When Daniel agrees to do a special photo shoot to celebrate the 50th anniversary of James Bond, he doesn’t give much consideration to what it will entail. A photo shoot is a photo shoot. Michael and Barbara had both thought the extra publicity would be great for the film and so he’d said yes.
He’s surprised, however, when he reaches the studio. He expects to see Sean, Roger and Pierce. It’s more of a shock, though he doesn’t know why and feels a bit guilty because of it, to see George and Timothy, both of whom are standing a little part from the main group, looking not nervous, really, just a little out of place. Daniel finds himself sympathizing and wanders over, waving casually to the others.
Before he can greet them, Timothy speaks. “Well, if it isn’t the lad of the hour.”
“Or the minute,” George adds.
The two men look at each other.
The comments are uttered without malice but Daniel pauses. “Should I go?” he asks calmly. “Or start a support group.” He offers them a wry smile.
George laughs and claps him on the back. “So, how does it feel to have the weight of the world on your shoulders?”
Daniel grimaces, because yeah, six years and three movies in and he still feels a bit weird about the whole thing, especially whenever he stumbles over some negative press. He should know better and he does for the most part. It’s just, there’s something about Bond that brings it closer to home.
“You can’t please all of the people all of the time is clichéd but they really are words to live by.”
George squeezes Daniel's shoulder to show his agreement.
“And at least no one minds you playing the dirtier, darker Bond.”
“I bet no one complained about your hair.”
“He’s got you there, Timothy.” George pats his back and then moves out of his personal space.
The three men smile at each other, ice officially and completely broken.
“It’s weird, isn’t it.” Daniel says after a moment. “I mean, it’s a role but it’s more…” He struggles to find the right word. “Complicated.” He looks at them both, not sure if he’s managed to convey his feelings.
Timothy nods. “It’s all in the expectations. If you were playing a doctor, or lawyer or even a regular spy, there’d be more flexibility. With Bond, you have to walk a fine line.”
“At least you two had some acting experience before you got thrown to the wolves.” George rubs at his chin. “I didn’t like it, you know? Doing what I was told like a good little robot. I wanted to have some input.” Shaking his head, George sighs. “Anyway, it’s water under the bridge and all that. Besides,” he shoots an evil grin at Daniel. “I did alright poking fun at Bond; got a little of my own back from all those people putting me down.”
“Are you having fun?” Timothy looks at Daniel intently.
“Yeah, I am.” And he is. When he puts aside all his doubts, he’s having a blast. He’s working with some of the best people both on screen and off; he’s learning so much, not just about acting but about all the things that go into making a film.
Timothy touches his arm. “Then hold on to that. That’s the most important thing.”
“No regrets,” George says firmly.
Daniel feels like he’s been given the best gift. He has nothing but respect for Sean, Roger and Pierce; he’s talked to them a few times back when he was first coming into the role and as much as they told him the same thing, it just sounds more real coming from these two men. He knows they get it in a way that the others never will since they never had to struggle to fit the mold.
It is into this relaxed atmosphere that Daniel throws his original thought. “What are you two doing here?” It only takes a second for him to realize how rude that sounds. “I mean…”
Timothy and George wave off his attempt to backpedal.
“We’re well aware we are not fan favourites.”
George nods. “I’m pretty sure they only invited us for continuity.” He gestures toward were the others are standing. “Those are the big guns.” He eyes Daniel. “And you now, of course.”
Daniel shrugs, a bit embarrassed. “That remains to be seen.”
“Modest. I like that.” Timothy’s eyes crinkle. “Now back to your question. Nostalgia is what made me say yes. I grew up on Sean’s Bond.”
“Money,” George says immediately. When Timothy elbows him, he adds. “Hey, he’s the modest one.”
Timothy snorts. “Yes, it’s true. The money didn’t hurt.”
Daniel can totally understand that. He’s been a starving actor; it’s not as fun as it’s made out to be in fiction.
“It looks like we’re up.” George points out the photographer who is motioning at them. “Time to go hang with the cool kids.”