Yes, there was definitely a consciousness on my behalf of knowing that if I was going to do this role [James Bond], I knew that I was going to be a marked man for the rest of my life. It sounds melodramatic but you have to be aware going into it, because he's such an iconic character.
I love being an actor so I made my own company to create the opportunities for myself that wouldn't normally be there. I don't think people would have cast me in Evelyn, and if Miramax had been making the film I've just done with my company - it's called Matador - I don't think they would have cast me. It was a very strong decision and an awareness that I had time on my hands between the Bond films and had to use that time in the most effective way possible so that my career would hopefully have some sort of longevity.
Are you relieved not to have to keep up that level of physical preparedness that was required of you while playing Bond?
I think you have to keep up physically anyway. To be an actor you should have some stamina because physically, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically, it's warfare out there. You're constantly dealing with yourself and constantly being judged, but I keep up a regime of working out and watching what I eat. You know, it's a demanding role [Bond] and listen, I had a great decade playing the character. I'm forever grateful for the opportunity I got to be a part of that legacy but everything comes to an end, everything falls apart, and it's over for me. I wish them well.