Connery vs. Craig

In comparing the two best Bonds, Connery and Craig, you have to say Craig is the better actor. He can express ennui, world-weariness, pathos, vulnerability, frustration, disgust, and sardonic humor. And he does it all without overacting.

Connery can express coolness, and toughness, and well, mostly just Connery-ness. He was the equivalent of a beautiful woman: a parade of sex appeal who doesn't really need to be anything else. (With a beautiful woman, you don't really expect a great personality, you just hope that her personality isn't too horrible.)


A better comparison might be Hulk Hogan, who couldn't really do much inside the ring. He had none of the acrobatic movies which the real athletes had: he couldn't do flips, or jump from the ropes, or even any of the standard wrestling moves. But he didn't really need to, because he was the Hulkster and looked the part and all his fans had Hulkamania. Hogan even looked a little like Connery, with the line under his cheekbone running backward rather than forward:


Daniel Craig just misses being really handsome, but he looks tough, which is enough for the role. His 3/4 angle looks good, and he has a great profile as well.



But Craig's straight on view isn't quite as good. (His close set eyes and wide nose aren't visible from the 3/4 or side view.) One weird thing about his face: his lips don't match. Usually a person either has two full lips or two thin lips; Craig has a thin upper lip combined with a full lower lip:


Craig looks as if he works out all day, as befits a modern action hero. Connery looked as if he hadn't done anything but drink martinis and smoke since the age of 23, which is probably pretty much what he had done. But Connery still exuded far more natural manliness than Craig.

One advantage Craig has is better writers. In Thunderball, after shooting a bad guy with a spear gun, Connery quipped, "He got the point." After shooting down an enemy helicopter in From Russia With Love, he said, "I'd say one of their aircraft is missing." Back in the 60's, these lines were actually considered witty.

In Skyfall, after seeing one of the bad guys dragged off by a Komodo dragon (in a casino), Craig says philosophically, "Ah, the circle of life." After exiting the Komodo pit he hands the girl a suitcase filled with four million dollars and says, nonchalantly, "Put it all on red" (i.e., bet it on roulette).

An actor is responsible for his own professionalism, but at a certain level, he can only be as good as his writers and script allow him to be.

I mean, the writing has to be sharp. Get the point?