Idris Elba has finally grown tired of the flood of ‘next James Bond rumours’ touting him as the first black 007.
The British actor has been hotly tipped to take over from Daniel Craig ever since the Sony Pictures hack revealed him a favourite of studio bosses last year.
He has previously stated his interest, but after being asked about his chances at every interview, the Luther star has called time on the speculation.
“It feels like I’m campaigning and I’m not. At first it was harmless - oh, I know, wouldn’t it be great? - and now it’s started off racial debates,” he told The Telegraph, when the topic was raised yet again.
“I’m probably the most famous Bond actor in the world and I’ve not even played the role. Enough is enough. I can’t talk about it any more.”
Reactions to the idea of Elba playing the iconic secret agent have ranged from enthusiastic to unconvinced, with author Anthony Horowitz memorably branding him “too street” for the famous role and former Bond Pierce Brosnan predicting that the character will stay white and straight.
But Elba is wary of straying too far into discussion of film industry discrimination and does not want to be known as “a black actor”. “You’ve got a generation of people who just want to move forward, not keep going on about the past,” he said.
Idris Elba on screen
Idris Elba on screen
1/5 Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
Elba stars as late South African political leader Nelson Mandela in the Oscar-nominated Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Elba played 'passionate and ruthless' DCI John Luther in award-winning BBC One crime drama Luther from 2010 to 2013
3/5 No Good Deed
Elba stars as unstable escaped convict Colin Evans in 2014 thriller No Good Deed
Elba plays ex-military captain Janek in Prometheus, here seen alongside Charlize Theron
5/5 The Wire
Elba established himself in the US first, playing the role of Russell 'Stringer' Bell in drug drama The Wire
That’s not to say he doesn’t think he has a chance. “James Bond is a spy. He could be any colour, surely,” he told Entertainment Weekly last week.
“Honestly, it’s one of those things that if it should happen it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy; it would be the will of a nation.”
Elba will next been seen when Luther returns for a limited fourth series on 15 December on BBC One, while latest Bond film Spectre is in cinemas now.Reuse content