Idris Elba Says James Bond Role Was Disenchanted by Racism

Idris Elba has opened up about how the “disgusting” racism turned him off from the role of James Bond.

In a recent appearance on the SmartLess podcast, the actor shared that he was first very excited about the idea of becoming the next 007 — but then “it became about race,” and the topic turned sour. “The truth is, I was super complimented for a long time about this,” Elba said. “I was like, ‘This is crazy!’ James Bond…We’re all actors and we understand that role. It’s one of those coveted [roles]. Being asked to be James Bond was like, ‘Ok, you’ve sort of reached the pinnacle’. That’s one of those things the whole world has a vote in.”

“Essentially, it was a huge compliment that every corner of the world except from some corners, which we will not talk about, were really happy about the idea that I could be considered,” he continued. “Those that weren’t happy about the idea made the whole thing disgusting and off-putting, because it became about race. It became about nonsense and I got the brunt of it.”

There were long-running rumors that Elba was to take up the mantle following Daniel Craig, who retired from the role after 2021’s No Time To Die. Shortly after its premiere, word spread that he was supposedly in talks to appear in a future film but as a different character. In late 2022, Elba told The Shop that he decided to remove himself from running for the role. “I’m not gonna lie, every corner of the world I go, and I’m talking about different cultures, they always go, ‘Bond.’ And I feel it is beyond me at this junction. It’s beyond me,” he shared. “You know, it’s not a question of, should I, do I, will I? It is what the will of the nation dictates sometimes. I’m not that guy but in everyone’s world, I might be. And that, job done. Because the truth is, you know, a lot of people are really seeing Idris playing Bond as the alternative Bond. And as long as that alternative is existing, that’s great for the growth of f**king casting.”

Elsewhere in entertainment, Donald Glover is returning for the Community movie.
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