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Idris Elba Claims Those Who Focus on His Race Made Idea of Playing James Bond ‘Disgusting’

Published on June 28th, 2023 | Updated on June 28th, 2023 | By FanFest

Idris Elba Disenchanted with James Bond Role Rumors Due to Race-Related Criticism

Idris Elba, a renowned British actor known for his work in the series “Luther,” has revealed that he initially felt flattered by rumors linking him to the iconic role of James Bond. However, his enthusiasm quickly waned as certain critics argued that his identity as a Black actor rendered him unsuitable for the part.

During a recent episode of the “Smartless” podcast, hosted by actors Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett, Elba discussed the possibility of stepping into the shoes of the suave British secret agent, Agent 007. He acknowledged feeling honored to be associated with the longstanding Hollywood film franchise and recognized the coveted nature of the role among actors. Elba shared, “The truth is, I was super complimented for a long time about this. I was like, ‘This is crazy!’ James Bond… We’re all actors, and we understand that role. It’s one of those coveted [roles].”

Elba expressed that being approached for the role of James Bond was a significant milestone for a male actor, signifying a pinnacle of achievement. He remarked, “Being asked to be James Bond was like, ‘Okay, you’ve sort of reached the pinnacle.’ That’s one of those things the whole world has a vote in.”

While the majority of people worldwide welcomed the idea of Elba assuming the role, the actor acknowledged that there were pockets of detractors who dismissed the notion due to his race. He noted, “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.”

Idris Elba Claims Those Who Focus on His Race Made Idea of Playing James Bond ‘Disgusting’

Unfortunately, the negative voices and the focus on his race ultimately marred the experience for Elba. He expressed his disappointment, stating, “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.”

Last year, Elba had already cast doubt on the possibility of portraying James Bond, telling the Wall Street Journal, “When I look in the mirror, I don’t see James Bond.” He had grown weary of the persistent discussions revolving around his race as an actor and the limitations they imposed. In a previous interview with Esquire U.K., Elba revealed that he had stopped referring to himself as a “Black actor” to avoid being confined to a specific category. He emphasized the importance of focusing on commonalities rather than differences, urging a shift in how society perceives and interacts with one another.

Despite facing backlash online for his remarks, Elba remained resolute in his stance. He took to Twitter to defend his perspective, stating unequivocally that he fully embraces his identity as a Black man and emphasizing that being an actor, like any other profession, should not be defined by race.

While the speculation surrounding Idris Elba as the next James Bond has subsided, his experiences shed light on the persistence of racial biases and the need for broader inclusivity and understanding within the entertainment industry and society as a whole.

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