Daniel Craig Reveals What Queen Elizabeth Is Like When The Cameras Aren't Rolling

To celebrate the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Daniel Craig and Queen Elizabeth appeared in a sketch that parodied Craig's iconic portrayal of James Bond. In the sketch, Craig arrives at Buckingham palace to pick up the queen. After keeping Craig waiting while she finishes a letter, Queen Elizabeth turns to the camera and makes a dramatic delivery of the line, "Good evening, Mr. Bond."

Afterwards, the two walk out to an awaiting helicopter and take a grand aerial tour of the city. The Mirror reported that actor Julia McKenzie, famous for her role as detective Miss Marple, played the queen as she boards the helicopter. Once the helicopter reaches the stadium, stunt performers Gary Connery and Mark Sutton jumped out of the helicopter and into the stadium. The sketch then cut to a shot of Her Majesty at the steps making her thrilling entrance to the games.

In January 2022, Queen Elizabeth recognized Craig for his services to film and theatre as part of the queen's New Year's Honors List. According to People, Craig received the title of CMG, Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. He shares this award and honor with his fictional counterpart, James Bond. Also similar to Bond, Craig is an honorary officer in the United Kingdom's Royal Navy.

During a recent appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," Craig gave host Stephen Colbert a behind-the-scenes report of his experiences working with Her Majesty in 2012.

Queen Elizabeth is 'very funny'

When Stephen Colbert asked Daniel Craig about the queen's private demeanor, the actor said she's "very funny," adding, "Wants to crack a joke, and cracked a joke about me." He explained, "We're having our photographs taken and she just went, 'Oh no, he's the one that doesn't smile.' Fair enough!" This was referencing when the International Business Times reported in 2011 that Craig purposely didn't smile in photographs because he didn't want to encourage paparazzi. Despite this reputation, PopSugar complied a selection of photos that capture Craig's dazzling smile.

Craig also told the late night host that he enjoyed playing with the queen's friendly corgis. These dogs also appeared in the 2012 sketch. Like Her Majesty, Craig loves dogs. People reported that he cuddled puppies in 2017 as part of a charity partnership with Omaze and United Nations Mine Action Service. In 2020, Craig also danced with a dog to promote his hosting duties for "Saturday Night Live" (per Metro). 

Danny Boyle, known for his work on films like "Trainspotting" and "Slumdog Millionaire," came up with the idea for the London 2012 Summer Olympics sketch and directed the project, according to People. The queen was a natural in her first acting role. Boyle said she was "very helpful and very sharp." He told the Mirror, "She picks it up straight away, about ­cameras and ­angles." The queen was also very efficient during the filming, and she only needed one take to nail the part. Boyle also noted that Her Majesty's corgis, Monty, ­Willow, and Holly, played their parts to perfection.

Queen Elizabeth is a James Bond fan

The queen's line, "Good evening, Mr. Bond," was her own creative contribution to the 2012 Olympic Games sketch, People reports. Angela Kelly, the queen's dresser and close confidant, recalled that Her Majesty was enthusiastic about appearing in the project and saying a line. Kelly recalled the queen saying, "Of course I must say something. After all, he is coming to rescue me."

According to Aleteia, director Danny Boyle also gave the queen credit for adding in the bit of stage business where she is writing at the desk. This acting choice really heightens the drama of the moment while James Bond waits to be acknowledged by Her Majesty.

Royal biographer Gyles Brandreth says the queen has been a Bond fan since the early films. Brandreth told the Express that she especially loved the early films, "before they got so loud." Marie Claire notes that both Her Majesty and James Bond share a common timeline, with Ian Fleming's first Bond novel "Casino Royale" being published in 1953, a year after the queen ascended the throne.

Since she was poised to make her big entrance, the queen did not get to see her performance when it aired at the 2012 opening ceremonies. A day later, the Mirror reported that Her Majesty quizzed Boris Johnson, who was the Mayor of London at the time. Johnson said, "You were ­brilliant Ma'am." The queen answered back: "It was a bit of a laugh."