Mark Strong Says Drunken Night with Daniel Craig Ruined His James Bond Villain Audition

A horrible hangover is not the mental state you want to be in when auditioning for the 007 franchise.
Mark Strong, Daniel Craig in "Skyfall"
Mark Strong, Daniel Craig in "Skyfall"
AP/Everett Collection

Mark Strong had his shot to join the James Bond franchise in the 1990s during the Pierce Brosnan era, but it turns out an intense hangover ruined his audition. Why such an intense hangover? Strong went out drinking with none other than Daniel Craig the night before the Bond audition. Talk about a full circle James Bond encounter.

“I learned the lines…and to celebrate I went out for a drink, and I got pissed,” Strong said during an interview on Sky One’s “There’s Something About Movies” (via THR). “I overdid it and the next day I was severely hungover.”

Strong stumbled to the audition, where he was trying out to play the villain in a Pierce Brosnan-led Bond movie. In front of eight casting executives, he bombed. The actor explained, “I started, then I just forgot my lines, couldn’t remember what they were and they all just kind of fell apart. I was sweating, it was a terrible experience — but I really learned from it…The irony was, the guy I was out the night before getting pissed with was Daniel Craig. So I blame him!”

It would be several more years before Craig stepped into the 007 role with “Casino Royale.” Craig has since starred in a total of four bond films (“Royale,” “Quantum of Solace,” “Skyfall,” “Spectre”), with an upcoming fifth round set for October with the release of the long-delayed “No Time to Die.” That film is set to be Craig’s final turn as James Bond.

Strong currently appears opposite Emma Stone and Emma Thompson in Disney’s “Cruella.” While the actor missed his chance to join the James Bond franchise, he has since been cast in major Hollywood franchise movies such as “Sherlock Holmes,” “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” and “Shazam.” Strong spoke to The Guardian in 2017 about missing out on Hollywood tentpoles early in his career, and how that shaped his outlook on fame.

“At the beginning I didn’t know what fame was or how it could affect your life, so I was probably eager to be noticed and try to become well known, because I believed then, like most young actors, that it would lead to more work,” Strong said. “What actually happens is that good work leads to more work. Over the years I’ve been doing it I’ve seen people I know very well become extremely famous and there is nothing about it that I would recommend. I can’t imagine anything worse than being in a position that you’re not allowed to live your life privately.”

“Cruella” is now playing in theaters nationwide and available to stream on Disney+ for $29.99

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