Martin Campbell, director of Casino Royale, had one major concern regarding Daniel Craig's James Bond 007 debut.
Speaking to the Express UK (via Variety), Campbell said that he worried Craig wasn't “sexy” enough to play James Bond. “My only reticence with Daniel…he was really a superb actor, there's no doubt about that,” he said. “It was the fact that with people like Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Pierce Brosnan was that they were all traditional-looking Bonds. All handsome guys, all sexy, all very attractive to women and so forth.”
“Daniel was obviously tougher and rugged, but he wasn't a traditional handsome guy,” he continued. “So I just thought about that for a minute and apart from that, absolutely it was him.”
Campbell also added that there were eight others in contention for his iteration of James Bond in Casino Royale.
Casino Royale was Martin Campbell's second James Bond film. He directed GoldenEye in 1995, which was Brosnan's first time playing 007. After three more Brosnan films, Campbell was brought in to reboot the series with Craig playing the lead role. The film was an adaptation of Ian Fleming's 1953 novel of the same name and the third overall adaptation of the novel.
Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench, and Jeffrey Wright also starred in Casino Royale. It follows James Bond as he faces off with a terrorist financier, Le Chiffre (Mikkelsen). Casino Royale was a box office hit, grossing over $600 million worldwide.
Daniel Craig may not have been sexy enough for Campbell upon first glance, but Casino Royale worked out for both parties. Craig would reprise the role in four more films, with 2021's No Time to Die serving as his curtain call.