Idris Elba finally put an end to the numerous 007 speculations. For the past few years, the actor has been surrounded by rumors hinting that he is going to be the next James Bond. Although he admitted that he would be willing to take on the prestigious role, Elba confirmed that there had been no formal negotiations between him and Bond producers.
At an event at London’s British Film Institute last Tuesday, Elba explained that the rumors merely stemmed from a statement made by the current James Bond actor, Daniel Craig. Jokingly, Elba singled out the 007 actor, saying, “I blame Daniel.”
“Daniel Craig actually set the rumor off. About four years ago he said, ‘Idris Elba would be a great Bond,’ and then it started to creep.”
If there is one person who is glad that Elba isn’t getting the role, it is fellow actor Yaphet Kotto, who was the first black actor to take on the role of a major Bond villain. In an interview with the Big Issue, Kotto asserted that James Bond “cannot be black.”
Live and Let Die star Yaphet Kotto say James Bond shouldn’t be played by a black actor http://t.co/FB66Gsd0M9 pic.twitter.com/PsxLHbABFh
— Digital Spy Film (@digitalspyfilm) April 8, 2015
Despite his cultural descent, Kotto emphasized that black actors should stop playing roles tailored for white actors.
He said, “James Bond was established by Ian Fleming as a white character, played by white actors. Play 003 or 006, but you cannot be 007. A lot of people say we should be allowed to play everything. Don’t be ridiculous. If I say I want to play JFK, I should be laughed out of the room.”
Nonetheless, Elba is not upset over not being offered the role. Clearly, the actor has his hands full with several big projects. Just recently, Elba started filming a two-part special for his show Luther. Likewise, the actor has also been more involved in music, which he claims to like more than acting.
As a matter of fact, the Tuesday event, wherein he addressed the James Bond rumors, was the world premiere of Mandela, My Dad and Me, a documentary that he produced based on his 2014 album inspired by the African statesman Nelson Mandela. Currently, Elba is working on a new album for Luther and hopes to be able to work with some renowned musicians.
“Musically, I would like to work with any one of the Marley brothers, I would like to work with Janelle Monae, Adele,” Elba shared.
[Image via Getty Images]