Daniel Craig was born on March 2, 1968, in Chester, England. He moved to London when he was 16 to join the National Youth Theatre. His film debut was in 1992's The Power of One, with the actor later featured in the BAFTA-winning BBC miniseries Our Friends in the North. Craig also worked with director Steven Spielberg on the film Munich and in 2006 was seen as James Bond in Casino Royale, reinvigorating the franchise. Bond blockbusters Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre have followed.
Daniel Wroughton Craig was born on March 2, 1968, in Chester, England. Craig grew up near Liverpool, and enjoyed going to the theater with his mother and sisters. Many of his mother's friends were actors, and he felt drawn to the profession. "I kind of fell in love with the idea of acting... I liked the idea of it—you know, shouting a lot and dressing up and all that," Craig told Interview magazine.
Craig moved to London when he was 16 to join the National Youth Theatre, and then studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After graduating, Craig made his film debut in The Power of One (1992), a 1950s drama set in South Africa. His career then received a substantial boost with his role in the 1996 BBC miniseries Our Friends in the North. The serial drama enjoyed great critical reception and won several major awards in the year following its broadcast, including two British Academy Television Awards, two Royal Television Society Awards and four Broadcasting Press Guild Awards.
Serious Dramas and Action Fare
Another important role came in 1998 with the film Love Is The Devil, a biopic about the artist Francis Bacon (played by Derek Jacobi). Craig co-starred as Bacon's lover George Dyer, a small-time thief. Craig later described the project as "the first film I did that 'made me.'" That same year, Craig had a small role in the historical drama Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett.
In 2001, Craig appeared as the romantic interest to Angelina Jolie's character in the action film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, based on the popular video game. Although the film was panned by reviewers, the movie was a hit with viewers—Tomb Raider debuted at No.1 at the box office and became the highest-grossing video game adaptation to date. Craig then gave an impressive performance in 2002's Road to Perdition, adapted from the popular graphic novel of the same name. Craig played Connor Rooney, the murderous son of a mob boss (Paul Newman). The actor's stand-out performance was lauded by critics and fans alike. He then demonstrated his range when he starred as poet Ted Hughes in the drama Sylvia (2003), which also starred Gwyneth Paltrow. The film explored the life of Hughes's wife, poet Sylvia Plath, and the couple's troubled relationship.
Craig made his debut as a leading man playing an unnamed character—called XXXX in the credits—in the 2005 crime drama Layer Cake. Craig portrayed a sophisticated drug dealer who seeks to retire from his criminal enterprise. That same year, Craig got a chance to work with famed director Steven Spielberg in the drama Munich (2005). Craig played an Israeli agent working on a team charged with tracking down those responsible for the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games.
Playing James Bond
Around this time, rumors had begun to swirl about Craig becoming the next actor to play the role of legendary spy James Bond. Fans used to previous Bonds played by the likes of Sean Connery or Pierce Brosnan objected to potentially having Craig in the part. Some felt he was too blond or too old. And film critics believed that, for a serious stage-trained actor like Craig, playing Bond would be an ill-advised move. But the actor believed it was a great opportunity, agreeing to a five-film contract. "When I accepted the job to work on Bond, I genuinely did it to change my life. I knew that it would flip everything on its head... I've never made movies for money—I've always made them because I truly wanted to do them," he explained to Interview magazine.
Proving the skeptics wrong, Craig made Bond history with 2006's Casino Royale. He reinvigorated the long-running film franchise with his modern take on the super spy, described by one critic as "a noble thug." Casino Royale became the highest-grossing Bond film to date, earning almost $600 million worldwide. Craig starred as 007 in the next installment, Quantum of Solace, in 2008, a hit that was more modest in terms of its critical reception and box-office performance.
But 2012 saw the return of Bond in a major way with Skyfall, a Sam Mendes-helmed enterprise co-starring Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes and Judi Dench as M, a character who comes under intense intra-agency attack. The lauded project was a box-office phenomenon, making more than $1.1 billion internationally and setting earning records in various territories. The next Bond adventure, Spectre, again directed by Mendes and co-starring Christoph Waltz and Monica Bellucci, was released in autumn 2015. In the UK, Spectre set the record for being the country's highest grossing film within seven days of release. The previous record holder was Skyfall.
Roles Outside of Bond
Craig continued pursuing other film projects as well, including a co-starring role in the 2007 science-fiction thriller The Invasion, loosely based on the 1978 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers. In the film, Craig played a research scientist who helps psychiatrist Carrol Bennell (played by Nicole Kidman) unearth an alien conspiracy. Craig appeared with Kidman again in the 2007 fantasy film The Golden Compass.
In 2008, Craig starred in Flashbacks of a Fool, a small indie drama directed by friend Baillie Walsh. Craig played a middle-aged actor at the decline of his career. That same year, Craig starred in the Holocaust-based Defiance, with Liev Schrieber and Jamie Bell. The three played Jewish brothers who fight back against the Nazis.
Craig's star has continued to rise with roles in a variety of films outside of Bond. He starred in the December 2011 film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, starring Rooney Mara in the title role. The movie was the much-anticipated David Fincher American adaptation of the Swedish film based on Stieg Larsson's bestselling novel. That same year, Craig lent his voice to Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin, based on the popular comic books, and also starred in Cowboys & Aliens as well as Dream House. Having made his Broadway debut in 2009's A Steady Rain, in the fall of 2013 Craig took to the stage again alongside his wife in the play Betrayal.
Once romantically linked to actress Sienna Miller and model Kate Moss, Craig dated producer Satsuki Mitchell for several years. He has a daughter, Ella, from his two-year marriage to Fiona Loudon. In December 2010, Craig began dating actress Rachel Weisz, his costar in the horror film Dream House. The couple married in June 2011 in New York.
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