Becoming a key player in the James Bond franchise can take any actor or actress’s career to greater heights. Just look at the change in Daniel Craig’s career after becoming the beloved spy. But if you can’t be everyone’s favorite super spy, being a villain is even better. That was Cruella’s Mark Strong’s goal in the 1990s. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out for the actor partly due to Craig. Strong told a funny story about how the No Time to Die star ruining his James Bond audition.
Like many British actors, Mark Strong wanted his chance to be part of the James Bond pantheon. While Strong wasn’t aiming to play the suave super spy, he did read for a Bond villain. But unfortunately, the actor may have been a little too confident in securing the role. Strong said about the premature celebration before his audition:
And I learned the lines … and to celebrate I went out for a drink, and I got pissed. I overdid it and the next day I was severely hungover.
Given the persona Mark Strong has cultivated in films such as Shazam! and Kingsman, it was surprising to hear him talk about a bad audition. But being a young actor in the 1990s, his story sounds like a typical audition story. His darker roles have shown the actor can tackle the sinister yet understated nature of a Bond villain. It would’ve been nice seeing Strong acting alongside Pierce Bronson in the 1990 era James Bond films, but I guess things weren’t meant to be.
The Cruella star continued to air out his frustration with the James Bond star. Mark Strong revealed to the panel and audience of the British game show There’s Something About Movies that Daniel Craig was his drinking partner the night before his botched audition. The revelation was somewhat surprising. Given Craig’s current run as James Bond, it was ironic that the No Time to Die star ended up contributing to Strong’s terrible audition. As he put it,
The irony was, the guy I was out the night before getting pissed with was Daniel Craig. So I blame him!
Mark Strong’s overwhelming hangover stunted his chance of becoming a James Bond villain. Later in his same appearance, the Cruella and Kingsman actor went on to explain exactly how he blew his chance. In his words,
I started, then I just forgot my lines, couldn’t remember what they were and they all just kind of fell apart. I was sweating, it was a terrible experience — but I really learned from it.
Unfortunately, Mark Strong learned the hard way that drunken nights and high-profile auditions don’t mix. At least, he took a strong lesson about playing before the work starts. But the real story is a young Strong and Daniel Craig getting completely hammered. We need more details about that night if anyone involved can remember.
With Daniel Craig’s Bond tenure ending, it would’ve been exciting to see him play opposite Craig’s James Bond at least once. It would’ve been a nice form of payback. But Strong’s career hasn’t been too shabby since that disastrous audition. He can currently be seen in Cruella in theaters and on Disney+.