Daniel Craig has said goodbye to his iconic role as James Bond in an emotional farewell to the cast and crew.
Craig’s eyes welled with tears as he spoke after wrapping up the final scene of his fifth and last 007 film, No Time to Die.
The clip is from the upcoming documentary, Being James Bond, which reflects on Craig’s 15-year tenure as Britain’s most famous spy.
Looking back, it’s easy to see why Craig got so choked up.
“I know there’s a lot of things said about what I think about these films, or all of those whatever,” Craig said, addressing the crew.
“But I’ve loved every single second of these movies, and especially this one, because I’ve got up every morning, and I’ve had the chance to work with you guys.
“And that has been one of the greatest honours of my life,” he said, too emotional to continue.
The franchise’s popularity continued with Craig at the helm, with his first film in the series, Casino Royale, gaining significant attention and grossing more than $600 million worldwide at the box office.
But his second run as Bond, in Quantum of Solace, was considered a major flop by fans and critics alike, with a box-office total of $589 million.
Craig revealed part of the reason for a mixed reaction in an interview years later: Quantum of Solace was rushed into production after a writer’s strike in 2007-2008, and the crew started filming without a finished script.
He also admitted to being “overwhelmed” by fame after Casino Royale’s great success.
Craig and the Bond franchise rebounded with its greatest grossing title to date in 2012, with the release of his third film, Skyfall, totalling more than $1.1 billion worldwide.
The most recent film in the franchise, and Craig’s fourth, Spectre, grossed $880 million.
But Craig’s time as 007 has also been marked with controversies of his own making.
Craig’s dislike of the role was clear to see towards the tail-end of his time as Bond.
In a 2015 interview with Time Out magazine before the release of Spectre, Craig didn’t mince his words when asked if he could imagine another film in the role.
The British actor said that he would “rather slash my wrists” than return as Ian Fleming’s world-famous spy.
“All I want to do is move on,” he said.
Craig said the role of James Bond had “changed my working life in an incredible way”.
But despite his reluctance, Craig stayed on for No Time to Die, which is due to hit Australian cinemas on November 11.
In a revealing interview with GQ last year, Craig detailed the extremes to which he went to find his version of the iconic character in 2005.
Craig said he connected more with the darker character in Ian Fleming’s original Bond novels than he did with the films of the past 30 years.
Craig also had to deal with scathing public outcry at the announcement of his casting.
He was 37 and blond when he was cast as the world’s most revered spy, sparking online petitions to reject Craig as the next Bond.
He is now 53 years old, and his touching farewell speech has received more than four million views online in less than 24 hours.
Seems a few people changed their minds about him.