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Daniel Craig Agreed To Play James Bond Under One Condition

It may be surprising to know that at least nine actors previously turned down the iconic role of James Bond. Whether because they wanted more money, more creative control, or just were afraid of the commitment they would be undertaking, there were a multitude of sensible — as well as strange — reasons that actors opted out of the part. Even Daniel Craig realized, when he was offered the role in the early years of the 21st century, that it would be life changing. "I knew that it would flip it and that there would be no going back to who I was or what I was, either personally or professionally. And that was very, very, very scary," he told The Hollywood Reporter.

Since Sean Connery had first debuted as the cold, suave super-spy in "Dr. No" in 1963, every actor that has had the part has been compared to him. For years, the question most people asked was "Sean Connery or Roger Moore?" in reference to the two actors who played Bond longer than any others. However, ever since Daniel Craig brought out his darker and edgier Bond, beginning with 2006's "Casino Royale," the conversation has shifted over time to whether it's Craig who may be the best Bond ever, with even former 007 actor Timothy Dalton suggesting Craig as the top pick (via Los Angeles Times). 

An ironic twist, considering that Craig made a pretty big stipulation for playing the role when it was offered to him.

Daniel Craig wouldn't agree to the role until he read the script

When Daniel Craig was asked to audition and screen test for the role of James Bond, he assumed it was nothing. "I thought, maybe if they are looking to recast Bond, they're casting a very, very wide net, they want to just meet people," Craig told the THR Podcast

But then when Barbara Broccoli, who has overseen the Bond franchise since 1994, told Craig she wanted him for part, he was stunned. "There was no script, I didn't know how to process that," he explained. "It wasn't until six months later there was a script, and I was like, 'I can't make a decision until I've seen a script, I'm sorry.'" 

Looking back on that moment, Craig is still incredulous that he made such a demand, instead of just saying yes. "As far as I was concerned, it was sort of set in stone, that part. I [didn't] know how I could change that, or I [didn't] know what I [could] bring to it." Luckily, Broccoli agreed with Craig on recreating Bond from the ground up. The script came, and he secretly let Steven Spielberg read it. After Spielberg told him should do it, he finally let go of his hesitations and said yes. And luckily for fans of the grittier, more emotional, more conflicted Bond that Craig eventually brought to screen, that's exactly what he did.