Craig's childhood pals speak out

Apparently, Brosnan isn't the only guy Craig has replaced for a coveted spot ... (and I don't mean Jude Law :007) )
There are a couple of pictures of Danny as a kid at the site:
http://icliverpool.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0100regionalnews/tm_headline=we-re-mates-of-bond--james-bond&method=full&objectid=18087332&siteid=50061-name_page.html
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We're mates of Bond, James Bond
Nov 13 2006
This is James Bond as you have never seen him before. As actor Daniel Craig prepares for his premiere as 007, Jade Wright speaks to the Merseyside friends who knew him best.

Liverpool Echo

DANIEL CRAIG has joined the Hollywood A list, with a string of successful films and relationships with top models under his belt. But it has not always been that way.

As a teenager he devoted his time to Hilbre High School rock band, Liverpool FC and sitting in the audience at the Everyman theatre, where he dreamed of greater things.

A nine year-old Daniel settled in Hoylake in 1977 with his mother Olivia, sister Lea and later stepfather Max Blond. There he met and befriended a young Adam Brierley.

"Danny and I had been friends since we were nine," says Adam, now 38. "He moved in a couple of roads away from my parents' house so I invited him to play football with us on the beach. After that we were friends through most of our school life.

"His stepdad was an artist and in a jazz band and I was always in bands from the age of seven, so I liked going round to his house to see the instruments and equipment.

"In secondary school my friend Pa u l Donnelly and I decided to put together a band. We wanted a charismatic frontman, but our voices were breaking - not exactly rock star material. I thought Danny would be perfect. He was very confident. He had a real presence on stage, he was always in stage shows - you could see how good he was even then.

"The name for the band was Danny's idea; he was very into the theatre and I think he'd seen a play called Inner Voices at the Everyman. We all liked the name and it stuck."

To complete the line-up they recruited Paul King on rhythm guitar and friend Andy Fennah as lead guitarist; both lads in the same year at Hilbre High School.

"We'd been mates for years," remembers Andy from Greasby. "We were all into music so it seemed the natural thing to be in a band together. We used to do gigs at school and we entered a few competitions.

"Danny was always saying he wanted to be an actor and he was very good. I remember seeing him in the school plays and you could see his potential."

So Inner Voices, a band named after an obscure Louis Nowra play at the Everyman, was born.

"In our final year the headmaster, Wally Bruce, was having a leaving concert," says Adam. "He was very religious and it was billed as a highbrow event with classical music, but we somehow managed to get a slot for Inner Voices. Trying to be rebellious we played a rocked up version of the House Of The Rising Sun. To our horror we found out The Animals were Mr Bruce's favourite band."

The song was greeted with tumultuous applause from pupils and teachers, and soon after they recorded their version with the help of Andy's brothers Rob and Alan.

"I took them into the recording studio with their teacher," says Rob Fennah, who now works as a professional musician. "They weren't bad actually. It was all done live - we didn't have time to lay down different tracks, so it wandered a bit, but the end result was OK.

"Daniel wasn't full of himself at all. He was very quiet - the spotty one at the back with a big flick haircut. He was always a nice lad, but we'd never have guessed he'd end up as James Bond."

Friends say the song still holds a special significance to Daniel, and it played a part in his first major TV series, Our Friends In The North.

"I noticed the House Of The Rising Sun was the background music in a key scene and Paul told me that Dan had something to do with choosing it," says Adam.

Not all of Daniel's school pals were quite so complimentary about his success, though. Classmate Chris Sargisson jokes about the 007 star: "Danny and I were friends at school until he replaced me in the school rock band. All because he, or rather his dad I think, had a microphone and I didn't. I was gutted and never spoke to him again.

"I am a life long Bond fan so imagine how I felt when I found out he was cast the role I was born to play."

Daniel was also a keen sportsman, playing rugby for his school and for Hoylake RUFC. His father Tim Craig, formerly a theatre stagehand and later a recruitment boss in Chester, says he would have taken his rugby career further if he had not gone into acting.

But from an early age Daniel made his mark as an actor. At school he was spotted by his teacher Hilary Green at the auditions for a musical production of Oliver! He had come in with a friend but had no intention of auditioning.

"From the very first we knew we had something special," Hilary recalled. "His good looks, voice, personality, and an indefinable something, combined to make him riveting on stage. He was quite exceptional."

He was given the part as the undertaker, Mr Sowerberry, and was hailed as the star of the show. Following that success he was given the lead in the next play - the troubled hero John Proctor in Arthur Miller's dark masterpiece The Crucible. He went on to play the lead in Romeo And Juliet and an ugly sister in Cinderella.

"Daniel was a natural on the stage, and he showed it in his first role in Oliver," said Hilary, from Barnston.

"From then on I made sure we gave him every opportunity to develop. We worked together closely for three years, and he tried quite a few different things. He was always remarkably mature for his years, and he had a real edge."

