Skyfall premiere in pictures: New James Bond film given royal approval
07:12 24 October 2012
James Bond’s return to the big screen was given the royal seal of approval tonight as 007’s latest film outing received its world premiere.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall attended the red carpet launch of Skyfall at the Royal Albert Hall in London, which was hailed by 007 star Daniel Craig as his greatest Bond premiere yet.
The actor, who had the role for Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, said he was “incredibly proud” to once more be playing the suave hero created by Ian Fleming, who first appeared on the big screen in Dr No in 1962.
“I’ve never been to a premiere like this, it’s incredible,” he said as he arrived at the venue, where guests filed past a huge gold 007 logo and a classic Aston Martin.
Craig revealed it had been important to get some of the humour seen in previous Bond films back for Skyfall as the franchise marked its 50th anniversary.
The 44-year-old actor said: “I always wanted to get the old Bond trademarks into the movie, and we had the chance.
“It was just a joy to put some of the gags in and get some of the old characters back. I think they’re very important.”
He added: “I think Sam Mendes has made a very beautiful movie, first and foremost, but it really is a great Bond movie.”
Craig was joined at the royal premiere by fellow stars Naomie Harris, Javier Bardem - who plays Bond’s nemesis Silva - and Ben Whishaw, who stars as Q.
Also among the hundreds of guests filtering into the Albert Hall was Dame Judi Dench who returns once again as secret service boss M.
Bardem said he was always drawn to Bond villains after seeing the metal-toothed baddie Jaws in Moonraker as a youngster.
Asked about the enduring appeal of the films, he said: “Well, 50 years is a long time. That means they have been doing something really right, starting with the actors who have played Bond. They have all brought their own flavour to it.”
Oscar-winning film-maker Sam Mendes was brought on board for the latest film, after Craig boldly invited him to work on it.
Mendes admitted he had had doubts about Craig’s suitability to play the famous spy.
He said: “I thought he might be wrong to play the part, I thought he might be the wrong casting. And it took me about 30 seconds of Casino Royale to realise: wrong.
“He’s a brilliant Bond and he completely changed it. He hasn’t made it better or worse, he regenerated it.”
The American Beauty director confessed he had never considered directing a Bond film until Craig himself suggested it.
He revealed: “It wasn’t until Daniel asked me ‘do you fancy doing a Bond movie?’ and I had a feeling immediately, and I’m so glad he asked me the question.”
Dame Judi, 77, has played MI6 boss M in seven Bond films, starting with GoldenEye opposite Pierce Brosnan in 1995.
She revealed how honoured she was to be part of Skyfall in the series’ 50th anniversary year.
Dame Judi said: “I’d like to be in the list of people who’ve been in the franchise, I must say, and I hope it lasts for another 50 years.”
Naomie Harris, who plays MI5 field agent Eve, felt strongly that in playing a Bond girl she wasn’t just a pretty face.
She said: “Bond girls have to reflect the modern woman, and the modern woman is very talented and very capable, they’re leaders in their field, they can do anything.
“They are equals to men and we have to reflect that in the movies.”
But Harris has her share of sexy scenes with Craig and admitted she preferred them to her action scenes.
She said: “I actually preferred the flirting, because the fighting is a lot of hard work and you get a lot of bruises.”
Berenice Marlohe, 33, who plays Bond girl Severine, couldn’t choose between fighting and flirting.
“I kind of like both,” she laughed.
The French actress enjoyed her steamy shower scene with Craig in the film.
“I would do it again!”
The leading stars and makers of Skyfall - the 23rd Bond movie - were introduced to the Prince and Duchess ahead of the screening in the Albert Hall.
Proceeds from the premiere will benefit charities that support members of the three intelligence agencies - the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), the Security Service (MI5) and GCHQ.
Camilla, wearing a purple velvet dress by Bruce Oldfield with an Amethyst diamond necklace from her private collection, and Charles, in black tie, looked dressed for the occasion as they arrived on the red carpet to Bond’s famous theme music.
The Prince, who also owns an Aston Martin, pointed to Bond’s classic car on display outside the grand hall as they walked the red carpet.
The royal couple were greeted by Skyfall’s producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli before they were introduced to the film’s stars inside the Royal Albert Hall.
The Duchess was heard telling Daniel Craig: “It’s nice to see you in the flesh”, as she shook hands with the actor, who was accompanied by his actress wife Rachel Weisz.