United Kingdom

Daniel Craig pictured aged 16 wearing a tuxedo

The tuxedo, heavy brow and brooding look are unmistakeable. All that’s missing is the martini and the Aston Martin.

Pictured here is a 16-year-old Daniel Craig looking uncannily like James Bond – 21 years before landing the role that made him a superstar.

A pupil at Hilbre High School on the Wirral, Danny – as he was known – appeared in a drama club production of Tom Stoppard’s play The Real Inspector Hound.

Daniel Craig, pictured left, along side Ann Hanson-Gardner, at Hilbre High School on the Wirral, where he  appeared in a drama club production of Tom Stoppard’s play The Real Inspector Hound

Craig, pictured around June 1984, played a theatre critic in the play at Liverpool Garden Festival

Although making it in Hollywood was still a distant dream, Craig was already determined to be a professional actor, fellow cast members said.

Ann Hanson-Gardner, the glamourous redhead pictured beside Craig, told the Daily Mail he bore an uncanny resemblance to the James Bond character he would later make his own.

‘He was very focused, different calibre,’ said Mrs Hanson-Gardner, now a supply teacher. He was very good at his lines and at living the part, whereas we were all quite wooden. He would know his sight lines – where to stand to get the best angle. He was very much on the ball.

‘With that tux on he does look uncannily like Bond.’

The group performed the play at Liverpool’s International Garden Festival in June 1984. Mrs Hanson-Gardner, 53, added: ‘We were talking about what we would like to do when we left school. He said then his goal was to become an actor. He achieved it. His career went from strength to strength.

‘Years ago, I think it was after watching him in [1998 film] Elizabeth, my husband said he would make a really good Bond. I laughed but my husband was right.’

Craig, 52, landed the Bond role in 2005. His fifth and final 007 movie, No Time To Die, is scheduled to premiere in April having been twice delayed because of coronavirus

Craig starred in several other productions at the comprehensive, including Macbeth and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, playing the lead roles

Craig, 52, landed the Bond role in 2005. His fifth and final 007 movie, No Time To Die, is scheduled to premiere in April having been twice delayed because of coronavirus.

Craig starred in several other productions at the comprehensive, including Macbeth and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, playing the lead roles.

According to Lindsey Holmes, 53, he also entertained classmates with a Mick Jagger impression. Mrs Holmes, now an art teacher, said: ‘He went through a phase of being quite an extrovert, when he was 13 or 14. With his big shoulders he would strut around doing a Mick Jagger impression. All the girls used to say, “You’re not funny Daniel”, but he was always quite sweet with it, not too much of a big head.’

Another classmate, engineer Simon Waring, 54, said: ‘I was in The Crucible with him. I remember him saying he would try to do it for a living. I thought, “Don’t give up your day job”, but just look at him now!’

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