Idris Elba 'disheartened' by racist backlash to rumours he'll play James Bond

‘That’s a difficult position to put myself into when I don’t need to’

Clarisse Loughrey
Sunday 30 June 2019 14:09 BST
Behind the scenes look at recent Caribbean Bond 25 filming

Idris Elba has expressed his disappointment with the racist backlash to rumours he could one day replace Daniel Craig as James Bond.

Speaking to Vanity Fair, he 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."

Following reports that Bond producer Barbara Broccoli said "it is time" Bond was played by a non-white actor, a survey of 2,201 adults by The Hollywood Reporter found that 63% of Americans supported the idea of Elba playing Bond.

Elba himself has always maintained a playful attitude when it comes to addressing the rumours, at one point whipping fans into a frenzy by tweeting a selfie captioned with: "My name's Elba, Idris Elba." However, the actor said that he has never seriously been considered for the part.

“James Bond is a hugely coveted, iconic, beloved character, that takes audiences on this massive escapism journey,” he said. “Of course, if someone said to me ‘Do you want to play James Bond?,’ I’d be like, Yeah! That’s fascinating to me. But it’s not something I’ve expressed, like, Yeah, I wanna be the black James Bond.

The 25th entry into the Bond franchise is currently in production, with Craig once more reprising the lead role and True Detective's Cary Fukunaga in the director's chair.

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