‘James Bond’ Star Daniel Craig Slept on Park Benches in London Before Making It Big

Who could be more glamorous than James Bond? The role has stood up as the pinnacle of suave for several of Hollywood’s leading men over the years. Sean Connery first took on the role in 1962 and made it iconic. Since then, the torch has been passed to Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan.

In 2006, Daniel Craig took up the challenge with his appearance in Casino Royale. Today, fans are heavily anticipating his final foray as the debonair secret agent in the Covid-delayed No Time to Die

Considering both the sophistication that Craig puts on in playing the role and the substantial paycheck he’s amassed for the performance, it might be shocking to hear that there were times in his early career when he couldn’t make ends meet. In fact, Craig was so down on his luck that he even found himself sleeping on park benches before he got his big break. 

Daniel Craig got his start on the stage

Daniel Craig poses as James Bond.
Daniel Craig poses as James Bond. | Greg Williams/Eon Productions via Getty Images

RELATED: Why Daniel Craig Never Wanted to Play James Bond in ‘Casino Royale’

Born in 1968, Craig had acting in mind from a very early age. When he was just 16, he moved from his hometown of Chester, England to London so he could join the National Youth Theatre, according to Biography.com.

From an early age, he brushed elbows with several of the actors who were friends with his mom. “I kind of fell in love with the idea of acting,” Craig explained, noting that the idea of getting to dress up as different characters were particularly appealing. 

Craig went on to attend the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and made the leap from the stage to the screen after graduation. 

An eclectic filmography shows Daniel Craig’s range

In his earliest acting days, Craig had small parts on television shows. Short character arcs on series like Covington CrossBoon, and Zorro helped the actor get his foot in the door in the early 1990s.

In 1996, he got a serious break with a substantial role in the mini-series Our Friends in the North. The historical drama spanned thirty years of political struggles in Newcastle and London. Another notable role includes Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon. The 1998 biopic had Craig cast as Bacon’s lover George Dyer. 

This kind of dramatic and historical role helped define Craig’s early career, but he also made inroads in the action genre. In 2001, he was cast in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Along the way, Craig has showed up in romances like The Mother (2003) and mysteries like Enduring Love (2004). 

Without a doubt, though, his best-known roles have been in the action and crime thriller genre. In addition to his time spent as 007, Craig has also starred in films like Layer Cake (2004), Kings (2017), and Knives Out (2019). 

Daniel Craig’s rise to fame included rough times

These days, it’s safe to say that Daniel Craig is doing very well financially. No Time To Die alone netted him a $25 million paycheck. With a slew of James Bond films in his history and plenty of upcoming projects in the works — including the much-anticipated Knives Out sequel — Craig’s career is going strong. 

That wasn’t always the case, however. In fact, when Craig was trying to find his footing, he faced some very tough times. As Business Insider reports, Craig was once a struggling actor who was going from gig to gig piecing together a living.

At times, the ends didn’t quite meet, and Craig even spent some time sleeping on park benches in London while he waited for his big break to come. It’s safe to say that his belief in his abilities paid off in a major way.