Photo by Lee Woolcock
James Bond Double, 45, British
I was born in the East End of London but grew up south of the river. I have a passport for both banks.
Ten years ago, I was sitting in an onson— a very hot bath—in Japan, eating raw fish, when I suddenly thought: “As nice as this is, I’d like to go somewhere where there’s a bit more passion.” Within six weeks, I was on a plane to Barcelona. I think it was a coffee advert that first piqued my interest in Spain. There was a tall, dark, Mediterranean woman sipping a hot cup of coffee and I thought: “Sod green tea, here I come.”
The major cultural differences I found was that in Japan it’s hard to get an opinion; here you get one from everyone. There, the service is excellent. Here, it’s...well...let’s say variable.
The Bond thing came about slowly. A friend said to me a few years ago “You know who you look like? Daniel Craig!” I didn’t know who he was at the time, so I quickly googled him and found Craig David—a six foot four rapper—and forgot all about it. A few weeks later, someone said the same thing, so I thought…hmmm.”
Around the same time, Casino Royale was being made and another friend suggested I take advantage of my similarity to Daniel. At the time, I was a bit lighter, so I gave myself six months to bulk up, and amass the gun, the tuxedo and the dickie; then when the film was released, I went to an early showing in Leicester Square to see the reaction. I didn’t have the bravado to dress up properly, but yeah, there was enough interest to build my confidence.
I tend to work at boat shows, car shows, openings of things. Most of my work is in London. I’ve been asked to do hen nights but I always refuse. A group of women waiting for Daniel Craig to turn up and I walk in? I couldn’t bear the look of disappointment on their faces.
I’ve met Daniel twice...we shook hands and our eyes sort of met in a knowing way. There’s no way you could confuse us if we stood together—he’s got a more rounded head and his eyes are different—but there’s something there, there’s something.
What makes a good Bond is a good mix of sensitivity, sophistication and toughness, a cross between Sean Connery and Daniel Craig. Fleming’s original Bond ideal was a six foot, dark-haired 44 year old man who drank whisky and smoked. I would say Roger Moore is more of a spoof Bond. Puts on Roger Moore voice: I tried a Viagra last week. It didn’t make me Daniel Craig, but it did make me Roger Moore.
Would I like to have any aspect of Bond’s lifestyle? I think any red-blooded man would! I’m a sucker for an exotic location and a sharp suit. Most men like to look good, but we don’t like to admit it, especially Englishmen as we’re not the most internationally stylish! I’m not interested in the gadgets; I like to see them in films, but my iPhone gives me no end of worries.
My favourite Bond film would have to be Thunderball. It has the perfect mix of exotic locations and excellent underwater fight scenes. Plenty O’Toole, from Diamonds are Forever, is my favourite Bond girl. I love her brassiness.
I think each different actor has brought something new to Bond’s character. Sean’s done his bit, Roger did his. I find Daniel’s Bond is a little two-dimensional at the moment, but he’s evolving nicely. Skyfall is a brilliant film and Javier Bardem has turned out to be my favourite Bond villain of all time.