PARIS (AFP) - James Bond actor Daniel Craig on Friday (Oct 30) urged European governments to "step forward and sort out" the migrant crisis tormenting the continent.
"There is a human tragedy going on. It is up to European governments to step forward and get this sorted," the British actor told AFP in an interview to promote 007's latest adventure, "Spectre".
The movie is already breaking box office records in Britain, but the success has not quelled Craig's well-publicised doubts over continuing in the role - the 47-year-old admitted he "did not know" how much longer he would keep playing the suave secret agent.
"Spectre" sees Bond flit back and forth across borders in the blink of an eye despite being grounded by British intelligence and having his passport removed.
But in reality entering Britain illegally has become ever more difficult, with thousands of migrants marooned in the French port of Calais resorting to desperate measures to cross the English Channel.
Some have tried to climb onto or underneath high-speed Eurostar trains and two Iranians managed to walk the 31-mile (50-kilometre) length of the tunnel earlier this month before being arrested by British police. At least 15 have died trying to reach England since June.
Craig, who has been an advocate for humanitarian issues, urged governments to act to resolve the crisis.
"Some fictional spy is not going to fix this," he said. "People are not thinking about James Bond as they struggle with their families across the Mediterranean, it is the furthest thing from their minds."
Ironically, Craig has also become the face of a drive by tourism chiefs to attract more visitors to Britain.
An international billboard campaign proclaiming "Bond is Great Britain" is being rolled out to coincide with the release of the film, the 24th in the spy series that began six years before Craig was even born.
"Spectre" has taken $24.5 million in its first three days in Britain - but it is still unclear whether Craig will reprise the role that he has given a harder, more brutal edge.
Having claimed that he would rather "slash my wrists" than play the brooding MI6 agent again, Craig - who earned a reported $17 million from the last Bond film "Skyfall" - has since tried to row back on his comments to Time Out magazine.
"I don't know, honestly, that is a straight answer," he told AFP. "I have spent two years of my life doing this now... That's enough for the time being.
"I am not in crisis. In fact, I've never been happier making these films. The creative process has been better than it has ever been... why would you walk away from that? There is a lot of shit in the press about this at the moment, but the simple answer is I don't know."
In Spectre, Bond battles the eponymous shadowy criminal network - the Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion.
Yet 007 also faces unexpectedly stiff resistance from his principal love interest Madeleine Swann, played by French star Lea Seydoux, even if the the actress' feminist credentials took a knock when she told reporters at the film's London premiere that "I don't know if I'm a Bond girl, I'm just a blonde girl."
The change of tack comes after "Skyfall" - a global box office hit - was pilloried by some critics for its alleged misogyny, with Giles Coren of the London Times newspaper calling it "vile, sexist and sad".
But Craig - who has appeared in drag to highlight discrimination against women - insisted he had pushed for strong female characters.
"I want characters to go up against him, for Bond to be challenged by them, otherwise it is just dull if he is this alpha male that walks around and dominates every scene.
"If you are going to attract actresses like Lea Seydoux and Monica Bellucci (who Bond also briefly beds), you have got to offer them something worth doing," he added.