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The Movie Paul Feig Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale. (AP)

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

Writer-director Paul Feig's credits include the TV show Freaks and Geeks and the movies Bridesmaids and The Heat, currently in theaters. The movie he could watch a million times is the James Bond film Casino Royale.


Interview Highlights

On why he loves Casino Royale

"I'm also an enormous fan of the Ian Fleming books. Once you get into the books of James Bond, you realize that the movies were very different, cause they were kind of dark. And so when I saw this come on and saw Daniel Craig — this kind of like brooding Bond — it just felt like perfect to me to the point, and this is heresy to say, I actually think he is my favorite Bond, over even Sean Connery, who I loved, you know, but I just think that Craig really embodies Ian Fleming's James Bond."

On why he thinks Daniel Craig is the best James Bond

"Daniel Craig really is the Bond that you want to be or at least I feel like I do. You know, I mean, watching Roger Moore you go like, 'That'd be fun!' because it also seems like it's really jaunty and funny and cool, but what's great about the Daniel Craig one is you feel like okay, he can kind of get out of any situation and yet maybe he can't. You know, he's still very human."

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Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

On this show, we've been asking filmmakers about the movies they never get tired of watching, the ones they could watch over and over again, including this one from the director of "Bridesmaids."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "CASINO ROYALE")

PAUL FEIG: Hey, I'm Paul Feig. I am a director, and I do occasionally write. And my movie that I've seen a million times is "Casino Royale" directed by the amazing Martin Campbell and starring Daniel Craig and Eva Green. I'm also an enormous fan of the Ian Fleming books. Once you get into the books of James Bond, you realize that the movies were very different because they were kind of dark.

And so when I saw Daniel Craig, this kind of like brooding Bond, it just felt like perfect to me to the point - and this is heresy to say - I actually think he's my favorite Bond over even Sean Connery, who I loved, you know? But I just think Craig really embodies Ian Fleming's James Bond.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "CASINO ROYALE")

JUDI DENCH: (as M) I knew it was too early to promote you.

DANIEL CRAIG: (as James Bond) Well, I understand double-0's have a very short life expectancy, so your mistake will be short lived.

FEIG: Actually, the plot of "Casino Royale" is kind of gray because it's basically about a guy Le Chiffre.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "CASINO ROYALE")

ISAAC DE BANKOLE: (as Steven Obanno) Do you believe in God, Mr. Le Chiffre?

MADS MIKKELSEN: (as Le Chiffre) No. I believe in a reasonable rate of return.

FEIG: ...who's this bad guy. And basically, he's a banker who takes money from militias and terrorist groups and armies of rebels in Africa and stuff. And he takes their millions of dollars and invests them into something that he then manipulates through terrorism.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "CASINO ROYALE")

CRAIG: (as James Bond) Do you want a clean kill, or do you want to send a message?

DENCH: (as M) We want him alive.

FEIG: So Bond basically kind of breaks that up, and then this guy is in so much trouble with the militia guys that he's took the money from because he lost it all, but he has to enter this $10 million buy-in poker game of all the richest people in the world.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "CASINO ROYALE")

MIKKELSEN: (as Le Chiffre) You changed your shirt, Mr. Bond. I hope our little game isn't causing you to perspire.

CRAIG: (as James Bond) A little. But I won't consider myself to be in trouble until I start weeping blood.

FEIG: Bond actually beats him and wins the money, and then the shift comes after him and tries to kill him. And then it goes into some intrigue, but I won't give it away. I don't want to be a spoiler (unintelligible).

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "CASINO ROYALE")

FEIG: There's this whole sequence where Bond is kind of tracking this bomb maker, and they're somewhere in Africa. And the guy knows that he's there. And so this guy takes off running and Bond chases him, and it's an entire Parkour opening chase, which is if you know about Parkour, it's kind of the art of running and jumping in this acrobatic sort of gymnastics.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "CASINO ROYALE")

FEIG: And they have this incredible opening where this guy runs into a construction site, climbs up an enormous scaffolding onto this like skyscraper they're building, and they eventually end up kind of up on a crane like so high up in the air.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "CASINO ROYALE")

FEIG: And it just makes for absolutely the most exciting opening ever of just two guys chasing each other. Daniel Craig really is the Bond that you want to be, or at least I feel like I do. You know, I mean, watching Roger Moore, you go like, that'd be fun, because it also seems like it's really jaunty and funny and cool. But what's great about the Daniel Craig one is you feel like, OK, he can kind of get out of any situation and yet maybe he can't. You know, he's still very human.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "CASINO ROYALE")

CRAIG: (as James Bond) The name is Bond, James Bond.

LYDEN: That's "Freaks and Geeks" creator Paul Feig, talking about the movie he could watch a million times, "Casino Royale." Feig directed the new film "The Heat" starring Sandra Bullock. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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