Although odds makers would definitely favor Daniel Craig over Ben Whishaw if the two ever came to fisticuffs, the two “Skyfall” actors may be more evenly matched than their radically different physiques would suggest.
Whishaw, who plays Q, the latest Bond film’s resident tech geek – greasy hair, pronounced spectacles, concave chest, and all – first met Craig long before the pair started shooting “Skyfall.” As he told Live magazine (via Star), he and Craig acted together in a 1999 film called “The Trench,” which cast them both as World War I soldiers during the last days before the battle of the Somme. It was Whishaw’s first job, and, he told the magazine, “I remember feeling overwhelmed because I’d never really met a professional actor before.” His first scene called for him to run through a trench, turn a corner, and bump into Craig. Unfortunately, Whishaw recalled, “[w]e were wearing those really sharp, round World War I helmets and [Craig] said to me, ‘Be careful,’ pointing to the helmet. ‘It’s very sharp.’” Whishaw did as he was directed, but rounded the corner “and went crashing straight into Daniel. I cut the bridge of his nose. It was literally my first take on my first movie.”
Despite its less than fortuitous start, Whishaw’s career is in robust health. In addition to his work in “Skyfall,” which last year grossed over $980 million worldwide, the 32-year-old actor has a starring role on the critically acclaimed BBC series “The Hour” and will this year appear alongside Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, and Tilda Swinton in Terry Gilliam’s “The Zero Theorum” and Hong Khaou’s “Lilting,” a drama set in London. And if the playful sparring between Whishaw and Craig in “Skyfall” was any indication, the two moved past the bloodletting long ago.