Mark Strong was surprised that Daniel Craig wanted to commit to another outing as James Bond after making 'Spectre'.

The 54-year-old actor has been close friends with Daniel since they both starred in the BBC drama 'Our Friends in the North' in 1996 and the 50-year-old 007 star is even godfather to Mark's sons.

Mark admits he thought his pal Daniel was going to hang up Bond's tuxedo after wrapping on the 2015 film because he found the entire experience of being the face of the franchise tiring, but he's ultimately glad he's back for one final fling as the British spy.

Speaking to The Times newspaper, Mark said: ''I think he was totally knackered after the last one, and just felt like he couldn't get it together to do another one, it's a really exhausting process; it takes a long time to shoot, there's a lot of press commitments, the action sequences and everything. [But] he's obviously keen, because he is doing another one.''

Daniel confirmed in 2017 that he was reprising his role as 007 for a fifth and final time and has admitted that one of his motivations for playing the action hero again is that he will break the late Sir Roger Moore's record as the longest-serving Bond when 2019 rolls around - the year the 25th film in the franchise will be released - as he will have been in possession of the iconic part for 13 years.

Mark plays the retired spy Max Easton in new drama 'Deep State' who sets out to get revenge on the people who threaten his wife and children, and Mark found it easy to get into character by picturing the same scenario with his real life wife Lisa Marshall and children Gabriel and Roman.

He said: ''If anybody came after my children, I hope I would kind of react in the same way. Remember, I've got a pair of pliers!''

And the 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' actor enjoys ''digging down'' to play darker roles because they're such a contrast to his daily life.

He explained: ''There's something cathartic about digging down into that murky part of yourself. In everyday life I can't wander around threatening people in the street or doing all the stuff that's associated with questionable characters.''