No Time to Die brings Daniel Craig’s tenure as 007 to a close in thrilling and unexpected ways, with the actor musing that the biggest themes are love and trust. 

If Daniel Craig was feeling emotional about filming his fifth and final Bond movie, then his co-star Billy Magnussen says nobody would know it.

“I don’t know specifically how he felt but all I thought was, ‘That guy is amazing’ and so generous and charming and funny. He really was the commander of this ship that we were all brought into – such a big franchise and a big spectacle.

“Daniel was just filled with grace and very kind, and created an environment that was so wonderful to hang out in. It was like being in a bath, eating ice cream and having Sinatra playing,” says Magnussen, who plays CIA agent Logan Ash alongside Jeffrey Wright’s Felix Leiter.

First introduced to 007 during the Pierce Brosnan Bond era, Magnussen believes Craig created something very unique.

Billy Magnusson as Logan Ash

“I feel Craig’s Bond was something different. Everyone else was very suave and smooth and Daniel brought almost like a sledgehammer quality to it; this kind of grit which was really exciting to see in these films. It just felt very masculine and strong.”

Whereas the previous James Bond films played as separate adventures, linked by characters both malevolent and benign, EON Productions wanted the Daniel Craig series to unfold as a unified whole.

True to their masterplan, Bond’s journey throughout Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre and now No Time to Die has been constant, tracking Bond’s initiation into the life of a double-O agent while offering crucial glimpses into his early life as well as his love life – and not just a series of “Bond girls”.

Casino Royale

“I started it like that with Casino,” says Craig. “That was how we went in and that was a lot of what defined the way I have played this wonderful character. I wanted Bond to look like a killer and behave like a killer because that’s what he is, an assassin; that’s what he was written as. But I wanted a modern take on that.”

Themes exploring secrets, betrayal and trust have stitched together the last four films, propelling the narrative towards No Time to Die’s unexpected and thrilling conclusion.

Certainly Craig created a thoroughly modern Bond who, for all his excellence in certain fields, was not infallible. A multifaceted hero, a man whose success is tempered by occasional failures, he is a mixture of light and dark.

Audiences have borne witness to this change, watching as he earned his licence to kill, and also observing the toll it takes. A loner who also learned to let people in, he has loved and lost. He lost Vesper Lynd. He lost M. And he wore those injuries for all to see.

After the heartbreak he suffered with the loss of Lynd (Eva Green) in Casino Royale, his fluctuating relationship with M and MI6, and the pain inflicted by the revelations imparted by Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), Bond has taken another risk, letting down his guard with Madeleine as he tries to love again.

Thus, No Time to Die begins in the aftermath of Spectre (2015), where the conclusion saw Bond and Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) drive away in the Aston Martin DB5.

“I’ve always been very happy with the way the 007 films I’ve been a part of have turned out,” says Craig. “It’s been a lot about the relationships and how those relationships affect him and how they change and steer his life. Whether it’s with the villain or whether it’s the people he works with, this movie has tackled that head on. And the biggest themes are love and trust.

“With No Time To Die there was a strong story to finish off, lots of loose ends to tie up. And I think we have managed to tell that story and get everything rounded up.”

No Time to Die is out on Jan 26 – PRE-ORDER your copy now.

James Bond at JB Hi-Fi