James Bond is still in a foul mood over that whole dead girlfriend thing from “Casino Royale.” But the man who plays him is as happy as can be.
Even as Daniel Craig ticks off all the injuries he sustained shooting “Quantum of Solace” – which debuted in theaters Friday – he gushes about what a great job he has, updating the world's most famous spy for a new era.
Starring in one of the most acclaimed installments in the franchise's history has carried Craig a long way since the dark, early days, when fans scorned him as a bad casting choice and scoffed at the notion of a blond, blue-eyed Bond.
Craig's delivery as a raw, angry young 007 in “Casino Royale” has silenced the critics, though he suffered months of online slings and arrows leading up to the release of that 2006 hit.
“Quantum of Solace” picks up where “Casino Royale” left off, with Bond in such a vengeful mode over the loss of his lover that he goes rogue in pursuit of a shadowy group linked to her death.
Craig's Bond shares great interplay with spymaster M (Judi Dench) and teams with a woman (Olga Kurylenko) on her own revenge mission as they track a phony environmentalist (Mathieu Amalric) trying to corner a South American water supply.
The new movie expands on the makeover begun with “Casino Royale,” in which the randy, sexist Bond of old gave way to a physically meaner but emotionally vulnerable man capable of having his heart broken.
In “Quantum of Solace,” Bond doesn't even drink his trademark martini, and he forgoes his clichéd self-introduction, “Bond, James Bond.”
Promoting the film, Craig still bore signs of the toll the six-month shoot took. His right arm was in a sling from surgery to repair his injured shoulder. He got kicked in the face during a stunt and had to have eight stitches. In another scene, he “lost about a postage stamp worth of skin” on one of his fingers and had to have the wound cauterized at the emergency room.
While he also took his lumps filming “Casino Royale,” Craig found each injury on “Quantum of Solace” grabbing headlines.
“There was this whole deal going on because it was like the curse of Bond,” Craig said. “We had a very serious accident on the set. A stuntman was injured very badly. Thank God, he's absolutely fine now.”
“It's part of the territory, really,” said Craig, who's signed for two more Bond movies after “Quantum of Solace.” “It's the way the world is. You put a thousand people together for six months, things will happen.”