“Should Idris Elba play James Bond?” is a question that tends to bubble up into the public consciousness every few years, regardless of where the next James Bond movie is in its development. The question is generally accompanied by a big fan campaign to get Elba cast as Bond—even if there is already someone playing Bond and the new Bond movie is already being filmed—as well as a similarly big backlash from people who, for some reason, don’t want to Idris Elba sipping on martinis, objectifying women, and driving Aston Martins. Seriously, though, it’s pretty obvious that the reason that some people are so opposed to this idea is that Idris Elba is Black, while James Bond has always been played by a white guy—ergo, “James Bond is supposed to be white” even though that’s stupid.
Anyway, speaking with Vanity Fair, Elba now says he gets “disheartened” when he hears about people saying he can’t play a certain role just because he’s Black, especially since that could impact the way the movie is received. “If I get it and it didn’t work, or it did work, would ie be because of the color of my skin? That’s a difficult position to put myself into when I don’t need to.” It’s an understandable concern, and a situation that the 2016 Ghostbusters movie had to deal with when it failed to become much of a hit, but it doesn’t sound like Elba’s willing to let racist naysayers scare him off of playing James Bond.
He admits that he’s never officially expressed any interest in the character, but he’d say yes if they asked him. “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.”