The Torturous Career of Daniel Craig

3 Jul

My wife loves Daniel Craig. She talks about how good-looking he is and about how he is her favorite actor. I respond with my admiration for the acting abilities and other aspects of Olivia Wilde. However, I also respond by talking about Daniel’s acting abilities.Daniel Craig

All actors have a specialty within their craft. Some can disappear into a character. Others are better in action sequences. Some work better in the brooding role of an art house film. Others are better at comedy than at drama. A few can do both. Obviously, actors are versatile, but they still have some things that they are better at doing.

Daniel Craig has been in historical dramas, spy thrillers, westerns and many other types of films. However, his specialty is playing a tortured person. I am not talking about having a tortured soul of someone who has had a life of misfortune. I am talking about someone who is getting flayed, beaten, whipped and any other torturous act that comes to mind.

He must be good at playing a tortured person because there is a recurring theme to his movies. Daniel Craig is always finding himself in these situations.

I first remember seeing Daniel in Elizabeth, the 1998 movie about the early reign of Elizabeth I. Many powerful people did not want her on the throne, and Daniel Craig was sent to stir up rebellion and assassinate her. He was not very good at his job because he got caught. In one of the films most dramatic scenes, Geoffrey Rush has Daniel hung from the rafters with blood dripping to the floor. He is being tortured until he spills the beans on the other conspirators.

He ended up talking, and Elizabeth’s reign is saved.

Daniel continued acting in some forgettable movies until he hit the big time in 2006. That is when he debuted as James Bond in Casino Royale. Honestly, I never thought any Bond movie could be as good as Goldfinger, but this may be the best of the bunch. It definitely pumped new life into an old franchise.

It also showed Daniel at his best. Not when he was chasing bad guys. Not when he was wooing a woman. It happened when he was being tortured by the villain. This was a great scene because of its simplicity. In most movies, a torture scene involves a bunch of elaborate ways to hurt someone and get them to talk. In this case, the bad guy says:

You know, I never understood all these elaborate tortures. It’s the simplest thing… to cause more pain than a man can possibly endure.Torture

Then, he hit Daniel in a place that made every guy in the theater cringe.

With his career in high gear, Daniel had his choice of roles. There were a few missteps. Then, he delved into a genre that I love but that Hollywood deems risky. In 2011, he made a western but not just any western. This one was called Cowboys & Aliens and also starred Olivia Wilde. In our house, this may have been the best movie ever made. That is mostly due to the scene where Olivia Wilde walks out of the fire.Olivia

It is also a movie where Daniel went back to his comfort zone. In a flashback scene, he gets abducted onto an alien spaceship and gets tortured. More accurately, they are going to experiment on him, but that seems like torture to me.

Once again, Daniel shows his acting chops by struggling and sweating as someone tries to cause him great pain.

That same year, Daniel starred in a greatly anticipated movie called The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Based on the book and the foreign film, which was better than this one, he plays a disgraced journalists who is hired to solve an old mystery. He gets help from a young computer hacker who has a ton of issues along with a tattoo of a dragon.

Many people criticize the book and the movie for its apparent hatred toward women. It is true that violence and disregard for women is all over the place. In the most famous scene, the title character is brutally raped while handcuffed to the bed.

However, not all of the violence is directed toward women. As Daniel closes in on the culprit, he finds himself bound in the serial killers basement of horrors. As Daniel hangs by chains, the bad guy suffocates him and runs knife blades across his chest. It is obvious that this guy is going to do things to Daniel that Geoffrey Rush, the Bond villain and the alien would never dream of doing. Luckily for Daniel, the bad guy ended up looking like this.Dead

Obviously, Daniel Craig is a successful actor who has obtained on of the iconic roles in movie history. He has also tried his hand at other genres. However, he has also tended to revert back to his comfort zone, and that seems to be in the torture chamber.


11 Responses to “The Torturous Career of Daniel Craig”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong July 3, 2014 at 16:44 #

    Apparently a lot of people are into having the hero get beat up. I had an interesting conversation about this with Jim Butcher who claims that if his character, Harry Dresden, doesn’t get mauled at least once per book, his fans will be disappointed.

    I’m not big on pain and torture and tend to run out of the room until the scene is over. I guess I’m the wrong audience.

    • Rick July 3, 2014 at 18:14 #

      I don’t mind a torture scene if it is the context of the story. Old Daniel seems to make a habit of it, though.

  2. Ash July 3, 2014 at 17:28 #

    I’ll have to agree with your wife, Daniel Craig is attractive. My 2014 calender is all Daniel Craig. Haven’t seen all his movies, but I’d call him a good actor. Dragon Tattoo and Defiance being my favorites. 🙂

    • Rick July 3, 2014 at 18:15 #

      He is definitely her favorite. I like all of the movies I have seen him in. There is even a B movie called Archangel that is good. I just think it’s strange that he gets beat up all of the time.

      Thanks for commenting.

      • Ash July 4, 2014 at 12:45 #

        I never thought about it until I read your post. Thanks for making me think. 🙂

      • Rick July 4, 2014 at 14:35 #

        You’re welcome.

  3. Andrew Petcher July 4, 2014 at 09:00 #

    I thought he made a good job of his role in Road to Perdition!

    • Rick July 4, 2014 at 14:35 #

      He has done a good job in a bunch of good movies.

  4. sittingpugs July 5, 2014 at 21:24 #

    I’ve seen a number of Daniel Craig films, including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I’d never noticed the suffering motif before, but now that you mention it…yes!

    He suffered emotionally in Sylvia. I don’t remember what happened in Layer Cake or Flashbacks of a Fool.

    Have you seen enough films starring Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, or Clive Own to make similar observations?

    • Rick July 5, 2014 at 23:15 #

      I think he is the best sufferer in Hollywood. I have seen plenty of their movies but haven’t noticed a trend. I’ll start looking.

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