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Daniel Craig goes from Bond to bondage in 'Dragon Tattoo'

There's a scene in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" in which Daniel Craig is in bondage--no pun intended.

His character, Mikael Blomkvist, has been strapped into a device and is being flung about the room as if he were a Cirque du Soleil performer with a plastic bag over his head.

According to "Tattoo" director David Fincher, things went very wrong. Although Craig had a small metal device in his hand to pop the plastic bag in case it became too hard for him to breathe, Fincher and the crew didn't realize that he was having difficulty until they heard the piece of metal hit the floor.

"He was acting like he was suffocating, which is not very different from actually suffocating," Fincher said during a recent press event in New York. "I'm watching the monitor and we hear,'ting, ting, ting.' He had passed out. We wrapped then and on the production report I wrote, 'let Daniel go 15 minutes early due to unconsciousness!'"

Although Craig joked that he took the constricting apparatus that was attached to his pelvic region home, the only other comment he made regarding that incident was, "Just another day working with David Fincher."

Fincher is known for shooting as many as 40 takes per scene, but that didn't bother Craig at all.

"You don't count," he said. "Sometimes you get worse and worse but when someone throws a lot of money at you to do something like this, you're there to get it right. Sure, things get frustrating during the work day but there are lots of other things to get frustrated about and then there [are] the triumphs at the end of the day, so you just kind of don't get down about it."

Craig's Blomkvist is a tarnished journalist who works with an oddball computer hacker named Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) to track down a missing woman. Shot on location in Sweden and based on the bestsellers by Stieg Larsson, "Tattoo" is expected to be a huge hit during the holiday season.

Unlike James Bond, Mikael is a more cerebral character for Craig. Fincher said he was sold on Craig playing Blomkvist because of his energy and work ethic. He and Craig immediately developed a priceless ability to communicate without words, which comes in handy during those multiple takes.    

"I knew him to be self-effacing and I knew him to be playful and witty. I knew that I needed that for Mikael," Fincher said. "I also wanted a very masculine kind of center to the film. I was looking for sort of a Robert Mitchum center."

Craig just wanted to make the character as believable as possible, he said.

"The reality in 'Tattoo' is that Mikael gets shot at and he runs away screaming--[laughs]--like anyone else would," he said. "What I love about this character is that he doesn't have to prove he's a man. He doesn't go around beating his chest and he's very happy to fall into this relationship where [Lisbeth] is literally wearing the trousers."
MIKI TURNER IS A REDEYE SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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