Few actors have made more of a business out of seeming tired than Daniel Craig. His spin on suave British superspy James Bond carried a world-weariness in his shoulders even before headlines started cropping up suggesting his exhaustion with the franchise was reaching some kind of breaking point, and Craig’s self-contained terseness has long been an element of his charm. (It also makes those moments when he decides to cut loose, like Logan Lucky and Knives Out, or even just a viral clip of him expressing his gratitude to his long-time Bond crew, feel all the more intoxicating.)
That bemused exhaustion got what might be its clearest possible expression in March of 2020, when Craig hosted Saturday Night Live (despite the fact that the movie he’d been ostensibly booked to promote, No Time To Die, had already begun its long, COVID-powered drift toward its eventual release next week). To be fair, there was nothing sleepy about most of Craig’s performance—at the time, our own Dennis Perkins highlighted the energy and joy he clearly brought to the show’s usual sketch chaos.
And yet there was something about the way Craig introduced that week’s musical guest—The Weeknd—with a little happy-but-weary sweep of his hand, that seemed to spark with people. Especially as the world began to shut down pretty much immediately after the episode aired, and Craig’s “Ladies and gentlemen…The Weeknd” became a regular refrain online, inviting people to at least try to relax in a world where the lines between work time and play time often became indistinguishably blurry.
And now it’s all come full circle, as Craig has finally been informed (via a New York Times profile by Dave Itzkoff, in which the actor is very much done with the concept of James Bond, thanks) that he is now a meme. His response? Typically delightful:
Craig, who’s just been informed about the meme: No, what is that?
Itzkoff: There is a clip of you from that Saturday Night Live you hosted, introducing the Weeknd with almost a sense of relief. People just like to post that clip as a way of ushering in the weekend.
Craig: They do? It’s amazing. I don’t know what that is, but thank you. That’s lovely. I suppose I’d have to have social media to know what that was all about.
We suppose you would, at that.