Somehow it’s become unofficial law that Idris Elba’s name must be a part of any conversation about who would be the next best James Bond. (Trivia: Elba has said that it was current 007 Daniel Craig who started this whole thing in the first place: “I blame Daniel,” Elba has joked. )
So it’s hard to imagine how the actor felt after yesterday’s kerfuffle. To recap: Anthony Horowitz, the author of a new James Bond novel, told The Daily Mail that he didn’t think Elba was the right man for the job. “Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better,” Horowitz said. “For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a color issue. I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”
The world reacted with appropriate outrage and Horowitz quickly took to Twitter to apologize: “I was asked in my interview if Idris Elba would make a good James Bond. In the article I expressed the opinion that to my mind Adrian Lester would be a better choice but I’m a writer not a casting director so what do I know? Clumsily, I chose the word ‘street’ as Elba’s gritty portrayal of DCI John Luther was in my mind but I admit it was a poor choice of word. I am mortified to have caused offence.”
On Tuesday, Elba took to his Instagram account — this controversy is hitting all the social media platforms — to respond, keeping things classy (as usual):
Ever since Sony emails were leaked and a senior executive said Idris should play Bond, he has been heavily tipped for the next, once Daniel Craig has finished with Bond 25.
However, Elba himself has said that, if there was ever a chance of him playing Bond, it has long gone. Why? Because he thinks, at 42, he’s a bit too old for the role.
But with that in mind, Craig was 38 when Casino Royale was filmed, is now 47 and has yet another film to get through. Roger Moore was 45 when he took up the Bond role! So there is hope for Idris.
Horowitz has now said the word “street” was “a poor choice of word” and he was “mortified to have caused offence”.
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