Roger Moore doesn’t think Idris Elba is ‘English’ enough to play James Bond?


It amazes me that people still deny Idris Elba’s intergalactic thunder. Idris Elba is made of thunder. But Sir Roger Moore just can’t see it. Specifically, Moore can’t see Idris Elba playing James Bond. Moore played 007 from 1973 through 1985, when he was replaced by Timothy Dalton, then Dalton was replaced by Pierce Brosnan, than Pierce was replaced by Daniel Craig. Many believe Idris will be asked to take over the franchise once Craig’s contract is up, although I do have my doubts. Daniel is probably going to do one more Bond film beyond Spectre (which will be out later this year), which means he’ll be Bond for probably another three years (at least). Can Idris wait that long? I don’t even know. But the point of this story is that Roger Moore doesn’t believe Idris should even be asked to play Bond because Idris isn’t “English-English”. What?

Might Sir Roger Moore be even more politically incorrect than his old alter ego James Bond? Interviewed in the new Paris Match magazine he is asked about the widely mooted idea of black British actor Idris Elba becoming the next 007.

‘A few years ago, I said that [black actor] Cuba Gooding Jnr would make an excellent Bond, but it was a joke!’ replies Sir Roger, 87, who starred in seven Bond movies between 1973 and 1985.

‘Although James may have been played by a Scot, a Welshman and an Irishman, I think he should be “English-English”,’ he continues. ‘Nevertheless, it’s an interesting idea, but unrealistic.’

The Scot who played Bond was Sean Connery, the Welshman was Timothy Dalton and the Irishman was Pierce Brosnan. But just what is it that prevents Elba from being ‘English-English’, Roger? He was born in Hackney, raised in East Ham, schooled in Canning Town, started work in Dagenham and he supports Arsenal. How much more of an Englishman could he be? Even the fictional hero of Ian Fleming’s novels was of mixed parentage. He was born in Zurich in the early Twenties to Andrew Bond of Glencoe and Monique Delacroix, from the Canton de Vaud in Switzerland.

[From The Daily Mail]

See, all this time, I thought it was only in America, where racists try to de-legitimize a person’s citizenship because of their skin color. Turns out, it happens in Britain too. We all know what Roger Moore means when he says “English-English,” right? That’s some old-dude code for “Idris Elba is black, thus he’s not as English as all the white people and he shouldn’t even be considered for James Bond.” Who really cares, old dudes? I mean, Roger Moore is trying to make the same stupid point that Rush Limbaugh attempted!! STAHP.

For what it’s worth, Roger Moore’s Twitter account (does he really operate it?) tweeted this:

Well… I don’t know, dude. It sounds like Moore actually did question Idris Elba’s credentials as an Englishman, but no, he didn’t say anything specifically about race. It was “implied”.

Here are some lovely photos of Idris Elba’s authentic English thunder filming Luther on Friday.



Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.

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142 Responses to “Roger Moore doesn’t think Idris Elba is ‘English’ enough to play James Bond?”

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  1. Dońt kill me i'm french says:

    Cuba is not english,he’s American.( I didn’t know Cuba was considered.I only remember the rumor on Will Smith.Maybe he confuses between Will and Cuba)
    I think Moore says Bond must act by a British actor so Elba can act Bond

    • Lama Bean says:

      That’s what I got from it at first, French, until he actually says “interesting idea, but unrealistic “. Cuba would have been AWFULNESS as Bond.

      • Micki says:

        I can’t say anything about Bond, but I have a soft spot for Cuba Gooding.
        And while I find that Idris Elba has terrific voice I don’t get the rest of the “thunder” about him.

      • Meeky says:

        I’m trying to understand what role he could have seen acted by Cuba Gooding that would have led him to come to that conclusion? Jerry MacGuire? I think as

  2. TeaAndSympathy says:

    I don’t know Mr Elba or his work, but listen, Roger old boy… Your time came and your time went, so just take a seat. There’s a good chap.

    • BooBooLaRue says:

      LOL precisely.

    • Lisa says:


    • alice says:

      Roger Moore was my least favorite Bond. Too lightweight, IMO. I’d hardly consider him an expert on who should play Bond.

      • evie says:

        +1 to your comment Alice. I couldn’t stand Moore as Bond. Lightweight is a perfect word to describe his portrayal!

      • ickythump says:

        He was a terrible Bond – the movies were like “Carry On” films when he was in them – he was feckin awful – he’s an old fart now. Idris would make a fantastic successor to DC who is brilliant in them xxx Go IDRIS – Luv ya!!

