Daniel Craig was gracious enough to sit down with me in a field in Montana a few weeks back to talk westerns, sci-fi and the latest combo of the two, "Cowboys and Aliens."
The man is no stranger to physically demanding roles. His James Bond has been by far the most bare knuckled, down and dirty, body slamming Bond we've seen on screen. He's built like a pit bull, and has a steely gaze that can stop a truck, and/or blue eyes that melt your heart.
This made him perfect to play Jake Lonergan, the cowboy who wakes up in the middle of the desert with no memory and a piece of mysterious alien technology strapped to his arm in "Cowboys and Aliens."
Actors are amazing. Not only must they undergo constant personal rejection during the audition process, but when they're lucky enough to get a part, they're often must endure physical hardships that normal folks simply wouldn't put up with "at work."
When I visited the set in New Mexico a year ago it was hot. The entire cast, including Craig, were covered in dirt and dressed in authentic western apparel, meaning wool and leather and burlap. That's pretty much the last thing you want to have on in 100+ degree weather. Their job was to stand out in the sun in those clothes and act while most of the crew watched on from the shade. They had been there, doing that, for over three months.
I asked Mr. Craig if he'd rather have been in a studio, and got a pretty flat rejection of the notion, "You can't do it any other way. It's a western, the dust and the sunshine and the rest of it pretty much plays into the film." Fair enough.
Watch the rest of the interview embedded above, and you can also check out my sit downs with Harrison Ford (he's kinda scary) and Olivia Wilde (she's totally awesome.) Drew's review of the movie is here.
(Note: It was getting later in the day and the cows in the field were getting restless. You got the sense that they knew they were being used as props and weren't even getting any extra alfalfa for their efforts. They were getting noisy and if you watch the video closely, Mr. Craig Makes a subtle fart joke.)
"Cowboys and Aliens" opens Friday, July 29th in theaters everywhere. Click on the event box below for showtimes and tickets.