Too many options.
Too many chances to get the whole thing wrong.
It’s not as if the fate of the world hinges on that decision or as if there’s any way to be wrong, but still, when it comes time to pick that one top Bond, I stall.
The only James Bond actor I have outright HATED has been David Niven and let’s be real, he wasn’t a real James Bond.
Like most Bond fans I’ve met, my parents waver between Sean Connery and Roger Moore. Through writing about James Bond here and on TheMarySue, I’ve learned that there are plenty of Pierce Brosnan fans. I haven’t met any of George Lazenby’s fans yet, but I’m sure they’re out there.
And of course, I can’t get enough of Daniel Craig fans.
Personally, my favorite Bond list goes like this:
- Daniel Craig & Pierce Brosnan tied for first
- Roger Moore
- Sean Connery
- Timothy Dalton
- George Lazenby
I like all of the actors that have played James Bond but I like some more than others.
George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton suffer because they have such brief tenures as James Bond. Add to that how depressing their Bond films could be and throw in the fridging of women in their lives and I was very hard-pressed to like them in the role. And that’s a little weird for me because I straight up love Timothy Dalton. Like he’s one of my favorite actors in the universe and I have watched so many mediocre films just for him.
Sean Connery actually doesn’t work for me. He was fine for like half of his Bond appearances (and Never Say Never is one of my favorites as far as his filmography is concerned), but the way that he plays the character doesn’t mesh with me. I find myself wanting to whack him more often than not.
With Roger Moore, I actually never got tired of him the way that I did with Connery . If you’ve been reading my Bond Girl recaps on TMS from the beginning, you can see that I got more and more annoyed with Connery’s Bond the longer I watched his films. I didn’t have that with Moore. I disliked a few of his films (Live and Let Die was terrible!!) but I didn’t hate watching him portray Bond. I was actually sad when I came to the end of his run.
Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan tie so hard for me that it’s ridiculous.
Brosnan was Bond in real-time for me. While I watched most of the Bond films as a wee sprout with my dad and mom on television, many of his films were movies that I watched as they came out on VHS. I loved watching his films. He was officially the James Bond that I had a crush on when I was a kidlet and he had some of the best Bond Girls working alongside him.
My thing about Daniel Craig is a lot more recent.
He’s just such a great Bond.
The cruelty that feels cartoonish with Connery or overdone with Dalton fits him like a glove. Craig’s Bond is one in a long line and yet he stands out more. He’s obviously a wounded soul dealing with basically everything but it fits him. I can’t compare him to any of the Bonds that came before him because he’s just so different. He’s definitely a Bond for the 21st century and I just really enjoy all of the film’s he’s been in.
Fun fact: Skyfall was the first Bond film that I watched on its opening night. That’s how much Daniel Craig’s Bond got to me. He isn’t perfect — no version of the character can be — but he’s such a great actor and his Bond is so very present and real.
At the end of the day, I’m likely to say nice things about all of the Bond actors because they’re good actors even if I didn’t like their specific takes on the character all of the time. I’m looking forward to the future though and to when we’ll get a British James Bond that’s an actor of color (I’m still holding out for Idris Elba, of course) or a woman in the role.
But for now?
I’m pretty happy with the guys we’ve had so far and I still can’t pick just one as my favorite. How about you guys? Who’s your favorite James Bond? Who would you want to see play the character in the future?