    • Sarah says:

      While I adore Roger Moore and think he did a fabulous job as Bond, I think Idris would be a WONDERFUL Bond. I am of British descent (1st generation in the “Americas”) and I think I recognize “English” when I see it. I believe Idris Elba could pull it off as Bond even if he isn’t white (which is what Moore is really talking about, IMO). Elba has screen presence like so few actors have. He has the ability to make you enjoy a bad movie (case in point – “Ghost Rider 2″).
      I am a lifelong Bond fan and have seen every movie (except the Lazenby one) and I believe Idris would be a great Bond.

  3. Kaley says:

    I’ve never seen a James Bond movie I liked so I don’t really care but rest assured Mr. Moore that Idris would be a better bond than the rest of ya’ll combined together.


    • bammer says:

      And no lie was told in your statement. Bloop!

    • Ennie says:

      Hey back off of my Pierce and my Sean!

      • Anne tommy says:

        As well as the scot, the Irishman and the Welshman, an Aussie has played Bond, George Lazanby. That said,am not convinced by Elba as a candidate, he is a bit long in the tooth ( I’m older than he is btw, before I get attacked). Am not a huge fan of the franchise, but Craig is fine. But maybe one of the younger Brits – 30s- might do a good job. I know Hiddles was a fave for this at one time but hope he stays away.

      • Sarah says:

        @ Anne tommy : Hiddles is a great idea! Maybe Idris is getting a bit old for the part especially as Craig has another three years in the Bond role. Hmmm. So many good looking British actors who could do a good Bond. How do I choose?

  4. Sixer says:

    Yes, but Rog has lived stateside for so long, we count him as one of yours now. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. We’re hoping you’ll take Jeremy Clarkson also.

    Idris will be too old. I think that they should cast a black American guy next, just to shove one in Rog’s face. What about the guy who plays Remy in House of Cards? I could lust over him if I were ever forced into watching a bangy crashy 007 film.

    • PunkyMomma says:

      @Sixer – I thought Moore moved to Monaco when he married the Danish Baroness? In any event, you keep him – we’ve enough racists this side of the pond.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Oh, do keep Jeremy over there. I agree Idris will be too old. They don’t want to repeat the same problem they had with Moore, an actor far too old for the part, which is why they ended it with Brosnan, who wanted to continue in the role. The reason they would replace Craig is age and they won’t replace him with an actor in the same age group. They’ll go mid-30s.

    • Sixer says:

      @ PunkyMomma – oops, am I muddling him up with Sean Connery? Probably.

      What about Ashley Walters?

      • Lilacflowers says:

        Moore is living in Monaco and France as a tax exile. He loves Britain so very much, doesn’t he?

        Connery may be here but he has a place in Greece too.

        Anthony Hopkins is living here.

      • Sixer says:

        I think a great many of the venerable ex-pats went away in the high tax times of the 1970s, made homes, and by the time Thatcher had reduced all the taxes on the individual rich, were sufficiently acclimatised to where they’d settled, they just didn’t come home.

      • PunkyMomma says:

        Ashley Waters would make a handsome Bond.

      • Tiffany says:

        It seems that they have been going away from the pretty Bond and movies and going darker, material rise.

        Ashley Walters to me is still too pretty. Maybe he will change in a few years.

      • Sixer says:

        Well, there’s also Chiwetel, as mentioned below. And David Oyelowo.

        I suppose my personal faves Lennie James and Kwame Kwei-Armah are too old?

        Noel Clarke? Jimmy Akingbola?

      • alice says:

        I love Noel Clarke, Sixer, but Chadwick Boseman would be great if he wasn’t already signed for Black Panther. He should’ve been nommed for an Oscar just for nailing those James Brown moves in Get on Up.

    • AntiSocialButterfly says:

      Maybe a little Grecian Formula for Men would take care of the grey! He is yummy, though I don’t know his work.

    • 'P'enny says:


      Yep, they can have Jeremy Clarkson for free. I second that. In fact as an extra incentive they can have the Queen and Co, too.

    • Sooloo says:

      Trying to figure out what exactly you’re getting at without putting words in your mouth, so I’ll just ask: is the the reference to him being considered American in response to “I thought it was only in America, where racists try to de-legitimize a person’s citizenship because of their skin color”? As in, “yes it really is only Americans who pull racist sh**”? I genuinely hope this is not your implication, whether serious or in jest. There certainly is no monopoly on ignorance and closed-mindedness by the US, which, if this is indeed what you’re driving at, certainly does show it occurs right here in CB comments by non-Americans as well…which really shouldn’t even have to be pointed out.

