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Chileans to James Bond: This isn't Bolivia!

April 3, 2008 |  8:11 am

Daniel Craig James Bond film Quantum of Solace

The filming of the new James Bond flick, Quantum of Solace, has caused a sensation in and around the northern Chilean city of Antofagasta, where production is centered. The town has been in a frenzy;  nightly television reports have followed daily progress. Complaints have been publicly aired about the inaccessibility of star Daniel Craig, he of the pale eyes and chiseled features. He hasn't exactly been chillin' in Chile.

This piece in the daily La Tercera speaks of Craig's "obsession" with security and privacy -- no fan cameras are permitted in his vicinity; the star's hotel windows are blacked out; and he tools about with bulky bodyguards in four-wheel-drive vehicles featuring tinted windows. Hollywood boorishness is not going down well in Chile.

But small-town mayor Mayor Carlos Lopez was undeterred. The Chilean media reports that Lopez was arrested this week for driving his vehicle into the set where Quantum of Solace was being filmed. That would be in a weathered train station in the remote northern burg of Baquedano. El Mercurio reports that two persons were almost hit and filming was interrupted. The mayor had led an earlier protest against the production, La Tercera reported.

Daniel Craig James Bond film Quantum of Solace Paranal astronomical observatory, in Antofagasta

Lopez's beef with Bond? Is he a distant relative of Dr. No, Auric Goldfinger or another OO7 nemesis? Apparently not. This seems to be a case of nationalism aggrieved. Lopez is reportedly miffed that Chile was being used in the film to represent rival Bolivia, a sensitive issue in those parts. Chile annexed a considerable chunk of mineral-rich northern territory from Bolivia and Peru in a victorious 19th century war against its neighbors. Hard feelings still persist in all three nations.

-- Patrick J. McDonnell and Andres D'Alessandro in Buenos Aires.

Photos: British actor Daniel Craig, who plays James Bond in the new film, Quantum of Solace. Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP. Observatory in Antofagasta, north of Santiago, Chile, where some scenes for Quantum of Solace are being filmed. Credit: Martin Bernetti / AP.