London: Daniel Craig dismissed a reporter's suggestion that "Fleabag" creator-star Phoebe Waller-Bridge was hired to punch up the script of the new Bond movie "No Time to Die" and make it more inclusive.
The actor, who is returning as James Bond for the fifth and final time, got furious during an interview with The Sunday Times when the question was posed to him.
"Look, we're having a conversation about Phoebe's gender here, which is f****ing ridiculous. She's a great writer. Why shouldn't we get Phoebe onto Bond?" he asked.
It was reported that Craig was the one who brought Waller-Bridge onboard the film. "No Time to Die" script was penned by director Cary Fukunaga and screenwriter Scott Z Burns. They had expanded from an early draft written by former Bond writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.
Bond films have long been criticised for objectifying women, something that critics believe has kept the franchise out of tune from modern times.
However, Craig declined to answer the question, saying he did not want to have that conversation.
"I know where you're going, but I don't actually want to have that conversation. I know what you're trying to do, but it's wrong. It's absolutely wrong. She's a f***ing great writer. One of the best English writers around. I said, Can we get her on the film?' That's where I came from.
"She's just brilliant. I had my eye on her ever since the first Fleabag,' and then I saw Killing Eve' and what she did with that, and just wanted her voice. It is so unique we are very privileged to have her on board.
Waller-Bridge, who has emerged as something of an international feminist icon with the success of "Fleabag", previously also dismissed the suggestion that her hiring would change the way Bond is portrayed.
"There's been a lot of talk about whether or not (the Bond franchise) is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women. I think that's b*****ks. I think he's absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow. It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly. He doesn't have to. He needs to be true to this character, she had said.
"No Time to Die" is slated for a release in the UK on April 3 and in the US on April 8.