  5. jmho says:

    I’m a little confused….is it racist to say that a character that is white (I assume he is written that way in the books, but admit I haven’t read them) cannot be played by a black man? I think of the James Patterson books….Alex Cross is black, I wouldn’t find it racist if someone said a white guy couldn’t play that role.

    I think that was Roger ‘ s (very poorly put) point…but am genuinely curious if, had he said “he’s black, 007 is white” if that would be considered racist.

    • Sixer says:

      I suppose you could say “I’m not keen on colour-blind casting for such iconic roles” and avoid being accused of racism, but you certainly can’t say “English-English” without giving yourself and your attitudes away.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Right. He’s not just saying Idris isn’t white, he’s saying that being non-white makes him not English. Duck Dynasty comes to GB. Ugh.

      • Sixer says:

        Exactly. He meant “proper English” and by “proper English”, he means white.

      • FLORC says:

        Majority of this thread is attacking something that has already had an apology and clarification issued. It’s like printing the old story front page and adding in the redaction on page 6.

        I think Moore like Connery are attached to the old and original image of 007. The literary image is being kept alive and doesn’t have to change with the current times. There are many characters from books that can be in a storyline from our time, but still maintain their original image.

        Idris would be a terrible Bond though for a few reasons not concerning his skin color.

    • tifzlan says:

      See, the thing with people like Rush Limbaugh and Roger Moore is that they only care when it’s a supposedly white character’s skin color being compromised. They won’t say ANYTHING about non-white characters, like the one in The Hunger Games where a lot of people were upset that the young black actress was cast, even though it was true to the source material (not a fan of THG, never watched the movies or read the books so i’m sorry i’m not providing names). Heck, they don’t even say anything when it comes to the whitewashing of REAL people whose stories are being told on screen (Exodus, hello?). So yeah, it is racist.

      • noway says:

        Let’s not put Roger Moore in with Rush Limbaugh. Granted his comment was racist, but the guy is 87 years old and really doesn’t wield much influential power over any one. I think in his mind he really doesn’t see it as racist, not that it makes his comment better, but hardly in the same league as Limbaugh who sees his racist talk as a platform.

    • Leona says:

      Yes, jmho I personally would consider it racist to lock out all black actors from playing a fictitious character in a movie where his race is never ever referenced anyway. And I would also point out that there have been many occasions in which both fictitious and real characters that were originally of color have been cast as white with almost no outrage to speak of.

      • inner stillness says:

        Well said Leona.

      • noway says:

        +1, but the tide is turning ever so slowly remember all the recent roar over Christian Bale and Exodus. A few years ago, no one would have said a thing about that movie or Moore’s comment for that matter.

      • alice says:

        Once upon a time, most Native American roles in movies were played by whites with a heavy coating of pancake makeup.

    • Thunderthighs says:

      Alex Cross was written as black??? Well, this upsets the little movie that plays in my head whenever I’m reading a novel… How did I gloss over THAT?? Lol.

      • **sighs** says:

        Lol! How did you miss that? Yes, Cross has always been black.

      • FLORC says:

        I didn’t catch it either. It’s easy to miss unless i’m to be laughed at too for not seeing something as easily as another.

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        Lol, I never knew until I saw the movies. Then I was like, ohhhh……

  6. Lilacflowers says:

    Monday morning Idris! A perfect way to start the week. Idris can lend Sir Roger the ball gag.

  7. Sadie says:

    As far as I know, Idris Elba was born and raised in London, so I’d be interested in hearing Mr. Moore explain exactly in what “non racist” way he means that Idris Elba isn’t English enough for the role. (And by “interested” I obviously mean shhhhhhhhh.)

  8. Betti says:

    I don’t think its a race issue, more of a class issue. All the Bonds so far have all come from the middle/upper classes. Idris, and I love him, can comes across as a bit of a geezer (see Tom Hardy and Jason Stratham) as he is a manly man – the others, with the possible exception of Daniel Craig and Sean Connery, have all been your typical wet English posh boy who went to boarding school.

    I would love to see Idris as Bond just to shake it up a bit, thou Daniel’s Bond has been more like the way he was written in the books – a cold and ruthless spy.

    • Sixer says:

      You could very easily create a credible backstory for a black Bond. There is a tradition of educating the elites of ex-colonial countries at the top public schools here, and also at elite military/special forces officer training institutions like Sandhurst.

      • Leona says:

        I hear you Sixer. But I would argue that this backstory would be unnecessary. Black people have lived in the UK for centuries, some of them assimilating into the middle class. Whatever Daniel Craigs backstory (I know its in Quantum of Solace but too lazy to google) can be Idris backstory too.

