Daniel Craig Focuses on James Bond

"Bond doesn't verbalize a lot of what's going on, so it's a challenging role," says Broccoli. "He is able to show the chinks in the armor, and that makes the character stronger. There's a tension within him, that the way Daniel plays him, you don't think he's going to snap, but you know he's going to bend."

Craig says he would have played the character differently when he was younger.

"The older I've gotten, the more I've understood what being hard is about, or being tough. It's less about fighting and physicality," he says. "The strongest people I know are women and not-huge men, let's put it that way. The strongest people have been the ones who genuinely have got it inside. If you don't have it inside, you're weak."

So how does Craig define toughness?

"I wish I knew," he says. "I fight to find out. I spend my life trying to be strong. As a man, you have to look after your family. Having good people around you and looking after them, it's that strength you draw from as well.

"Barroom brawls?" He shrugs. "I've done maybe two or three, and I've never been particularly successful at them. They're always very quick, and then suddenly you're outside and you don't know quite how you got there."

When he was first considering the Bond role, he says: "I never considered myself particularly tough. I had played rugby as a kid and played lots of contact sports and done all that. I'm never afraid of throwing myself around," he says (the arm sling serving as testament). "But when I came to do this, I knew Bond was tough. But it's the other stuff that's more interesting, that's worth playing around with and having a look at. That was my approach, but I nicked it from Ian Fleming, who wrote it on the page. He wrote this guy who was tough, hard, but (messed) up."

He has a similar counterintuitive approach to the character's sex appeal, hewn from the fact that many actors agree that one bonus of the business is the ability to attract.

"You get into acting for the chase. It's dressing up and showing off. Let's be honest about it, at it's basic level," he says, laughing. "But it's when you start believing in all that, you're in deep trouble. People talk to me about 'How's it feel being sort of looked at as being sexy?' And I'm going, 'I have no idea what you're talking about.' That sounds like false humility, but it's not. Anybody who starts to think they're sexy immediately becomes unsexy."

It's far from over for this busy actor. His Holocaust resistance drama "Defiance" opens Dec. 31; he plays a Lithuanian Jew who leads rebels on a guerrilla war against the Nazis rather than go to a concentration camp.

It was another demanding, intense role; Craig isn't one to toss off a less intense part. That's something he picked up from a late actor who worked with him on 2002's "Road to Perdition."

"The best thing I can say about Paul Newman was he worried about his craft and worried about what he was doing. He talked it through, and when he got it right it pleased him and when he got it wrong it really (ticked) him off," Craig says. "I thought, 'You're in your 70s, this is the twilight of your career; other people would be sitting back and saying, "I'll show up, say the lines and take the check." '

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