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Daniel Wroughton Craig was born in 1968 to Olivia, an art teacher, and Timothy, who worked in the
Navy but also took on various other work whilst he was ashore.
When Craig was nine, the family moved to the Wirral where he attended Hilbre High School and
enjoyed playing rugby and taking part in school plays. It was Olivia’s background, attending Art
College and winning a place at RADA (which she didn’t take), that was to have the biggest influence
on Daniel when his parents divorced. Academically, Craig wasn’t a natural and after spending his
childhood in Liverpool, he decided to move to London when he was 16 to join the National Youth
Theatre. He worked mostly in restaurant kitchens to finance his studies at the NYT. Despite the
hardship of working endless hours, he reveled in the theatre’s tours to Valencia and Moscow and
made his first proper stage debut in ‘Troilus and Cressida’. After the NYT, Craig won a place at drama
school, which proved more of a challenge than anticipated as he continually failed audition after
audition and it seemed his wish may go unfulfilled. But, he was finally accepted at the Guildhall School
of Music and Drama in 1988 and for the next three years he received the education he’d always
longed for, being tutored by the Royal Shakespeare Company in classes with names such as Ewan
McGregor and Rhys Ifans. Craig’s career began promisingly when he was cast in the film ‘The Power
of One’ before he had even graduated. 1992-1993 would be a busy year in his acting CV when several
of the roles he’d filmed were released in quick succession. Parts in the ‘Young Indiana Jones’ series
and ‘Drop the Dead Donkey’ were enough to pay the bills, but not to attract any significant attention
from the critics.
Nevertheless things continued to look good, as a stream of steady parts continued to roll in and,
having met and married Scottish actress Fiona Loudon in the midst of his career rise, Craig became a
father for the first time when Fiona gave birth to a daughter, Ella. The couple’s relationship soon broke
down though and they divorced two years later in 1994. Craig continued to work onstage as well as on
television, appearing at the Royal National Theatre in the original London production of ‘Angels in
America’, which would go on to win a Pulitzer Prize. In 1996, his hard work finally paid off when he
landed a part in the hugely successful TV series, ‘Our Friends in the North’. The drama followed four
Newcastle friends – Craig, Christopher Eccleston, Gina McKee and Mark Strong from 1964, through
the Thatcher years, right up to a reunion in 1995. The series’ success helped notch up Craig’s status
in the critics’ eyes but he was adamant he would take on as many challenging roles as possible and
establish himself as a ‘serious’ actor with potential beyond television. Andrew Davies’ high-profile
television adaptation of ‘The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders’ was to earn Craig more
screen time but he grew a little irritated by the press honing in on his sex symbol potential and stopped
giving interviews in protest. Craig’s final appearance of 1996 would be in ‘Saint-Ex’, a biopic of Antoine
de Saint-Exupery, the French author of ‘The Little Prince’ and a daring pilot for the French postal
service and air force, before and during World War II. Craig starred as Saint-Exupery’s best friend,
Guillaumet, alongside Miranda Richardson and Janet McTeer. Reviews earned comparisons with the
acclaimed movie ‘The English Patient’, which was released the same year.
After a one episode spot in the erotic vampire series ‘The Hunger’, Craig returned to the stage in
‘Hurlyburly’ at the Old Vic in London. One show had to be interrupted by a bomb scare and the cast,
much to the delight of the critics, performed the last 20 minutes on the green outside. More importantly
for Craig’s off-screen life though was his role in the 1997 film ‘Obsession’, where he was to meet
German actress Heike Makatsch (known to many as the secretary who seduces Alan Rickman in the
film ‘Love Actually’). Makatasch and Craig would be together for seven years, finally splitting in 2004.
1998 would be one of Craig’s best years yet. He enjoyed a starring role in the big budget film
‘Elizabeth’, playing a monk alongside Oscar-nominated Cate Blanchett. Another less recognised but
impressive turn came in ‘Love is the Devil’ about the artist Francis Bacon; Craig starred as Bacon’s
lover to David Jacobi’s Bacon and had to engage in several sado-masochistic sex scenes. The
following year, Craig continued a steady run of roles which allowed him to showcase his talent as an
actor in films such as the World War I saga, ‘The Trench’. Craig was now concentrating on films rather than television. A blip on the fame game plan occurred in 2001 when Craig appeared in ‘Lara Croft:
Tomb Raider’ with Angelina Jolie, the film adaptation of the famous computer game. A huge leap from
his previous declaration to be seen as a serious actor, the film was a commercial flop but more
annoyingly for Craig, it contained endless special effects rather than any concrete story line and he
considered it a waste of his time. Luckily, reparation came in the form of Sam Mendes who had seen
Craig on stage and made a note to cast him in his next film, ‘Road to Perdition’. Starring alongside
Tom Hanks and Paul Newman, the success of the film had the desired effect of elevating Craig’s
audience-pull and seducing a league of film critics worldwide. Craig didn’t let the new found attention
go straight to his head and instead of immediately winging his way to Hollywood, he continued to
embark on a series of film roles that would best test his skills and appeal not only to the commercial
critics, but also to an ‘indie’ audience. Examples of these more ‘challenging’ roles included ‘Ten
Minutes Older: The Cello’ (2002), where eight directors were given ten minutes to express a vision of
time with Craig appearing in Michael Radford’s segment; and ‘Addicted to the Stars’, where he played
a spaceman who returns to Earth after 80 years having aged only ten minutes. Craig’s next role was in
‘Sylvia’, the film biopic of Sylvia Plath, where he played the poet Ted Hughes. Sylvia, which featured
Gwyneth Paltrow in the title role, would follow the couple from their college meeting to her eventual
suicide. Despite it not being a huge box office success, it once again marked Craig as a powerful
screen presence.