      • Sixer says:

        I’d agree. In any case, I’m all for colour-blind casting and, as you mention above, there’s no outcry when it’s t’other way around.

        I merely mean to say that it’s entirely possible to create a totally credible, accurate backstory for a Bond who is both black and posh, that includes both attributes explicitly.

      • FLORC says:

        The nice thing about these spies is he’s a spy with a “license to kill” like all “00″. As one dies another enters. Thing is 007′s backstory does not change. His wife’s death and all his tangles do not change.
        I think making 007 black would be done just to do so. Just to make say they did it. Not to further the story.

        And there’s a laundry list of actors that were cast in primarily white roles. Nearly all were only done to make a black version and not for story purposes or because of acting quality.
        Idris is a great actor, but he wouldn’t ave been right. And he’ll be a villian soon so that would be confusing. To be likely killed off by a character he would later play? Yikes!

    • Joy says:

      Honestly that’s how I took it as well. Let me make it clear, Idris can play every male lead in every movie and I will be very happy as he is HOT HOT HOT. But he doesn’t come across as a “posh” sounding Brit to me. Which again, I personally don’t care about but I see where Moore was going with that. However, I’m sure if he had to, Idris could speak however he needed to. But by the time the chance even came up he’d be a bit long in the tooth to do it.

    • LAK says:

      I read it as classist rather than racist too. Then I started to think about Sean and Daniel. Roger played bond as an upper class smoothie, and all the other Bonds have had that quality to how they are played.

      Going into Idris’s background in such detail simply put in my mind the glaring omissions ie requisites of an upper class background. Might as well have said he was a chav who wouldn’t know how to play upper class. I don’t think the same would have been said of Chiwetel Ejiofor because he does have the right background, but Daniel Craig *did* have to prove himself in order to get the bond gig because he had been stereotyped into geezers from the north. LAYERCAKE changed that for him, and put him in the sights of the Bond producers so there is that……..

      All of that said, I think Bond should be colour blind casting AND I think Idris is now a smidge too old which is a shame.

      I think David Oyelowo doesn’t have presence required of the Bond. He is played a spy on Spooks many moons ago, and didn’t have any impact. I think Reza Jaffrey had more presence (if you are picking out the non white actors on that show).

      There are a whole bunch of actors in the 29/30ish range of all races coming up who will be in the right range once Daniel gives up the Bond mantle.

      • Kori says:

        I tend to agree. I love IE but he seems too large, too manly as you put it. More rough hewn than the smoothie that Bond seems. Connery and Craig pull off the scrapper aspect but I think their slighter builds work in their favor–they can carry off both aspects of the character. I’m still disappointed Clive Owen didn’t get it back in the day. Now he’s too old–another point that may go against IE. He looks pretty grizzled as Luther. (Can’t wait til that’s back)

      • The Original G says:

        Well, these films have taken a life of their own away from the source material, but in the Fleming books, Bond is not an upper class bon vivant slumming in the Secret Service. He’s a canny, physical animal will the talent and taste to put snobs in their place while seducing their wives and doing the dirty work that keeps them safe.

        I not sure if Edris is too old, but I did feel that Moore’s age made him seem, uncomfortably, like a randy old bugger. Of course, if the Bond “girls” were more mature, it wouldn’t be an issue.

      • Betti says:

        @TheOriginalG. hahahaha at the ‘randy old bugger’ comment – I almost trashed my keyboard with spitting out water at that.

      • Ennie says:

        Idris for the win, but I agree that he is not looking young-ish. By the time Craig lets go of the franchise, he (Idris) would not have as much longevity as Bond.
        He could do a fine villain. He’s got loads of charisma, tho.

      • LAK says:

        Original G: there was that bond….the one with grace jones [can't be bothered to google] where Roger Moore looked like he was going to burst something….his back or have a heart attack…he really was too old for it by then. And the girls looked so young next to him.

        that said, i met him at a party 2 yrs ago.He looked older than dirt, but the voice was intact. that voice is smoother than velvet. He was very charming, funny and witty. despite his great age, and he hasn’t aged well at all, he still had charisma.

      • The Original G says:

        Moore was truly swooney in The Saint. His Bond was too foppish for me. I think it damaged the Bond persona after that. Craig took some of it’s power back, in his first Bond, when. asked “if he wanted his martini shaken or stirred,” he shot back “Do I look like I give a damn?”

