Live and let Bond lie, Weisz tells Craig

Anyone who thought it was M who gave orders to James Bond may need to reconsider: it is apparently 007’s wife. The actress Rachel Weisz will have a big influence on whether her husband, Daniel Craig, continues in the role because she is concerned about the physical toll that playing the character takes on his body, according to a close friend of the couple.

There were suggestions last week that Craig would abandon the role in favour of Purity, a 20 part television series. However, MGM, which distributes the Bond films, is reported to be willing to delay the next movie by a year to keep him. Craig, 47, has incurred several injuries during the making of his four Bond movies and has spent months away from his family. Sources say he is keen to do another Bond film but Weisz, who married him in 201, is less keen.

“Bond is in his blood but he’s had so many injuries and has ongoing chronic pains, which Rachel is seriously worried about, and she doesn’t want him to pile on more injuries,” according to a source. “She just wants him to turn the page, even though he loves the challenge and the dare.”

Craig himself has previously said: “I hurt myself every day. I’ve had my right shoulder reconstructed, my knees operated on and my thumb hurts.” On Spectre, the latest Bond film, he required a knee operation after suffering an injury filming a fight scene with the villain Mr Hinx. Part of the risk is that Craig insists on doing many of the stunts himself. Gary Powell, chief stunt co-ordinator, said: “I don’t have to prepare Daniel for the stunts. He comes in ready and knows what he’s got to do. We go through the ideas together but mentally he comes in strong — that’s just his character.

“He’s confident of his abilities, which he has every right to be because he’s a bloody good actor. There’s no ego there. He’ll say, “I can do this, and let the stunt person do that”. He does all his car chases —he’s a very good driver. He’s more than capable of doing everything, all his own stunts. It’s just a logistical thing. “If he’s not doing a stunt, it’s not because he can’t, it’s because he’s busy on the main unit.That’s the reason we have doubles for him, because he can’t be everywhere at once within the time we have to shoot the film.”

The source said that Weisz, whose film credits include The Mummy and The Constant Gardener, had not asked Craig to rule out doing another Bond, but had pointed out how difficult it was for him to be away from the family for up to six months and for her to watch him suffering injuries.

According to the source, Craig has taken his wife’s anxiety into account, which is why he is trying to work around the decision and is still undecided. “Daniel will ultimately do what is best for his marriage, that’s the reality, but he wants to do another Bond,” the source said. “It could go either way.”