Dave Bautista Recreated Daniel Craig’s ‘Casino Royale’ Torture Scene to Earn His Role in ‘Spectre’
In Sam Mendes’ Spectre, Dave Bautista managed to immortalize himself in the James Bond franchise by becoming a part of its mythology. But it wasn’t a role that Bautista took easily. In order to face off against 007, the Marvel star had to recreate Daniel Craig’s nude torture scene in Casino Royale.
How Dave Bautista recreated the torture scene for ‘Spectre’
There was one scene in Casino Royale that was so memorable that Bautista referenced it for his Spectre audition. In an interview with Total Film, the star talked about what he did to grab director Sam Mendes’ attention.
“So, I did this audition where I recreated a scene from Casino Royale,” he told Total Film.
“It was the torture scene with Le Chiffre,” Bautista would later add. “It was the one where he has Bond seated in the chair with no bottom.”
However, revisiting the scene alone wasn’t enough to score Bautista the part. He had to meet with Sam Mendes personally.
“They said, ‘Well, y’know, Sam hasn’t decided, but he keeps going back to your tape. He keeps watching it and watching it,” Bautista continued. “And then about a week after that, he called and said, ‘Well, Sam would like you to come over and meet with him.’ I think he wanted to kind of feel me out, because a lot of times people have a certain perception of me, especially coming from a professional wrestling background. But I think he wanted to meet me and see if he can co-exist with me.”
How Dave Bautista and Sam Mendes came up with Bautista’s one line in the film
“Like we’d say it jokingly, ‘What if he never spoke?’… Or I thought it’d be great if right before he went to speak, then he was yanked off,” he said. “And then we went back and forth, and Sam thought for a minute that maybe Hinx would say something just really profound. [We came up with something] really profound, but it didn’t fit the scene at all.”
Because of that, they eventually decided that Dave Bautista saying s*** fit the character in the end.
Daniel Craig and Mads Mikkelsen wanted to make ‘Casino Royale’ torture scene more graphic
The torture between Craig’s James Bond and Mikkelsen’s was a highlight to many for several reasons. Aside from its intensity, it showed a vulnerable side of the MI6 agent that was hardly seen in the franchise. In an interview with Vulture, however, Mikkelsen described how he and Craig felt like they could do more with it.
“There were a few times when Daniel Craig and I went a little far at the table discussing what the scene might be able to do. It was a scene where I tortured him and he’s stripped naked to the chair, which was kind of radical,” Mikkelsen said.
To the two actors, the scene in question was unprecedented in James Bond’s history. So the pair brainstormed on how to really maximize the torture scene’s potential.
“We’ve never seen Bond naked, and we’ve never seen him that fragile, and then obviously there are some undertones with the rope,” he said. “We were discussing how to approach it, and we just went further out with something that was really brutal and insane. One idea was I actually cut him up somewhere, and he had to suffer from that for a while.”
Unfortunately, however, Campbell would veto the idea.
“At a certain point, director Martin Campbell was just smiling and said, ‘Boys, come back to the table. This is a Bond film. We can’t go there.’ We were lost in our indie world, right? You have to respect that. It is a Bond film,” he and Craig realized.