Idris Elba is proving to be one classy dude, even after the author of the latest James bond book said he was too “street” to play 007 in a movie.
Anthony Horowitz, who wrote the most recent book in the James Bond series, Trigger Mortis, expressed his views on Elba in an interview with the Daily Mail.
“For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part.” Horowitz said. “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.”
Horowitz maintained that it wasn’t that he thought Idris couldn’t act, but that he just wasn’t right for the role.
“Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better,” Horowitz, 60, said.
And who would be his pick if he had to cast a black actor in the role of Bond, James Bond? The answer is Adrian Lester. Lester is best known for his work on the TV series, Hustle, where he played conman Mickey Stone for 7 seasons.
Horowitz’s “too street” comment on Idris Elba as James Bond riled up a lot of people on Twitter.
Idris Elba once set a Land Speed Record driving a Bentley Continental GT Speed. Maybe the question should be: can James Bond play Idris Elba
— Eliza Bayne (@ElizaBayne) September 1, 2015
Suave? I’m straight, and Idris Elba once seduced me by looking at a photographer on a different continent. Okay more than once. — Luke McKinney (@lukemckinney) September 1, 2015
Even if Idris Elba was ‘street’, couldn’t he just not act ‘street’? I’m pretty sure actors are paid to become someone else.
— Jonathan (@Jonirja) September 1, 2015
The Idris Elba James bond question has been buzzing around Hollywood for years now, and it always brings up the ugly spectre of race. Many people don’t believe that Hollywood will ever cast a black James Bond, even someone with Idris Elba’s acting chops. When Elba was cast as the Norse God Heimdall in the live-action adaptation of Thor, he received lots of racist backlash as well as boycott threats from fans and registered hate-groups.
According to Birthmoviesdeath.com, The Council of Conservative Citizens, listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, was linked to a website called Boycott Thor. This was part of the Boycott Thor mission statement.
“It [sic] well known that Marvel is a company that advocates for left-wing ideologies and causes. Marvel front man Stan ‘Lee’ Lieber boasts of being a major financier of left-wing political candidates. Marvel has viciously attacked the TEA Party movement, conservatives, and European heritage. Now they have taken it one further, casting a black man as a Norse deity in their new movie Thor. Marvel has now inserted social engineering into European mythology.”
Fun fact: according to Box Office Mojo, Thor made over $400 million in global ticket sales. Take that, racists!
Idris Elba is taking all of the James Bond controversy in stride. As Us Weekly reports, Elba posted a screenshot of the Anthony Horowitz Daily Mail article on Instagram with the following caption.
“Always Keep Smiling!! It takes no energy and never hurts!” he captioned a pic of the story. “Learned that from the Street!! #septemberstillloveyou.”
A photo posted by Idris Elba (@idriselba) on
Elba, Idris Elba, ladies and gentlemen!
[Photo by Ben Gabbe / Getty Images]