James Bond casting director recalls blowback after hiring Daniel Craig

Debbie McWilliams, the casting director, who has shaped the legendary James Bond franchise for three decades has said she “felt sorry” for Daniel Craig after his casting led to extreme blowback from press who thought Craig didn’t fit the part of Bond.

McWilliams is the casting director responsible for hiring Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig. 

McWilliams was reflecting on the actor’s casting ahead of his Bond debut, Casino Royale just as Craig exits the 007 franchise after the upcoming No Time to Die.

“It was unbelievably negative, I have to say,” McWilliams told Entertainment Weekly while speaking about the reaction to Craig’s casting. “The press response was awful and I felt so sorry for him, but in a funny kind of a way I think it almost spurred him on to do his damndest to prove everybody wrong. The whole way through the film, stuff would come out about [how] he couldn’t walk and talk, he couldn’t run, he couldn’t drive a car properly, so much stuff which was completely and utterly untrue. And he just kept his head down, got on with the job and then the film came out and everybody went, ‘Oh wow, I think we quite like him after all.’”

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