07/06/2011 12:41 pm ET Updated Sep 05, 2011

Daniel Craig Talks 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,' Politics, Class In Esquire

Daniel Craig is not a particularly fragile man, what with his mysterious eyes, ripped James Bond redefining the character and upcoming, rough and tumble western, "Cowboys and Aliens" epic ready to burst into theaters. But even he, this steely-gazed Brit, was taken aback when he was allowed into David Fincher's editing room.

Fincher, director of Craig's upcoming English-language adaptation of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," shocked his star with what he put on screen -- and what he didn't (no small task, considering both the racy content of the book, and the fact that Craig was there on set).

"It's as adult as you can possibly make it," Craig tells Esquire, the cover of which he graces this month. "This is adult drama. I grew up, as we f*cking all did, watching The Godfather and that, movies that were made for adults. And this is a $100 million R-rated movie. Nobody makes those anymore. And Fincher, he's not holding back. They've given him free rein. He showed me some scenes recently, and my hand was over my mouth, going, Are you f*cking serious?"

It's atually pleasant to hear that, given Hollywood's tendency to neuter controversy -- especially when it's anticipating a hit. The book is filled with cyber punk torture and violence, but it is more than the considerable violence and nudity that shocked Craig.

"It's not that he simply showed me footage that was horribly graphic. It was stuff that was happening, or had happened. And somehow you don't see it," he says. "There's more than one way to sense violence. Much more powerful ways than seeing it step-by-step."

Although, given the teaser poster for the film released last month, it probably won't be shy on the graphic bits, either. Especially once you consider that Fincher directed "Fight Club," among other more graphic films.

Craig also considers real world violence, its underlying causes and its implications, going forward.

Speaking of the uprisings in the Middle East this year, and tying them to consumerism and Big Brother, he says, "You just hope a generation's gonna come who very soon is just gonna turn around and say, 'Hang on a second. I don't like being f*cking manipulated like this. I don't like being told what to do, I don't like being told what to buy' — you kind of hope it's gonna happen.

"And there's gonna have to be a shift. I mean, the big companies will figure it out," Craig continues. They'll go, 'Oh, you don't want that anymore? You want this.' And they'll figure it out, but at least there'll be kind of a change in attitude towards it. I mean, I don't know. We've had student riots here. And whatever way you think about politics, the fact that students have — there's no such thing as free education anymore. That's kind of gone, and they're gonna put up a fight. But you know, there was a time when it was free, and education was paid for."

Craig also gives a little tease about the next "James Bond" movie, expressing excitement to work with Sam Mendes on the film. What he doesn't mention? The new Bond girl. But hey, he's got his mind a little preoccupied -- he did just, after all, get married.

For more, click over to Esquire.


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