I knew when I wrote my opinion of Daniel Craig’s Bond portrayal, there were plenty of you who would disagree. What I should have mentioned is that while I’m a Bond film fan, I have never read Ian Flemming’s spy novels. As with other popular book to film/television series (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, The Sookie Stackhouse Novels), there can be a great divide between what the fans of each medium have in mind. I am in the midst of reading Game of Thrones after having watched the HBO series, therefore I already have set mental pictures of many of the characters based on the actors who played them. I’ve seen all the Harry Potter movies, but never read the books—so I never dealt with my own ideas of what the characters should look like. As far as I’m concerned, Daniel Radcliffe has always been Harry and Emma Watson, Hermione. I’m sure that people who read the books before seeing the movies had some other ideas of what the characters should look like.
For those of us who have seen a group of actors parade through the Bond films, we grew to love some or all of them because of their performances, rather than because they fit our book impressions of the character. Myself, I found Connery and Moore the most satisfying, both in looks and charm. (And make no mistake, charming can indeed be the hallmark of a stone cold killer.) The Bond film fans are just as fervent as the book fans. I don’t think either group can claim it knows best who fits the mold; we’re coming from different angles.
Just for fun, here is Flemming’s picture of Bond as interpreted for a comic strip:
And indeed, there is something around the eyes that resembles Craig.
Here is a picture of the man Flemming imagined Bond resembled (Hoagy Carmichael):
Clearly, Craig has no physical similarity.
Regardless of any of our opinions, eventually Mr. Craig will move on and we’ll all have to change our impressions once again. So at John W.’s suggestion, I’m putting up the top five actors who’d make a better Bond. Feel free to carry on with your protestations and alternative suggestions.
5.: Christian Bale:
4.: Alexander Skarsgård (no, he is not too Nordic):
3.: Clive Owen:
2.: Michael Fassbender:
1.: Ralph Fiennes (on the condition he grows back his hair):