Idris Elba has said he would not turn down the chance to play James Bond - but admits he gets ‘disheartened’ by critics who think he can’t play the spy because of his skin colour.
The Luther star has been linked to playing the next 007, with current star Daniel Craig looking likely to call it a day after the as-yet-untitled Bond 25, but the actor admits he would have some concerns about accepting such a role.
Speaking to Vanity Fair magazine, Elba 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.”
Elba goes on to explain Bond is not a role he has actively coveted, but finds the idea of playing the spy ‘fascinating’.
The 46-year-old added: “James Bond is a hugely coveted, iconic, beloved character, that takes audiences on this massive escapism journey.
“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.”
There has been much debate about who will replace current Bond Daniel Craig once he’s downed his last shaken (not stirred) martini. According to bookmakers William Hill, Elba is currently third favourite to win the role. They are offering odds of 11/2, with Bodyguard and Rocketman star Richard Madden the current favourite at 3/1.
If you like an outside bet, they are also offering odds of 250/1 for David Beckham to be the next James Bond. If that should happen, surely they will have to call it ‘Goldenballs’?