What do Daniel Craig and Taika Waititi have in common? While the sixth James Bond and one of Hollywood’s most eccentric directors aren’t working on a new film together, the two have collaborated on a new advertisement for Belvedere vodka.
The pair are joined by British artists Rita Ora and Giggs, who provide a unique soundtrack for the project. The ad is accompanied with a photoshoot by fashion photographer Juergen Teller, which features some alluring shots of Craig in a bathrobe.
The tagline used for the campaign is, “A familiar face, an unexpected performance,” and this is undeniably accurate. You’d expect Craig decked out in a lavish suit, with a suave look about him, perhaps even declaring that he takes his martini, “shaken, not stirred,” but this isn’t the case.
The advertisement opens just as you’d expect: a black and white filter, with Craig dressed in a sleek white suit; a stoic look on his face as he stares out over the river Seine atop the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris. He offers the camera a quick smirk, before making his way through a bustling crowd to climb into a car.
It’s here where expectations are shattered: colour washes over the scene, and a vibrant tune by Rita Ora and Giggs begins to play. Dressed in all-black, Craig emerges from the car and begins to strut through the streets: he enters the lobby of the Cheval Blanc Paris hotel, bursts into a lively groove to dance through the hotel.
Perhaps disappointingly, Craig didn’t invent these fresh moves on his own: he was assisted by Beyoncé’s choreographer, JaQuel Knight. The influence is clear: there’s plenty of gyrating hips, snapping fingers, and mighty leaps.
It’s a side we’ve never seen of the 007 actor before: after 15 years of playing the iconic agent, it’s refreshing to see Craig move with such a whimsical energy; to show that he doesn’t have to be so serious all the time. Waititi’s lively style is used to great effect here.
The advertisement ends with Craig cracking open a fresh bottle of Belvedere, before declaring, “Finally.” A cameo of Waititi follows, who instructs Craig to just be himself, and Craig flashes the camera a knowing grin while sporting a pair of sparking grills. Those interested in getting a look at the electric chemistry between Craig and Waititi should stay for the after credits outtakes.
Though the fact that Craig is acting like this as part of a brand deal is inescapable, he moves in a way that seems rather genuine. Maybe deep down, this usually-stern, cool actor has always wanted to break free from expectations with an exuberant dance number, and Waititi helped him do it.
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