No Time to Die marks the end of an era as it’s Daniel Craig’s final time playing James Bond. Having first portrayed the super-spy back in 2006’s Casino Royale, Craig stands as the longest-serving 007 of all time, and his legacy will likely be felt in the franchise for a long while yet. As is often said, the actor transformed the character of Bond into someone more complex and multifaceted, reviving elements from Ian Fleming’s original novels that previous films had forgotten.
Craig’s two-time co-star Léa Seydoux, however, believes that Craig also brought something to the role that was all his own. According to the actress, who first played Dr. Madeleine Swann in Spectre and returns for No Time to Die, the Knives Out star has turned Bond into a “feminist”, in stark contrast to the misogynistic 007 of yesteryear.
“I think he really changed the character, who was a misogynist, into a feminist, which is something very important,” Seydoux explained while speaking with AV Club about Craig’s impact on Bond. “And now they have become very interesting films. Visually, but also in their depth.”
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His relationship with Seydoux’s Madeleine is a good indication of how Craig’s Bond differs from the likes of Sean Connery’s and Roger Moore’s incarnations. At the end of Spectre, the secret agent did the unthinkable and left behind his life as an MI6 assassin to drive off into the sunset with Dr. Swann. Of course, the fact there’s now another movie proves that things didn’t go smoothly for the pair, though.
The franchise’s whole approach to its female characters has developed over Craig’s tenure, as well. It’s previously been said that the old term “Bond Girls” has been officially retired and the phrase “Bond Women” is now used on set instead. What’s more, the new film, the 25th overall, features four prominent Bond Women. Madeleine, Naomie Harris’ Moneypenny and two highly capable agents – Lashana Lynch’s Nomi and Ana de Armas’ Paloma.
Now that Craig has made James Bond a feminist, hopefully this will continue into the next incarnation of the character, whoever ends up playing him. For now, No Time to Die is in US cinemas from today.