James Bond casting director says younger actors ‘didn’t have the mental capacity’ to play 007

Daniel Craig was 38 when he took over the role

Louis Chilton
Tuesday 11 April 2023 13:24 BST
No Time To Die trailer

The casting director for the James Bond franchise has claimed that younger actors showed they “didn’t have the mental capacity” for the role during the auditions process.

Debbie McWilliams, who has worked on the popular spy series since 1981, revealed that younger actors had originally auditioned for the lead role in 2006’s Casino Royale.

The part of Bond eventually went to Daniel Craig, who was 38 years old at the time.

“When we started [work on Casino Royale], it was a slightly different feel,” McWilliams recalled to Radio Times.

“We did look at a lot of younger actors. and I just don’t think they had the gravitas, they didn’t have the experience, they didn’t have the mental capacity to take it on, because it’s not just the part they’re taking on, it’s a massive responsibility.”

She explained: “So we kind of scrubbed that idea and went back to the drawing board and started again.”

Craig went on to reprise the role of 007 in four subsequent films: Quantum of Solace (2009), Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015) and No Time to Die (2021).

However, he has now stepped down from the role, leading to widespread speculation as to who could take up the mantle.

Among the most commonly mentioned candidates are Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page, Tom Hardy and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

Daniel Craig in ‘Casino Royale'

For a more extensive breakdown of the next Bond contenders, click here.

Earlier this year, Idris Elba, long described as a potential frontrunner for the role, seemed to finally put speculation to bed.

It has been widely reported that the next iteration of Bond will be played by an actor in his 30s, making Elba, 50, an unlikely choice.

One far-out alternative to Elba would be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who appeared to voice his interest in the part late last year.

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