It’s a profession that has given him a £120 million fortune and a leading role in the world’s most famous film franchise.
The Bafta-nominated actor, whose career spans three decades, said the industry can be extremely “degrading and depressing”, particularly when you are repeatedly rejected for roles.
“My advice to young actors is don’t do it – any other career!” he told fans during an interview in London with Edith Bowman, hosted by Bafta.
“It’s so degrading and depressing at times, the rejection. I was quite defensive and bolshy to deal with it.”
Craig, who turned 53 this year, also disclosed that he didn’t have the best of starts to his acting career and almost got thrown out of drama school.
He admitted that he was close to being expelled on three occasions because he had a terrible habit of turning up late for classes and performances.
“I had a lot of fortune early on with the National Youth Theatre. It was learning discipline,” Craig said.
“If you were late, you got so much s–t. That was really invaluable. I scraped into drama school and for the first year I was late all the time. I was nearly chucked out three times. I made up a long excuse once and a teacher said ‘That’s a bit spurious, Daniel’.
“I’d left school with a couple of GCSEs and I thought I’d end up being a waiter. But then something clicked. I worked my a— off. But I’m the world’s worst auditioner. I fluff lines and get nervous.”
From a ‘proper flea pit’ to the red carpet
Craig said his passion for the screen came from childhood, as he used to sit for hours watching films in a run-down local cinema.
“I lived in a small town on the Wirral and there was one tiny cinema; a proper flea pit. The movies had been around the world five times before they got to us. I used to sneak in there and watch the films. A lot were rubbish but I didn’t care.”
The father-of-two said the pandemic has “put things in perspective” for him and returning to the cinema has never felt so invigorating.
“We’re a social animal and cinema is a way for us to collectively experience something. There’s nothing quite like it. This remains to me one of the most important art forms. I want to be in a cinema screaming at the screen and enjoying it.”
He said he’ll miss the James Bond team terribly. But has he kept any mementoes from the sets?
“I purposefully don’t keep memorabilia. I want to move on and not look back.”