        I just think that after Connery left the franchise is was over. Not because the next encumbents were bad actors, but because, the moment has passed for this kind of hero. That mix of glamour, sex and violence in the cause of the Queen just isn’t a match for modern sensibilities.

    • alice says:

      Betti, I thought Brosnan was not-very-well-to-do Irish, no? He’s right behind Connery and Craig in my estimation of Bonds.

  9. jen2 says:

    Did someone ask him directly about Idris Elba? Because his answer seems out of context otherwise. And from the answer, he does not know Mr. Elba’s nationality at all to talk about being English-English, which he is assuredly. He seems to be “implying” that English-English is also about race since he brought up Cuba Gooding, since he is clearly American and black. The significant problem with Gooding is his nationality. His explanation is not good. But, as someone said, by the time Bond is re-cast, the problem for Mr. Elba would be his age, not his race or his lovely English accent.

    Side note, he was my least favorite Bond. Not enough of an edge.

  10. NewWester says:

    If a former James Bond actor has comments like this about Idris, what do the producers and the ones who put up the money feel about such casting? I never liked Roger Moore as James Bond anyway

  11. minx says:

    Well, fortunately it’s not Moore’s decision, one way or another.

  12. Bridget says:

    So Moore is saying that Paris Match was the one who connected the “Englis-English” and Elba. I have no clue if it’s true or not, but as Vulture pointed out, it was odd that the whole interview EXCEPT that section was a big Q & A.

    • Chinoiserie says:

      It seems that in his quote he is talking about Cuda Cooding Jr. So perhaps it was the reporter who made the Elba connection to get headlines.

      But anyway Elba is too old in my opinion. I actually assumed he was is his 50s based on what he looks but even if he is not the new Bond should be in his mid. 30s I think.

      • Bridget says:

        You’re also reading a Daily Mail compilation of the Paris Match piece. It’s hard to get context when it’s a recap of a recap of an interview.

    • nic919 says:

      Here is a link to the original story.

      The comments about the other Bonds are in a different section than the Q and A, which is a bit odd. It is not clear if he is asked specifically about Idris Elba being Bond, but he does say that a few years back he would have suggested Cuba Gooding as a joke.
      The quotes for the other Bonds do seem to be specific, so it certainly could be his response to being asked what he thinks of Idris Elba.

  13. inner stillness says:

    I never liked Roger Moore as Bond, I can’t watch his Bond films when they come on tv. He’s so stiff in the role of Bond.

    Not sure if the Bond books ever say exactly that Bond is white.
    Don’t the books just say, where he was educated, what schools, where he came from in England, trained, what suits he wore, what he drank, etc? Bond was based more on a certain class of gentleman, back in the day, limiting .

    I recall a scene with Daniel Craig, where I think it was Eva Greene’s character who tells him, she can tell he did not come from the background of the other Bonds, that he had a working class edge, working class Roots that were still showing, that couldn’t be hidden, no matter how many proper suits he wore, etc…..something along that line.

    Anyway more photos of gorgeous Idris on a Monday. YAY!
    I think he’d make one awesome Bond.
    Tired of the racist comments on this gorgeous ,talented man who certainly could play Bond superbly.

    Idris is becoming a bigger and bigger star with their protest.
    I hope he gets the part, he’s a fine actor.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Never liked Roger Moore as Bond, either. In fact, never found him at all attractive.

    • jane16 says:

      I read the books when I was young and they describe Bond as tall, slim, dark hair, blue eyed, and of Scottish descent. Ian Fleming said he pictured Bond as looking like Hoagy Carmichael (big band leader from old days) and there is a sketch of Bond, drawn by Fleming that you can see on wiki.

  14. Zapp Brannigan says:

    Sean Connery Scottish
    George Lazenby Aussie
    Pierce Brosnan Irish
    Timothy Dalton Welsh
    Barry Nelson (Casino Royale tv version) was American

    But yeah Idris from London is not English enough for Bond.
    Idris is too good for this foolery.

    • BW says:

      After Ian Fleming saw Sean Connery’s portrayal of James Bond, he made Bond’s father Scottish. He also made Bond’s mother Swiss, and we all know that the Swiss make the best dark chocolate.

      So, Bond isn’t English-English to start with, and he could easily be black.

      Vote Idris Elba.

  15. Nev says:

    I actually hope he disses them and passes in any part of this bull. James Bond ain’t all that anyways.

  16. Beckysuz says:

    Shut up Roger Moore, don’t ruin this for me !!

