It took an old Bond to come to the rescue of the new Bond.
Roger Moore, who played Agent 007 in seven of the James Bond movies, said critics of the film franchise's new star, Daniel Craig, should give him a chance.
"He's a helluva good actor," said Moore, 78, noting that critics haven't even seen Craig in the role yet. "So why attack him?"
The fair-haired Craig, whose recent screen credits include "Munich" and "The Jacket," was tapped last October to play the secret-agent icon in "Casino Royale."
A group of Bond fans have launched a Web site (http://www.craignotbond.com
) to protest the hiring of Craig and boycott the upcoming movie.
Moore, whose Bond films include "A View to Kill," "Moonraker" and "Live and Let Die," suggested the group was merely trying to attract people to their Web site.
He also dismissed suggestions that Bond is obsolete in a post-Cold War, post-9/11 world.
"Bond is fantasy, there's no real substance to it," he said. "It's a figment of imagination. ... (It's) sort of crazy, you know, a spy who is recognized wherever he goes. Spies ain't like that."
Moore was in Toronto on Wednesday for a UNICEF event. He is a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. children's agency.
He will be in Quebec City this weekend to take part in a charity film festival, "Vue sur Bond 007," organized by filmmaker Hilary Saltzman, daughter of Canadian-born Harry Saltzman.
The senior Saltzman, who died in 1994, was, along with Albert Broccoli, the co-producer of most of the early Bond films.