are together in their family life, away from the limelight, there's one thing that Craig and Weisz prefer not to discuss as a topic of conversation: their acting work. "There is nothing worse than two actors getting together and talking about acting," Weisz told The Sun. "It's like the end — it's the worst."

Why didn't Daniel Craig do the Tomb Raider sequel?

One of Daniel Craig's more prominent pre-Bond roles was playing Alex West opposite Angelina Jolie in "Tomb Raider." When the inevitable sequel rolled around, however, Craig was nowhere to be found — because he had no desire to return. In an interview with Phase9 a few years later (via ScreenRant), Craig confessed that the hefty Hollywood paycheck was largely behind his decision to take the role in the first place. "I also like going to the cinema and having popcorn, nachos, hot dogs the lot whilst watching some big Hollywood movie so it was an opportunity to be part of that and it was a good movie for what it was, but that kind of film does not turn me on," he explained.

ScreenRant also cited Craig's interview with efilmcritic, in which he admitted that, after starring in his first big-time Tinseltown blockbuster, he simply wasn't interested in doing it again. "I don't regret for a second doing it, but it just wasn't an experience that was that satisfying," the actor said. "There are only so many ways you can look surprised at crap blowing up." 

While Craig may have soured on "Tomb Raider," those feelings in no way applied to his co-star. During an interview with ET Canada promoting his role in "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery," he was asked if he'd like to see Jolie appear with him in a future entry in the whodunit film franchise. "That would be amazing," Craig gushed. 

The star played Macbeth on Broadway

Daniel Craig is generally recognized as more of a film actor than a stage actor. That, however, belies the fact that he studied theater in London, and first developed his love of acting from watching live theater as a kid. "I liked the idea of it," he told The Guardian of his appreciation for theater. "You know, shouting a lot and dressing up and all that."

Given his background, it shouldn't be surprising that Craig is no stranger to Shakespeare. In 2022, he got his chance to return to his roots and play one of the Bard of Avon's most iconic characters when he starred in "Macbeth" on Broadway. As he explained in an interview with The New Yorker Radio Hour, his approach to Shakespeare was the same as his approach to playing Bond. "I try not differentiate," Craig said, but jokingly noted "there's a lot more chat" in "Macbeth" than there is in "No Time to Die." Regardless of the role, Craig remained a stickler for artistic integrity. "You're trying to aim for some truth, to ground things in reality," he said.

As it turned out, the production — in which Ruth Negga played Lady Macbeth — unfortunately did not inspire great reviews. "Daniel Craig play is a Disaster Royale," declared the New York Post, while The New York Times described "an oddly uneasy take on the Scottish play."

Daniel Craig was a secret stormtrooper in a Star Wars flick

Among Daniel Craig's many screen credits, one in particular stands out: his uncredited turn as a stormtrooper in 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." News first emerged when Simon Pegg let it slip that Craig had made a cameo in the film — something that Craig vehemently denied. "Why would I ever bother doing something like that?" Craig dismissively told Entertainment Weekly. "F***ing hell! Pffft. Play an extra in another movie."

As it turned out, Craig's denial was a fib, and his part in the film was slightly more than a cameo; in fact, he even shares a scene with star Daisy Ridley, in which he succumbs to her Jedi mind trickery. 

Craig eventually came clean and revealed that he came to be a stormtrooper in a galaxy far, far away when he visited the studio in which "The Force Awakens" was filming for a costume fitting. He asked an assistant director he knew whether there was a part for him, with director J.J. Abrams confirming that there was. "Thing was, I thought 'background stormtrooper.' I mean, I wanted to do that guy that bumps his head in the original one, you know that person who drops his lightsaber or something," Craig said, as reported by Express. "Then I was in a whole f***ing scene."