The Le Chiffre-Bond torture scene remains one of the most powerful scenes in Casino Royale (2006). After Bond wins the Poker tournament at Casino Royale, Le Chiffre faces financial ruin. He kidnaps Vesper Lynd and uses her as bait to capture, then torture 007. The plan goes perfectly but 007 refuses to give him the password to access the account holding the winnings. Before Le Chiffre can kill Bond, enigmatic terrorist Mr White murders Le Chiffre, leaving Bond alive.
On April 24, the first unit filmed scenes in the opulent lobby of the Grand Venetian Hotel, then moved to its polar opposite: a two-day shoot on an abandoned barge where Le Chiffre hands out the gruelling torture. Daniel Craig recalled Le Chiffre’s unique means of interrogation: “He strips me naked, puts me in a Bentwood chair that has no seat in it, then tortures me very hard with a piece of rope.”
The chair was fitted with a fibreglass screen to prevent any unwanted injuries to the leading man. The scene made it past the censors because the eye-wincing action is kept off-screen and its inclusion was vital in informing Bond’s character.
“It’s essential to the story because it sets up Bond’s vulnerability,” said Producer Michael G. Wilson. “Also Vesper is responsible for him falling into the trap, so her motivation to heal him and be with him comes from the guilt over complicity. Not having the torture scene would damage the story.”