Earlier this year, multiple Emmy award-winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge was brought in to do a script polish on the upcoming James Bond film No Time to Die. During an interview this weekend with The Sunday Times, Bond actor Daniel Craig bristled at the suggestion that Waller-Bridge’s hiring had anything to do with her gender.
“Look, we’re having a conversation about Phoebe’s gender here, which is fucking ridiculous,” Craig said. “She’s a great writer. Why shouldn’t we get Phoebe onto Bond?”
The question seemed designed to drum up more controversy around the film, which had received some criticism when producer Barbara Broccoli indicated that the film would address Bond’s misogynistic characteristics in light of the Me Too movement, and from the announcement that British actress Lashana Lynch would be playing Agent 007. (The fans upset with Lynch’s casting announcement seemed to be either willfully or deliberately ignoring the fact that the already-revealed details of the film’s plot have Bond leaving MI6 and vacating his secret agent status, with Lynch’s character coming in as his replacement.) Craig appeared to feel the same way about the line of questioning. “I know where you’re going, but I don’t actually want to have that conversation,” he said. “I know what you’re trying to do, but it’s wrong. It’s absolutely wrong. She’s a fucking great writer. One of the best English writers around. I said, ‘Can we get her on the film?’ That’s where I came from.”
“She’s just brilliant,” Craig added. “I had my eye on her ever since the first Fleabag, and then I saw Killing Eve and what she did with that and just wanted her voice. It is so unique — we are very privileged to have her on board.”
No Time To Die will be Craig’s fifth (and reportedly final) outing as the famous secret agent. The production has experienced some turmoil, with original director Danny Boyle leaving the project over unspecified “creative differences,” Craig injuring himself during a stunt, and another crew member sustaining injuries during an explosion at Pinewood Studios. The film, directed by True Detective’s Cary Joji Fukunaga from a script by Fukunaga, Waller-Bridge, and Scott Z. Burns, is slated for an April 2020 release.