James Bond films are a high-octane action ride with plenty of thrills and some chills. And Daniel Craig, the latest to play the unflappable, debonair 007, says he tries to blank his mind so "that the fear doesn't come in" but also gets a kick out of the cuts and bruises.
"There is not a lot of thought process while I am doing these scenes. I try to blank my mind so that the fear doesn't come in. But I enjoy doing it because we work with so many people... Sometimes I get hurt.
"In this movie, I didn't get anything too bad. A few bumps, scrapes, cuts and bruises... I get a kick out of it," Craig told IANS in a group interview conducted through video conference from New York ahead of his latest film "Skyfall" that releases in India Nov 2.
Having grown up watching James Bond movies, Craig made his debut as the suave spy with "Casino Royale" after replacing actor Pierce Brosnan. Prior to this, he had acted in films like "A Kid in King Arthur's Court", "The Hunger", and "I Dreamed of Africa".
But becoming the super spy is an experience that is unexplainable, he said.
"It's one of those things in life which is unexplainable. I made no plan of being James Bond. So my life changed the day I met this lady (producer Barbara Broccoli) here. I thought she was joking, but she wasn't obviously."
In terms of playing the role, Craig, 44, says that he just "tries to make the best Bond, which I can with the help of these talented people".
"When you look at the body of work (James Bond series) from Sean (Connery) onwards, I want to be part of that," he added.
His latest Bond film "Skyfall", directed by Sam Mendes, he says, is an outcome of a lot of talented people coming together.
"This was a chance to begin again, having Sam coming to direct the movie. Barbara and I have had conversations about this; we just wanted to get best people for the job. We got the best writers, DOP (director of photography) and with Sam directing it, the movie has grown and become something else.
"It's not just a wonderful Bond movie, but a great movie to go and watch. It's not just my job to keep the film running, it's my job to be the helmet and stand out in front," he said.
The actor has confirmed that he would be working in two more Bond films, following this one.
"Yes, it is true. We have signed two. I am very realistic about these things. Let's see how this one goes, then we will see about the next two. I will be very excited to release another one. I have had a wonderful time shooting this one, I loved doing it," he said.
Any similarity between him and Bond?
"The character I play is not me, it's somebody else. I am miles away from my character...like on the other side of the universe," he said.
What about the perks of being James Bond off screen?
"There are many perks about having a successful movie career and I am very lucky. We have all worked very hard and once you finish the movie, one of my biggest joys is the escaping. And thankfully, with the success of these movies I have many places to go and escape to. But as I said, I am not James Bond. I don't enjoy the things he enjoys," he said.
James Bond films are one of the highest grossing franchises all over the world and Craig admits it adds to the pressure.
"Yes, I worry. But there is a certain point, which comes when you know you have done the best and it's up to the audience how they feel about it. Of course, I will be disappointed if it doesn't do the business, but I think we have made an amazing film and all we can do is to let it free," he said.
(Anjuri Nayar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)