  17. AntiSocialButterfly says:

    This gorgeous man isn’t English, but perhaps he could put on an accent…

  18. Ninks says:

    You’re really wrong when the Daily Mail is calling you out for your racism.

  19. serena says:

    God I would love Idris Elba to play James Bond, but I’m worried about his age.. maybe once D.Craig’s contract expires even Idris would be too old. (still I’d hit that).

  20. Mia4S says:

    Eh, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt as translation is a bitch (scares me to death when I have to do it).

    That said, enough with the Elba is Bond stories. Idris will be too old (I don’t actually think he’s the best choice anyway) and there are other Black British actors. Move on people, this story is tired.

  21. grabbyhands says:

    That’s enough, Roger. Just because Idris is very convincing as Stringer Bell and John Luther doesn’t mean he doesn’t know how to play posh and suave. The man positively oozes charm. And frankly, I’ve always thought that Bond (at least in some of his guises-Connery, Brosnan and Craig) had that street wise edge to him and with Elba’s rude boy past, I think he fits it perfectly.

    Having said that, as much as I would love to see him as Bond, I think by the time Craig is done with his turn, it might be a bit too late as he will be pushing 50. We’d get one film out of him if we were lucky. As an alternative, I would suggest Chiwetel Eijofor. Handsome, suave and a talented actor.

    • Betti says:

      Yes, Chiwetel Eijofor would be a good Bond – he has the suave Englishman look/demeanour to play him.

    • noway says:

      I agree with everything you said. I think Idris would make a good Bond right now, but so does Daniel Craig. By the time Craig stops being Bond, Idris would a bit too old. Yes both Connery and Moore were too old to play Bond in some of the later movies, and they were kind of lame too. Also, there is a part of me that thinks Idris is too good for Bond’s schtick. I think they should reboot it with a very young Bond next. I think it would be an interesting idea.

  22. 'P'enny says:

    It really gets annoying when people ‘demand’ that a certain race, nationality, class or colour has to play a fictional character! especially one written 50 years ago and bears no relation to modern day realities. A spy from the 1960′s wouldn’t survive in today’s cut throat world of Mi5/6 by drinking Martini’s, has no language skills, flashes his name and sleeps with every woman he meets.

    In regard to real-life biographies on film, if they do a really good job and show respect to the person they are playing I can deal with Daniel Day Lewis playing Lincoln, Meryl Streep being Margaret Thatcher and the rest of the Brits, and Cate Blanchet being Elizabeth 1 and Benedict Cumberbatch playing every nationality across the world in all the bio’s on offer as long as they look, sound and capture their passion.

  23. pleaseicu says:

    Not English enough? WTF is he talking about? Oh Roger, shut. up. It’s not like Bond portrayers have only ever been English born and bred dudes.

    Sean Connery is Scottish

    Pierce Brosnan is Irish

    Timothy Dalton is Welsh

    George Lazenby is Australian

    Were they not English enough for Bond?

    How is a man born and raised in London, not English enough for James Bond? I can’t believe that Idris not being white is still an issue to him playing Bond in 2015.

  24. seesittellsit says:

    Bond was Ian Fleming’s alter ego, a 1950s Eton-Oxbridge white boy, so if you’re honoring the character’s origins and the author’s intent, yes, casting any black actor in the part is a bit like casting a white boy as Mowgli. Neither makes sense in terms of what Pooh-bah in The Mikado called “artistic verisimilitude”. Fleming, remember, actually did work for MI6, as well – he didn’t create Bond out of thin air. Whether it matters that much at this point I’m not sure, as the Bond films are fairly ridiculous (I love them but they ARE). Elba is easily as hot or hotter than any other guy who ever played Bond (except Connery who is in a class by himself on that score) and basically you’d be saying good-bye to the original gestalt. Does it matter? Don’t know. Generally, I’m against what they used to call “color-blind casting” but now more delicately call non-traditional casting” as the casting itself too often overshadows the art. I won’t go see women playing Hamlet, or black actors playing Henry V, and I wouldn’t go see a bio of historical black figure played by a dark-skinned Greek or Italian. Move on, write new stories. I’m just not sure Bond is worth the trouble here.

    • minx says:

      I disagree; I think casting can open up whole new interpretations of source material.

      • Bea says:

        I’m with minx. With historical figures I think staying truthful is the best way to go but for imaginary characters like Hamlet or James Bond new interpretations are always welcome.

    • Sixer says:

      You missed out if you didn’t see Maxine Peake as Hamlet, if that’s the reason for your comment. She was superb.

