In 2005, simply after being named the subsequent James Bond, Daniel Craig was in his trailer on the set of a movie he was wrapping up. That’s when he bought the knock.
“Daniel opened the door, breakfast sandwich in hand and a glance of dread on his face,” recollects Simon Waterson, who was standing on the opposite facet. Waterson, 46, is the coach employed to get Craig into form for On line casino Royale. As for the look of dread: “I believe he began to understand what he signed up for, and he must earn these sandwiches now.”
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Craig, now 52, earned the sandwiches, and Waterson earned Craig’s belief. Their partnership continued throughout all 5 films, together with No Time to Die, and sure the actor’s closing bow as 007. Early rumors recommend the motion rivals—if not eclipses—all earlier movies.
Constructing a Higher Bond
Within the night after their introduction, over a few beers, Craig advised Waterson that his imaginative and prescient for Bond was to boost the bar—which included doing a bigger share of struggle scenes and stunts than earlier actors had. There was an early stipulation: Craig needed a coaching associate, not a drill teacher. “Attending to hit the exercises collectively, and commerce off whereas pushing one another, made the periods extra pleasing,” Waterson says.
Waterson had labored with Pierce Brosnan twice throughout his flip as Bond, so the coach understood the preparation it took. Not like a superhero position, the place the objective is packing on muscle, the Bond physique is extra nuanced. He’s a undercover agent who slips unseen throughout enemy traces, executes a mission—nabbing delicate information, then blowing shit up—parkours off buildings/cranes/trains to flee, and cleans up in time for cocktail hour.
In 2006, On line casino Royale launched the world to a brand new Bond that movie reviewers collectively name “brooding.” Quick-forward to the notorious torture scene when Craig is tied to a chair bare, and also you’d additionally say Bond is constructed.
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For Craig, the objective for every Bond movie since has by no means been to “get again into Bond form” however slightly to surpass the earlier iteration.
“That isn’t straightforward, as a result of Daniel isn’t getting any youthful,” Waterson says. “With every movie, it takes extra effort to get to the subsequent stage, however he reveals up each time.”
Follow the Script
The coaching protocol is just not straightforward, however No Time to Die is proof that it really works. As with most motion films, Waterson bought an early take a look at the script, then designed exercises that included traditional practical actions with specialised drills tailor-made to probably the most bodily demanding motion sequences.
Waterson understood the physicality required as a result of he’d executed it in actual life. He’d been a member of the 845 Naval Air Squadron—an elite particular forces unit within the U.Okay.—which implies he’s uniquely certified to coach somebody for any eventuality.
Preparation for No Time to Die started greater than a 12 months earlier than the cameras rolled. Waterson got here knocking once more on Craig’s door for two-week-long boot camps each month. First, they constructed a energy and conditioning basis. (Waterson shares a model of his preshoot exercise right here.)
Later, Waterson fine-tuned the plan for particular actions Craig would possibly do within the movie, with a concentrate on agility. So that they included soccer and rugby drills. Craig occurs to be a former rugby participant, and people periods introduced out the actor’s aggressive facet. “He’s a tough one to catch,” Waterson says.
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Lights, Digicam, Motion
As soon as filming started, Craig’s schedule was exact to the minute. After Craig bought to set, he and Waterson spent 30 to 40 minutes doing stretching and muscle activation particular to the sequences scheduled to movie that day. With 10 minutes to go, Waterson gave the cooks the go-ahead to prepare dinner Craig’s breakfast of eggs, rye bread, avocado, kimchi, turmeric photographs, and black espresso.
Then the workday started—10 hours of sprinting, combating, and automobile chases. And one thing else to recollect: aside from extremely choreographed scenes with pyrotechnics and one-and-done sensible particular results, Craig was typically made to do the identical bodily scene a number of instances. And he can’t appear winded. The 10th take ought to appear like the primary.
“I don’t assume individuals understand how demanding these productions are,” Waterson says. “I’m blown away that he’s nonetheless standing half the time.”
That dedication got here with a value; Craig has been harm on practically each shoot—together with No Time to Die, the place he suffered a severe harm to his left ankle whereas filming an motion scene in Jamaica.
And but, at Craig’s insistence, he was within the health club the subsequent week, Waterson guiding him by way of an upper-body exercise, aware of the Aircast on his foot.
“I’m consistently impressed with him and his mentality,” Waterson says. “Our objectives for this final spherical weren’t simply in regards to the movie. We additionally made private objectives. And my objective was to assist him be the fittest 50-year-old on the planet. I believe we bought there.”
Need extra Bond exclusives? Try:
Daniel Craig’s ‘No Time to Die’ Power and Conditioning Exercise
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No Time to Die’s new launch date is November 25, 2020
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