"But no, it absolutely meant as much to him then as it had always meant. I thought, 'God, if you're still getting a thrill out of your job, still getting that much out of your profession at that age, that can't be a bad thing. You've probably got to work toward that, make yourself feel that."
An exit strategy
Craig is signed to at least two more 007 films, but if audience feelings change and his stripped-down version of Bond no longer appeals, he'll definitely bow out. "Adapting to that is not my job. I can only go with what I know. If attitudes change across the board, then I'll have to think of something else to do."
Many Bond-isms were deliberately withheld from "Quantum" so they can have impact when they emerge in future movies. And Craig says longtime side characters such as gadget-master Q and the lovelorn secretary Miss Moneypenny may also reappear.
"I'd love to bring them back in," he says. "But I don't think you can employ a really good actor and say, 'We want you to play Q and can you go do an impression of (the late) Desmond Llewelyn?' It would be offensive. I'd go, 'Look, this is Q, these are the premises, why don't you make something up, and we'll have a brand-new idea?' Suddenly it will be an enriched character again. Maybe we'll give it legs, maybe they'll make another 10."
Craig hesitates, nods at his arm sling and adds quickly: "Not with me they won't, but maybe they'll give it another 10 years."