The Washington Post

Shaken and stirred by Richard Cohen on Daniel Craig’s 007

Richard Cohen is a wise man — except when it comes to Daniel Craig as James Bond. My Post colleague goes after the now not-so-new 007 in his column today because “This Bond ripples with muscles.”

Daniel Craig in “Casino Royale.” (Jay Maidment)

Cohen contrasts Craig with my other Hollywood favorite, Cary Grant, in “North by Northwest.” While he’s as elegantly attired as Craig, Grant does not have his muscles. And why should he? Grant plays Roger Thornhill, an ad exec mistaken for a spy. Craig plays an actual spy. The muscles are required.

Of course, I’m a total Craig-head. He cemented his place as my favorite portrayer of the dashing British agent with his debut Bond film, “Casino Royale.”It also doesn’t hurt that Craig is easy on the eyes. Sorry, Pierce. Sorry, Sean.

But Cohen’s larger point is an interesting one: that muscle mattered less in the old days of moviedom, that all that time spent doing reps is less time spent reading and that this focus on male body image has teen boys getting ripped after recess. All good concerns to air and address.

Still, we’re just talking about a movie character. And in today’s hyper-real world when we go to the movies to see a super spy bust up an international crime syndicate wreaking havoc around the world, he better damn well look believable. Or unbelievable, as the case may be.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.


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