'James Bond' Author Says Idris Elba Is 'Too Street' to Play 007 (But We Disagree)
By John Boone
Well, this is a lot of nonsense, no matter whether it’s shaken or stirred.
Idris Elba has long been a fan favorite to take over the James Bond mantle once Daniel Craig vacates the role, but Anthony Horowitz, author of the 007 novel, Trigger Mortis, recently told The Daily Mail that Elba is “too street” for the part.
“Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better,” Horowitz claimed, noting Adrian Lester (Hustle), specifically. “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.”
Umm, last we checked there were, like, four requirements for playing Bond:
1. You need to look good in a suit.
Idris Elba rocks the s**t out of a tux.
2. You need to be charming.
That is a photo of Elba dancing on a red carpet, which seems like a charming thing to do. We assume everyone in attendance was sufficiently charmed.
3. You need to look good next to beautiful women.
That is Elba with Lupita Nyong'o*, one of the most beautiful actresses working today. (*We would also love to see Lupita cast in a Bond movie. Assuming she is allowed more to do than be seduced.)
Need further convincing? That is Elba holding his own standing next to Jessica Chastain and Taraji P. Henson, two more beautiful and talented actresses we'd love to see in Bond movies. (While we’re spitballing, we think Henson could be a great villain. She would be so badass.)
4. And you have to be able to do action stuff.
Which isn’t even really a requirement. That’s why actors have stunt doubles. But not only does Elba look suave standing next race cars, he drives them IRL.
For his part, Elba jokingly tweeted last year amid Bond casting rumors, “Isn't 007 supposed to handsome? Glad you think I've got a shot!” Before that, he explained, "I just don't want to be the black James Bond. Sean Connery wasn't the Scottish James Bond, and Daniel Craig wasn't the blue-eyed James Bond...If I played him, I don't want to be called the black James Bond."
Faced with backlash on social media, Horowitz has since apologized for his comments. He tweeted, “I’m really sorry my comments about Idris Elba have caused offence. That wasn’t my intention.”
“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?” he continued. “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.”
Anyway, remember when Elba hilariously addressed pictures of his bulge?