London - Sean Bean thinks Daniel Craig is "one of the best" James Bond stars ever.
The 53-year-old star - who played Bond villain Alec Trevelyan in 1995 movie GoldenEye - believes the 44-year-old hunk has always been a "stand-out" actor, and he isn't surprised he's managed to win fans of the film series over following initial criticism.
He said: "I like Daniel Craig, I worked with him on Sharpe, one of the very early ones, maybe the second one we did - Sharpe's Revenge? A long, long time ago and he was good in that then.
'People were slagging him off'
"He's always been an actor that stands out, and I remember when he first got Bond and people were slagging him off before he'd even started, and he's managed to turn that around and stick it back up 'em! And he's probably one of the best Bond's that's ever been."
Sean's role as 006 in GoldenEye coincided with Pierce Brosnan's debut as the suave spy, and the Game of Thrones star admits the pair helped each other cope with the pressure which came with appearing in such a high profile film franchise.
He added to Den of Geek: "He had a lot of pressure on him, but he coped very well with it and turned out to be a great Bond. At the same time I felt a certain pressure playing a baddie, a Bond baddie, alongside him for the first time, but he was quite cool about it and I think that kind of rubbed off on me.
"I think we just thought, 'Let's approach it like a job, we won't let the pressure or anything get to us, any pre-conceptions or expectations and get on with it and that's what we did and it was great.' I have fond memories of that."