Wednesday 21 August 2019

Idris Elba: Being first black Bond would put me in ‘difficult position’

The upcoming James Bond film is expected to be Daniel Craig’s last in the role as the famous spy.

Idris Elba (Ian West/PA)
Idris Elba (Ian West/PA)

By Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Idris Elba says being the first black actor to play James Bond would put him in a “difficult position”.

Daniel Craig is expected to make his last appearance as the famous spy in the next 007 film.

Elba, who has been tipped for the role, told Vanity Fair magazine: “Of course, if someone said to me, ‘Do you want to play James Bond?,’ I’d be like, ‘Yeah!’

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The next Bond film is expected to be Daniel Craig’s last (Matt Crossick/PA)

“That’s fascinating to me. But it’s not something I’ve expressed, like, ‘Yeah, I wanna be the black James Bond’,” the 46-year-old said.

“You just get disheartened when you get people from a generational point of view going, ‘It can’t be.’ And it really turns out to be the colour of my skin.

“And then if I get it and it didn’t work, or it did work, would it be because of the colour of my skin? That’s a difficult position to put myself into when I don’t need to.”

Elba said he would “love to see three or four Luthers come out as films”, following the success of his TV series.

The former star of The Wire said he was unusual as a black British actor in the US when he started looking for work there.

“When I got to America and was like, I want to be an actor, I was like a novelty act in all my casting meetings,” Elba said.

“They were like, ‘Wow! I love your accent, it’s so refined,’” before telling him: “OK, so you’re Gangster No. 1.”

Richard Madden, James Norton, Tom Hardy and Tom Hiddleston are among the other names who have been tipped for the Bond role.

The full feature is in the August issue of Vanity Fair available on newsstands and digital download from Friday.

PA Media

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