      • seesittellsit says:

        I’m sure Ms Peak is a fine actress. But to suggest that Shakespeare’s construction of Hamlet’s view of himself and his character was totally divorced from his gender is in my view specious. As for Minx’s comment – I must respectfully disagree. That’s not a new interpretation: it is a complete reconstruction. No one, for example, changes the notes in Mozart because they think the work needs a bit of modernization. I feel quite strongly that a bit of respect is owed to original creative artists and their intentions, especially as they are no longer here to protect their own work. I once saw a film of Maria Callas giving a master class. She said to the students gathered that if you wanted to know what the composer intended, all you had to do was open the score: it was all there. I feel the same way about Shakespeare. It’s too bad Hamlet was male but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I don’t the point is really that Bond should or shouldn’t be white, although I disagree with you about that. The point is that Roger Moore said Idris was not ENGLISH enough. In other words, his being black makes him less than English in spite of the fact that he IS English. To Moore, English still equals white.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Precisely, my dear GNAT.

        I said as much about Canada and its “real Canadians” below.

      • Dońt kill me i'm french says:

        Moore says Cuba Cubing Jr. an American actor is not enough English….it’s different.He never talks about Elba

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Don’t kill me, it’s a little unclear, but I believe he’s talking about Idris when he makes the “English-English” remark. He was answering a question about Idris. He does mention Cuba before that, but I think the two are separate. I could be wrong, but that’s how I read it.

      • seesittellsit says:

        Well that is a whole other discussion. “Englishness” as a personality or character type, the exhibition of values and an outlook generated by deep roots in a culture and the result of more than happening to be a first-generation citizen holding the passport, isn’t necessarily a meaningless statement – except in this case. I think Bond has moved so far beyond his original gestalt that it no longer matters. Some things are redolent of a certain kind of quintessential Englishness, the way Huck Finn is redolent of a certain kind of American-ness. I just don’t happen to think it matters any longer with Bond. I do believe that the author’s original intent was to mirror himself, and the author was unquestionably a product of white England. But I don’t think the films reflect the original gestalt any longer. They’re just action films with some recognizable tropes.

  25. 'P'enny says:

    Fleming decided that Bond should resemble both American singer Hoagy Carmichael and himself[6] [on Wiki]

    Hoagy’s nose is huge! therefore I insist the next James Bond should be cast on the size of his nose. I understand this can be seen as nosesist but, as such to be true to the description he has to have a big conk and cheekbones. Benedict Cumberbatch is ugly enough. :-p

  26. Jayna says:

    Roger is almost 90 years old and a product of his time.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      My parents are almost 90 years old, and they have grown and evolved with changing times. I don’t think that’s an excuse, really.

    • FingerBinger says:

      It could be age. It could be exacty what he says it was. A lost in translation thing. I’m not ready to paint Mr. Moore as a racist just yet.

  27. Jaded says:

    Methinks Mr. Moore missed his happy meds the day he said that.

  28. BooBooLaRue says:

    Hmmm, if that’s English thunder, where do I sign up?

  29. misstee says:

    Moody Duck lips should have moved over after Quantam of Solace – Idris would have been ok back then ( although the guy oozes working class bad boy) – now if he took it on after Craigs commitment he would be older then ANY of the Bonds when he started.

    I get the whole upper class backstory thing – this is only about race in the sense that what Black families with aristocracy connections can you name in the UK? yup, none – its all about class/back story etc – personally I would be fine with a black Bond, then again I would also be fine with a female Dr Who which makes some nerds weep..

  30. Ms. Petit says:

    So funny, there was a 007 movie marathon this weekend and I tivo’d a few of them. Octopussy was on tv last night. My husband and I hadn’t seen it in years, but after 10 minutes we switched to something else…. Roger Moore was awful. But I also say this after catching Sean Connery in Goldfinger earlier in the day!

    I would definitely love to see Idris Elba in that role!

  31. Who ARE these people? says:

    Idris is more English-English than Roger is actor-actor.

    I’m in Canada and there’s much reference to “real Canadians.” We know what that means.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:


    • jen2 says:

      Same as when people say that someone is “All American” this or that or “America’s Sweetheart”. Has any American of color over been described using those terms? As they say “dog whistle” is strong when using those terms.

    • HK9 says:

      I’m Canadian too…and yes…we alllll know what that means.

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      We do know and are frequently reminded of it.

      A not-’real Canadian’.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Jo ‘Mama’ yes I bet you are. To use that other most favourite of Canadian terms…sorry!