2004 would see Craig back onscreen and continuing to vary his roles. First would come the violent
‘Layer Cake’, directed by Matthew Vaughn, producer of ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’.
Following Layer Cake would come ‘Enduring Love’, which reunited Craig with director Roger Mitchell
(‘The Mother’, 2003), and old Guildhall peer, Rhys Ifans. The film’s plot revolved around conflicting
obsessions and was emotionally disturbing yet earned rave reviews. Craig’s private life began to
create headlines in 2004. Having split from Heike Makatsch in January that year, he was seen out
several months later with supermodel Kate Moss. Claims also circulated linking him to Sienna Miller
(his Layer Cake co-star), whose relationships automatically sparked furore due to her on-off links to
Jude Law. The press hounded Craig, forcing him to endure the kind of attention he loathed as it
centred on his personal life rather than his acting career. Vowing not to make the headlines in the
tabloid gossip pages ever again, he was eventually seen with Satsuki Mitchell, an executive producer
he’d met while filming his next Hollywood film, ‘The Jacket’, and he proposed to her late in 2007. 2005
would bring continued success for Craig, particularly with regard to ‘The Jacket’, starring Adrien Brody,
and Steven Spielberg’s much-hyped ‘Munich’. But it was the rumour mill surrounding the James Bond
franchise that would spark the most interest in Craig that year. After Pierce Brosnan stepped down
from the role, the inevitable whispers began to fly as to who would fill those big spy shoes. Brits Clive
Owen and Dougray Scott were named as contenders but it was in October 2005 that Craig was
officially announced as the next 007, having signed a three-film contract. Initially, there was a clash of
opinion between die-hard Bond fans and fans of Craig independently. The fact that Craig would be the
first blonde Bond caused a public backlash and there was talk of boycotting the new film but when
several of the previous Bond actors stepped forward to support Craig, the tantrums appeared to die
The first film with Craig at the helm was released on 14 November 2006. ‘Casino Royale’ took a total
of $594 million at the box office, making the film the highest grossing Bond film ever and proving the
sceptics wrong. Craig’s performance was highly acclaimed and he was nominated for a BAFTA Award
for Best Actor and won the Best Actor award at the Evening Standard British Film Awards – both firsts
for an actor in the James Bond role. In October 2007, it was revealed that Craig had signed on for four
more Bond films and after several months of speculation as to the release date, producers Michael G
Wilson and Barbara Broccoli officially announced that the follow-up to Casino Royale would be
released in November 2008. Like Timothy Dalton before him, Craig stands by the fact he is an actor
first and Bond second and is adamant he will maintain an identity outside the famous character. To
support this, Craig took the part of Lord Asriel in what will be the first of an intended trilogy of Philip
Pullman’s bestselling books. Based on the first novel, ‘The Golden Compass’ was released late in 2007 with an all-star cast including Craig’s former Bond girl co-star, Eva Green. ‘The Invasion’ (2007),
a science fiction horror film, saw Craig team up with Nicole Kidman in a project that failed both
critically and financially. This was followed up with another disappointment in 2008 British drama
‘Flashbacks of a Fool’, which won Craig praise for his acting while the movie’s scripting was criticised.
However, the run of bad luck and box office failures was brought to an end with Craig’s second
portrayal of Bond in his next outing as the spy in the 22nd 007 film. Released in 2008, ‘Quantum of
Solace’ performed well at the box office and earned Craig an Empire Award nomination for best actor.
While the movie was not praised as much as Casino Royale, it was well received by audiences and
broke the UK opening weekend record. True to his promise not to let Bond’s character define his roles,
Craig went on to star in ‘Defiance’, a 2008 World War II film set during the occupation of Belarus by
Nazi Germany. It opened to mixed reviews from critics and just about broke even commercially.
Craig’s fans are in for a treat in 2011, with the star scheduled to appear in a number of films. These
include ‘The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn’, ‘Dream House’, ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ and ‘The
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’, while his third Bond film has a 2012 release date.

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