Idris Elba has been one of the recurring names that fans suggest when the topic of James Bond comes up. Following Daniel Craig’s final bow as the British secret agent in No Time To Die, Elba had been keen on potentially taking over the role.
However, despite the Luther star initially feeling “super complimented” about playing 007, he was put off by the racist backlash.
“The truth is, I was super complimented for a long time about this. I was like, ‘This is crazy!’ Because James Bond… We’re all actors and we understand that role. It’s one of those coveted [roles],” Elba said during an appearance on the SmartLess podcast. “Being asked to be James Bond was like, ‘Okay, you’ve sort of reached the pinnacle.’”
Elba acknowledged that due to the character being known worldwide, chatter about casting the next Bond was “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,” Elba added. “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.”
Earlier this year, the actor told Esquire UK he was no longer describing himself as a Black actor “when I realized it put me in a box. We’ve got to grow. We’ve got to. Our skin is no more than that: it’s just skin. Rant over.”
He would later clarify his statement on social media tweeting: “There isn’t a soul on this earth that can question whether I consider myself a BLACK MAN or not. Being an ‘actor’ is a profession, like being an ‘architect’ ,they are not defined by race. However, If YOU define your work by your race, that is your Perogative. Ah lie?”