James Bond is back, and better than ever.
Skyfall, which sees the return of Daniel Craig for his third turn as 007, follows the secret agent as he tries to protect M (Judi Dench) when her past comes back to haunt her.
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In order to do so, Bond has to go somewhere he rarely does – his own dark past.
When The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Craig, 44, about the decision to delve into Bond’s past, the actor said it wasn’t for any sort of “big Freudian kick.”
“It’s just he has to face up to a few demons,” he told THR. “And I think that idea of going somewhere that he knows better than anywhere is a place where he can confront his demons and the bad guy.”
One of the most memorable scenes from the new film, which sees Sam Mendes taking the helm, is the first time Bond meets the film villain, played by Javier Bardem.
In the scene, Bond is tied to a chair, and Bardem’s character gets up close and personal, with slight sexual undertones running through the entire scene.
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Craig says the goal of the scene for them was to “push it as far as we could.”
“Javier is the kind of actor who wants to get to the guts of a character, wants to find out what they’re about, and how the best way for him as the bad guy in the movie is to challenge James Bond,” he told THR. “And he kind of really found that way.”
Craig said that while the scene had that sexual undercurrent, it’s really about the two men trying to “one-up” each other. “He’s trying to throw it straight back at him,” said Craig of Bond. Craig added that while shooting the scene, they had plenty of laughs between takes, despite the intensity going on when the cameras were rolling.
Ahead of its U.S. release on Nov. 9, Skyfall has already racked in north of $320 million to date overseas, which means the film is probably on its way to a franchise best.
Craig has been playing the MI6 agent since 2006’s Casino Royale. Now trying on the stylish secret agent suit for the third time, Craig is contracted for two more Bond films.
“I think the experience has taught me a lot of things,” said Craig of working in the franchise.
“When you’re on a movie set with the cast we have, and the crew we have, Sam at the helm, you just think, this is special, you have to make the most of it,” he said. “The passion doesn’t diminish -- I kind of get more passionate about what I do.”
Skyfall opens in theaters in the U.S. on Friday, Nov. 9.
Email: Rebecca.Ford@thr.com; Twitter: @Beccamford