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James Bond’scasting director Debbie McWilliams has broken down the process that actors vying for the role of 007 must undergo.
McWilliams told Entertainment Weekly the audition is “pretty rigorous” and “goes on for quite a considerable time”.
Explaining that lots of actors are considered and then rejected “for one reason or another”, McWilliams said the top two or three choices are required to do a screen test, complete a stunt assessment and “meet everybody”.
“It’s a committee decision between the producers, the studio, and the director, but it’s usually very much down to the Broccoli family,” the long-time Bond casting director shared.
The Broccoli family runs Eon Productions, the company that produces Bond films.
McWilliams also detailed the many qualities she looks for in a modern-day James Bond, admitting it’s a “tall order”.
“It’s somebody who can hold their own, who is attractive, physical, capable of taking on not just the part but all the razzmatazz that goes with it,” she said.
Over her three decade long association with the James Bond franchise, McWilliams has cast Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.
Craig stepped into the shoes of the suave MI6 spy in 2006 with Casino Royale. McWilliams recounts the negative press and pushback from fans when Craig was cast to play Bond.
“The press response was awful and I felt so sorry for him, but in a funny kind of a way I think it almost spurred him on to do his damndest to prove everybody wrong.”
With Craig’s time as Bond coming to an end, McWilliams knows she faces an uphill task, with the Knives Out actor set to be a tough act to follow.
No Time To Diewill be the final Bond film starring Craig. It is released on 30 September in the UK and co-stars Rami Malek and Lashana Lynch.
Lynch, who plays fellow MI6 spy Nomi in No Time To Die, has dismissed rumours that she is set to inherit Bond’s iconic number after Craig.
“Nooo! You don’t want me!” the 35-year-old actress said, when asked about fan speculation on the subject.