updated 01/25/2008 AT 8:00 AM ET
•originally published 01/25/2008 AT 12:10 PM ET
Break out the martinis – James Bond is back. As Daniel Craig begins filming the new 007 film, he explains the cryptic new title and how he’s coping with pressure of being Bond.
“It’s nice to be back,” the actor said Thursday on the set of the 22nd James Bond installment, The Quantum of Solace – an uncharacteristically pensive title that left many at the press conference scratching their heads.
“We talked long and hard about it,” said Craig, who’ll reprise his role as James Bond following 2006’s wildly successful Casino Roayle. “We could have gone for a snappier title but we wanted to suggest something about where he was at the end of the [last] movie.”
In fact, Craig seemed slightly defensive about the newly announced name, taken from a collection of short stories published by 007 creator Ian Fleming in 1960. “Fleming says if there is no ‘quantum of solace’ left in your relationship, it’s over – and that’s where he was at the end of the last movie,” the British actor, 39, told reporters on the film set at Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire. “It’s not just some random name that we plucked out from nowhere.”
And for those keen 007 fans, Craig hinted at what we can expect in the next film, which picks up just one hour after the end of Casino Royale. “His anger and his passion drive him,” said the star, who spent two months preparing for this installment. “He probably misbehaves more in this than he did in the last one.” (Producers of the movie, now in its third week of filming, also promised more action.)
New Bond Girl Gemma Arterton – who plays an MI6 agent and has already shot her love scenes with Craig – told reporters: “I was nervous on the first day with him. We would do a scene, he’d look at me and giggle and I’d giggle. [He] reminded me of a big brother.”
After much negative press prior to the release of Casino Royale – including angry Bond fans calling for a boycott after Craig’s casting – his debut in the role was hailed by both critics and theater-goers. So is the pressure mounting? “I’ll tell what I’m not doing [and that] is looking back,” he said. “We’ve done Casino Royale and I couldn’t be prouder. It stands alone as a great movie and now we’ve got to make another one.”
The Quantum of Solace is set for a November release.