'Knives Out' star Daniel Craig says he's not 'great at the murder mystery thing' or puzzles

Daniel Craig (left) and Janelle Monae in a scene from 'Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery'. Photo: Handout

Post-007, British actor Daniel Craig has traded in his tuxedos for quirky but elegant outfits (and a different accent) to play an equally charming and likeable bloke – Benoit Blanc.

He is the Southern gentleman sleuth, first introduced in the 2019 hit movie Knives Out, whom Craig reprises in the second Knives Out outing from writer-director Rian Johnson.

In Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, the ace detective goes to a remote Greek island upon receiving an invitation to attend a murder mystery party held at the home of tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton).

Others on the guest list are Miles’ former business partner Andi Brand (Janelle Monae); often politically incorrect fashion designer/former model Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson) and her personal assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick); brilliant scientist Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr); shady politician Claire (Kathryn Hahn); and over-the-top influencer Duke Cody (Dave Bautista) and his girlfriend Whiskey (Madelyn Cline).

As the party parlour game turns into something more dangerous, Benoit gets on the case to do what he does best – to sniff out the guilty party.

While Craig is great at playing someone with a knack for solving murder mysteries, the 54-year-old himself admits he’s not “great at the murder mystery party thing” or puzzles.

“I mean, I like the gathering of people and I like the socialising – I love hanging out – but it’s not really my thing,” he tells StarLifestyle with a smile, in this exclusive interview.

“But I try and do the crossword every day. I’m no great shakes, but, you know, I try and do, and keep my brain going.”

Ever the professional, the actor turns up looking sharp in a grey suit paired with a dark vest and a polka dot black tie for our Zoom interview.

His blue eyes remain piercing on our computer screen and he appears friendly during the five-minute chat, which is good news considering he was sick just a week ago and he’s still sniffling now.

That level of commitment towards his job is something that Craig brings to every project he is in.

His physical transformation to inhabit the role of James Bond is public knowledge, as are the many injuries he has racked up in the process of making these movies.

Although the physical toll is over, with his exit as Ian Fleming’s iconic British Secret Service agent with last year’s No Time To Die, it doesn’t mean Craig is taking it easy when it comes to his performance.

He followed up the 25th James Bond movie with an “explosive turn” in Macbeth on Broadway opposite Ruth Negga, and a vodka ad (directed by Taika Waititi) that has him dancing through a luxury hotel in Paris.

For the ad, Craig has said that it was challenging because he doesn’t dance, and credits the choreographer for all the moves we see him make in the two-and-a-half-minute video.

Likewise, during our interview, he sings praises of the people he worked with on Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,.

He surmises that, what he still enjoys about acting and going to set every time is the chance to work with creative people, from the cast and crew to the directors.

“There’s something wonderful that can happen on a movie set and that sense of camaraderie, of togetherness, and it being a collaboration,” shares Craig, star of films like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Layer Cake, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Logan Lucky and the 2011 movie Dream House, where he met his wife, actress Rachel Weisz.

“And it was very much so in this film that we had an ensemble cast – brilliant, brilliant actors, all of whom are funny and wonderful people to spend time with. They work so incredibly hard.

“What you’re watching on the screen may look simple and easy, but actually it’s because the work has been put in. So much work has been put in, and to work with such professionals is just a joy.

“Every day I go to work, I learn something new and I seem to keep doing that. And as long as I’m doing that, I’ll keep working.”

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is out on Netflix on Dec 23.

Daniel Craig (right) with his actress daughter Ella at the 2022 London Film Festival. Photo: APDaniel Craig (right) with his actress daughter Ella at the 2022 London Film Festival. Photo: AP

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