He was also spotted by local amateur dramatic society, the Heswall Woolgatherers, to star in Alan Bleasdale's No More Sitting On The Old School Bench, alongside his childhood sweetheart Helen Gowland. The pair were together for two years before losing touch when he left for London and she started work as a secretary.

"He was a lovely lad and I'm sure he hasn't changed much," Helen has said. "He still looks much like he did when he was 15. We were close and I have really good memories of Daniel."

Meanwhile, the actor's friends are eagerly awaiting his debut as Bond.

"I think he'll be very good - different from what has gone before, much grittier," says Adam. "We've watched all his previous stuff and we were delighted when we found out he'd be the next Bond. My two older boys are mad James Bond fans, so we'll all be going to see it together.

"And if they want anyone to write the theme tune for James Bond film I'm sure Inner Voices will oblige."

Comments

  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,206Chief of Staff
    highhopes wrote:
    As a teenager he devoted his time to Liverpool FC ....."

    Daniel can't get any higher in my estimation now :D

    Great find highhopes - thanks.
    YNWA 96
  • highhopeshighhopes Posts: 1,358MI6 Agent
    Sir Miles wrote:
    highhopes wrote:
    As a teenager he devoted his time to Liverpool FC ....."

    Daniel can't get any higher in my estimation now :D

    Great find highhopes - thanks.

    My pleasure. The magic of Google.
    I like the fact that he also played rugby, as I did nearly 40 years ago. He looks like he's been hit a coupla times, too. Gives his face character, if you ask me. :))
  • Dan SameDan Same Victoria, AustraliaPosts: 6,057MI6 Agent
    highhopes wrote:
    I like the fact that he also played rugby, as I did nearly 40 years ago. He looks like he's been hit a coupla times, too. Gives his face character, if you ask me. :))
    I could make a joke about that but I'm going to resist the temptation. :p :D
    "He’s a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back—that’s an earthquake. and then you get yourself a couple of spots on your hat, and you’re finished. Nobody dast blame this man. A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory." Death of a Salesman
  • highhopeshighhopes Posts: 1,358MI6 Agent
    Dan Same wrote:
    highhopes wrote:
    I like the fact that he also played rugby, as I did nearly 40 years ago. He looks like he's been hit a coupla times, too. Gives his face character, if you ask me. :))
    I could make a joke about that but I'm going to resist the temptation. :p :D

    Joke away. If it's the one I'm thinking of, I walked right into it :)) :))
  • Dan SameDan Same Victoria, AustraliaPosts: 6,057MI6 Agent
    edited November 2006
    highhopes wrote:
    Joke away. If it's the one I'm thinking of, I walked right into it :)) :))
    I would, but with CR premiering in less than 13 minutes (?), I thought I would lay off the cheap shots about Craig. ;) At least until I end up seeing CR.
    "He’s a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back—that’s an earthquake. and then you get yourself a couple of spots on your hat, and you’re finished. Nobody dast blame this man. A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory." Death of a Salesman
  • ant007ukant007uk Great BritainPosts: 67MI6 Agent
    What!!!!!!!!!!!! Craig a Liverpool fan, right thats it, I'm off to join craigisnotbond ;) I could've lived with it if he were an Evertonian, BUT the red half, aaahhhhhh X-( Well I know Casino Royale is going to do a lot better than Liverpool this year :))

    Enjoy the film guys

    Ant.
  • highhopeshighhopes Posts: 1,358MI6 Agent
    ant007uk wrote:
    What!!!!!!!!!!!! Craig a Liverpool fan, right thats it, I'm off to join craigisnotbond ;) I could've lived with it if he were an Evertonian, BUT the red half, aaahhhhhh X-( Well I know Casino Royale is going to do a lot better than Liverpool this year :))

    Enjoy the film guys

    Ant.

    Uh-oh ... I've inadvertently awakened British soccer ... I mean football ... fans. This could be scary ;) :)) :)) :))
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,206Chief of Staff
    ant007uk wrote:
    Well I know Casino Royale is going to do a lot better than Liverpool this year :))


    Well, after watching both Liverpool and Casino Royale - your spot on !! :))
    YNWA 96
  • PendragonPendragon ColoradoPosts: 2,640MI6 Agent
    duck and cover, Highhopes...the football fans are about! That was a great article, great find. I enjoyed reading about his school time.

    ~Pen -{
    Hey! Observer! You trying to get yourself Killed?

    mountainburdphotography.wordpress.com
  • randomname999randomname999 Posts: 1MI6 Agent
    I was at school with Danny and played rugby with him but I don't recall him being interested in football much at all. Then again, some of that article has "inaccurate" information as you should expect from a newspaper. Some of the quotes are taken a little out of context and some are just not accurate. Still, he was a decent bloke and a good rugby player - I thought he might have gone to the Cheshire Colts trials but he went south to act. He played No.8, if you're interested.

    Oh, and for the female fans out there: I've seen him naked. In the post-match bath, that is.
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