Daniel Craig has said that his feeling “physically really low” was partly responsible for the long wait for the new James Bond film.
The actor, who returns for his fifth and final outing as the spy in No Time To Die, said that he struggled with the physicality of preparing for the films, and that he also suffered from anxiety over the role.
Craig told GQ magazine: “I was never going to do one again.
“I was like, ‘Is this work really genuinely worth this, to go through this, this whole thing?’ And I didn’t feel… I felt physically really low.
“So the prospect of doing another movie was just, like, off the cards.
“And that’s why it has been five years.”
His last turn as Bond was in 2015’s Spectre, which at the time was reported to be his final outing as the spy.
Craig, 52, said that the “physicality” of Bond is “a preparation, in a way”, because he would not get the script beforehand.
“It’s making my head go, ‘This is what it’s going to be.’”
Trying to prepare for a role in one of the most popular film franchises in modern cinema without a script also caused him to have anxiety.
He said: “I have suffered from it in the past.
“I have suffered because it’s been like, ‘I can’t cope. I can’t deal with this.’”
The British actor has also told of his regret over not speaking up about the script for the previous four Bond films in which he has starred.
“I’ve kept my mouth shut before and I’ve stayed out of it and I’ve respected it and I’ve regretted that I did,” he told the magazine.
Looking ahead to life after Bond, Craig – who is married to actress Rachel Weisz – said that his future may involve “having another kid, maybe just being older”.
“But all of these things, I was just like, you know, f*** it. There are other things that are more important.”
On future acting roles, he added: “I’m pretty sure I can play just about anything.
“Yeah. I’m pretty sure I can, or at least I can make a f****** good fist of it.”
He said that No Time To Die, which was recently pushed back to be released in November instead of April amid global concern around the spread of coronavirus, will have references to Donald Trump.
“We struggled to keep Trump out of this film, but of course it is there,” Craig said.
“It’s always there, whether it’s Trump, or whether it’s Brexit, or whether it’s Russian influence on elections or whatever…
“There are British people working in the top industries in the world and at the top of those industries.
“We do that, and we are good at that. And somehow we’re kind of breaking all that apart. Whether that’s breaking from Europe… There is a sort of a nihilism, isn’t there?”
The film finds Bond after he has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica when his old friend Felix Leiter, played by Jeffrey Wright, from the CIA turns up asking for help.
A mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading to a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
No Time To Die also stars Lea Seydoux, Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch and Ana De Armas and is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, with a script co-written by Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
It will be released in UK cinemas on November 12.
Daniel Craig stars in the April issue of British GQ in a global GQ James Bond exclusive. GQ’s April issue is available from Wednesday March 11.