Craig To Bond Fans: Give Me A Chance

In this handout photo made available in London Oct. 14, 2005 by EON Productions, shows actor Daniel Craig as the latest James Bond. The 37-year-old actor was unveiled as the sixth movie superspy. (AP Photo/EON Productions, HO, File) ** EDITORIAL USE ONLY: NO SALES: ** AP Photo/EON Productions

Daniel Craig, the new James Bond, wants critics to give him a chance.

"If I went onto the Internet and started looking at what some people were saying about me — which, sadly, I have done — it would drive me insane," the British actor says in an interview in Entertainment Weekly magazine, on newsstands Friday.

"They hate me. They don't think I'm right for the role. It's as simple as that. They're passionate about it, which I understand, but I do wish they'd reserve judgment."

A group of James Bond fans have launched a Web site, www.craignotbond.com, to protest Craig replacing Pierce Brosnan in the 007 film franchise, and to boycott "Casino Royale," slated for release Nov. 17.

The fair-haired Craig, whose screen credits include roles in "Munich" and "Layer Cake," was tapped last October to play the secret-agent icon. While filming "Casino Royale," the 38-year-old actor was uneasy about uttering those famous words, "The name is Bond, James Bond."

"People kept asking, 'Have you done the line yet?' " Craig tells the magazine. "But, honestly, I didn't rehearse it at all. I didn't practice it in the mirror every morning or anything like that. I didn't want to even think about saying it because I didn't want it to be this weight around my neck. I just wanted to get on with it and not blow it."
  • Jessica Derschowitz

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