DANIEL CRAIG has officially left the James Bond franchise after 15 long years. The English actor recently signed off the franchise after one last appearance as the iconic spy in the latest film No Time to Die.

While Craig has done an amazing job at playing the character over the years, his journey to becoming the character has not always been easy.

Back in 2006, the producers of the film were under fire for casting Craig as the new bond. Fans were not pleased that they had cast a blue-eyed, blond-haired man to take over the tux from Pierce Brosnan.

In a recent interview, Craig opened up about the experience dealing with the criticism then.

“Of course, I was bothered by it,” he said. “But there was nothing I could really do. It’s like [the saying goes], ‘Control the things that you can control.’ All I could do was make a good movie, or attempt to make a good movie and say, ‘There you go.’ And if they didn’t like it, then I don’t know, that’s all I had to give.”

However, the actor was sympatric towards the criticism as he considered where they were coming from. “But people’s criticism was sort of understandable,” Craig continued. “I mean, I grew up watching Bond. So, I couldn’t criticise other people for having passions about it.”

Fortunately, both fans and critics alike were pleased with Craig’s debut in the 2006 Casino Royale. In fact, he would go on to film four additional James Bond movies. Not only were they considered to be one the best Bond adaptations, but the projects also accounted for nearly US$4 billion (RM16.72 billion) at the global box office.

But long time Bond producers, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson were not surprised about the success. While explaining how they found the controversy to be silly, the duo knew they made the right choice.

“We knew how good he was. So, it never made us second guess our decision at all. I mean, we knew he was going to be fantastic, but it was very bizarre and very strange episode in our lives.”