GUESTS filed past a huge 007 logo, and a classic Aston Martin. The star wore a Tom Ford suit and satisfied smile. Royalty and stars walked up the red carpet. What else could it be but the world premiere of the latest Bond film to hit our screens.
In a red-carpet interview, the star of Skyfall, Daniel Craig, declared that this, his third Bond, was his greatest achievement yet as the film series celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Last night’s premiere will benefit real former spies, after Prince Charles requested the screening should support charities which help members of the three intelligence agencies – the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), the Security Service (MI5) and GCHQ.
Craig, 44, was the first of the film’s stars to arrive at the Royal Albert Hall for the premiere.
He said he was “incredibly proud” once more to be playing Ian Fleming’s suave hero, who first appeared on the big screen in Dr No in 1962. Craig, who became the first blond Bond in Casino Royale in 2006, was credited with bringing a dramatic depth to the MI6 man, before starring in Quantum Of Solace two years later.
Arriving at the premiere, he praised Skyfall – partly filmed in Glen Coe – saying it was “one of the best Bond films there is”.
Praising the lavish launch, Craig said: “This feels even more special than the ones that have gone before for me. I’ve never been to a premiere like this; it’s incredible.”
Describing his relationship with section chief M, played by Dame Judi Dench, he joked: “It was like all mothers and sons; she bossed me around.”
Three months after he played a part in the Olympic opening ceremony alongside the Queen, Craig met her son, the Prince of Wales.
He was joined by fellow stars Naomie Harris, Javier Bardem – who plays Bond’s nemesis, cyber terrorist Silva – and Ben Whishaw, who stars as Q. Bardem said he was always drawn to Bond villains after seeing the metal-toothed baddie Jaws in Moonraker.
Asked about the enduring appeal of the films, he said: “Well, 50 years is a long time. That means they have been doing something really right, starting with the actors who have played Bond. They have all brought their own flavour to it.”
Oscar-winning film-maker Sam Mendes was brought on board for the latest film, after Craig invited him to work on it. Mendes has promised fans that Skyfall, the 23rd in the 007 series, is an “epic”.
He said: “As the movie progresses, it gets more epic. I loved the scale of it. I think there is a possibility that I put everything I’ve ever wanted to put in a Bond movie into this movie.”
He said the superspy was a “three-dimensional” character and hinted that the film could almost match On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which at 142 minutes is the longest Bond film yet.
Skyfall, also shot in exotic locations from Shanghai to Istanbul, begins with Bond reportedly killed in action and M writing his obituary while fighting for her career after being summoned by government ministers to explain why a data base of MI6 assets has fallen into enemy hands, compromising agents. Naomie Harris, who plays MI5 field agent Eve, said being a Bond girl was more than being a just a pretty face.
She said: “Bond girls have to reflect the modern woman, and the modern woman is very talented and very capable, they’re leaders in their field, they can do anything. They are equals to men and we have to reflect that in the movies.”
Skyfall is released in the UK on Friday.