  32. Lola says:

    I think Roger Moore should own up to the fact that he should have never made “A View to a Kill” that movie was awful! And, why do people still forget about George Lazenby! He did play Bond… Timothy Dalton was what? The first time we saw Bond bleed!! And, I LOVE Pierce Brosnan, always thought it was a shame what the producers of Reemington Steele did, although, Reemington Steele is still one of my favorite series.

    Anyways, I don’t think Idris would play Bond, but I don’t think is about skin color but age. He could play the character more in tune with the books and short stories, kinda like what Craig is doing, imho.

    I would choose an unknown for the role next, in his early to mid 30′s. It, to me, makes more sense.

  33. belle de jour says:

    Amidst Moore’s comments and the race/class issues it brings to discussion, I keep thinking that an angle with a ‘To Sir, With Love’ vibe would make for a more interesting Bond character: someone who’s worked to make himself even more English than the English, in many ways – and may even outdo them at their own game.

  34. Saks says:

    I have a question, does James Bond character is described as a white male in the books? Or is any of his physicality described?
    Because even I do like Idris a lot, I prefer when the author’s vision is respected.

  35. HoustonGrl says:

    If by “english” he means ‘stodgy old white dude’ then yeah, Elba is not that. Anyway, it’s called ACTING. The whole point is to transform yourself. Back when Renee Zelleweger (sp?) was cast as Bridget Jones, people said the same thing. And look how that turned out!

  36. anne_000 says:

    *deleted* – posted to wrong article. Sorry.

  37. Mi says:

    Well,it’s like saying gay actor can’t be a real Batman/Ironman/Superman?

  38. Kiki says:

    This ageist, sexist and racist crap again. I am sick of and I will shut it down for you.

    Idris Elba looks fantastic for his age, and if he keeps looking like through fifty years old, I am sure people will put home into consideration for James Bond, after all 50 is the new 30. And by the way, didn’t the same Sean Connery reprise the same James Bond role into his “old” age?

    Secondly, I can see Roger Moore point is lost in translation, and people will assume that he is “racist “, but I think it has to do with class rather than skin color, but I disagree with his comment, and I will say idris will do a great job as James Bond whether or not he is Englishy.

    And lastly, I think this should be Daniel Craig’s last James Bond film, has at least for films and he has been there for at least 10 years, the contract shoul be up.

    I know idris and other black British actor will be James Bond.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Craig has one more Bond film on his contract after Spectre.

      The people who hold the rights to the Bond films decided years ago that they didn’t want a repeat of an actor being too old for the part, like Moore, and have since limited the age of the actors. That is why Brosnan was replaced when he wanted to continue.

  39. TotallyBiased says:

    I’m still lost in the lovely fantasy that is Chiwetel Ejiofor as Bond. Mmmmm.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      We’d all rather take someone who is not too English-English to be sexy, right?

  40. H Dogg says:

    I think he is saying he is not posh enough, rather than the wrong colour?
    Maybe a classist situation rather than a racist one.
    Is classism still a major issue in the U.K,? Would love to know if it is improving since I was there 12 years ago.

    • 'P'enny says:

      nope, and its getting worse. I think the modern term is improving social mobility and it’s failed abysmally.

  41. ickythump says:

    I’m going to throw a new name in the mix – Aidan Turner – currently playing Ross Poldark in the UK – Oh my days – smokin hot and a great actor to boot……yum. He is Irish so dont know if Old Snootypants would approve….LOL

  42. Prince Valiant says:

    Alternate name: Don’t Kill Me I’m Italian: I would like to see the actor who plays Sherlock Holmes in Elementary as the next James Bond. He is good and his English accent is great. I do like Craig but he is a bit inexpressive (and he DOES look like Vladimir Putin). I suppose he wants to convey torment and complexity. Is the James Bond series never going to end?

  43. Rhaegar Targaryen says:

    Idris Elba is a fantastic actor and has the good looks and charm to be an incredible leading man but I don’t think that he is right to play James Bond. James Bond is a WHITE character. That is how Sir Ian Fleming designed the character. It is not racist to say that a black actor is wrong to play a white character. Hey, Hollywood: Create new great characters for everyone to play regardless of skin color.

    • Veronica says:

      Why is his whiteness so important, though? What would change significantly about the character?

  44. Veronica says:

    The “English-English” ideology has been around for decades. Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses” is pretty much a giant TAKE THAT to the entire concept of minority identity in dominant white, Western culture.

  45. Elizabeth says:

    Now see, I don’t think Roger Moore was talented-talented enough to play James Bond.

    I have no problem with a black man playing Bond, but I think Idris is too old at this point. Liam Neeson is kind of getting away with it, but he’s really an exception.