Pierce Brosnan: ‘There’s no reason why you cannot have a black James Bond’


A few weeks ago, Anthony Horowitz stepped in major dog poop. Horowitz is the current author of the James Bond books – after Ian Fleming’s passing, his estate extended the literary franchise by getting a series of new authors to write the Bond books, and Horowitz is the current author. Anyway, Horowitz was asked about the possibility of casting Idris Elba as James Bond, to which Horowitz sharted out: “I think he is probably a bit too street for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.” Horowitz got well-deserved hate online and he ended up apologizing (in a half-assed way). So, that’s the latest context for a new Pierce Brosnan interview, in which the old James Bond was asked about the possibility of Idris in the role. His answer invites some serious parsing.

He may have hung up his licence to kill 10 years ago, but Pierce Brosnan has a few ideas on the future of iconic spy James Bond. The 62-year-old Irish actor, who portrayed Ian Fleming’s secret service star from 1994 to 2005, said he thinks the next thespian to take on the role will be male and white. Pierce declared that the MI5 agent is “all man” and blasted the idea of a female lead filling Daniel Craig’s boots.

“Anything is possible for sure, but I think he’ll be male and he’ll be white,” Pierce said.

The forthcoming blockbuster Spectre is expected to be 47-year-old Daniel’s final outing as the British icon, and after he broke the mould with his blonde locks, there has been much speculation as to whether his successor could be a black star or a female actress.

“There’s wonderful black actors out there who could be James Bond, and there’s no reason why you cannot have a black James Bond,” he told the Press Association. “But a female James Bond, no, I think it has to be male. James Bond is a guy, he’s all male. His name is James, his name is James Bond.”

Pierce also discussed living in Malibu for years, saying: “I’m so Americanised after 30 years of living here. But I miss the British sense of humour. It’s so caustic, witty, funny, biting, severe, sharp, just boletic in its humorous kind of take on life, and the piss take of life. I do miss all of that. I find myself still kind of taking the piss out of something which leaves people rather perplexed here in this town. It’s like I’ve said something terrible, but really you’re just taking the piss out of somebody, because it’s funny. I miss those comedic values here.”

[From Express]

Okay, let’s parse. He’s not saying James Bond can ONLY be white, he’s saying he thinks the next Bond will probably be just another white dude, and if I’m being honest with myself, I agree that the producers will probably just choose another white guy. Brosnan’s also saying pretty explicitly that there’s no reason why a black actor couldn’t play Bond. As for the female thing… I agree that it is highly unlikely that the producers would hire a woman to play Bond, though it wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Angelina Jolie always said that she didn’t want to play a Bond Girl, she wanted to play Bond. Think of Angelina – or a comparable action-oriented actress – in the role. It just got more interesting, didn’t it?



Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN.

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80 Responses to “Pierce Brosnan: ‘There’s no reason why you cannot have a black James Bond’”

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  1. Nancy says:

    Okay someone pick up the phone and call Idris. I love that his wife is a full figured woman compared to the other stick figures you see these actors with…..he’s still handsome at 62. Bond, Pierce Bond……….

    • SypherMomma says:

      Whenever I mention his wife I always get “well she was skinny when they met/dated/just married” like she has somehow pulled off the greatest scam. I think all women of every shape and size are beautiful, but the online hate some of these wives get (Hugh Jackmans wife is a target too) drives me up the wall.

      I would LOVE to see Idris as Bond, just love him!

      • Nancy says:

        I feel bad even mentioning her size, but it is rare that a Hollywood wife isn’t thin. He’s a real man and loves a real woman. I vaguely remember his first wife that passed away, she was older than he is. He isn’t one to follow society’s rules…love that….

      • Snazzy says:

        Yes! In both cases, it is amazing how people are so rough on these women, for being, you know – human. Makes me love both of these actors even more.

      • Mrs. Darcy says:

        Yeah, pretty sure I’ve read she has a adrenal disorder. In sickness and in health can include changing looks, something I had to deal with in my own marriage when I got seriously ill two years in. I went from young and cute to overweight and bald (cancer), and luckily I married someone who could deal with that, and not flinch once or ever make me feel like I was less than beautiful. Pierce is obviously the same kind of awesome. Real love doesn’t falter, they always seem happy together.

      • Desi says:

        @Mrs Darcy

        I think Syphermama was bristling at the need to rationalise why he would be with her, as if she is some kind of hideous monster. And honestly I can see no reason why he wouldn’t have fallen for her at her current weight but i take your point that she has been ill. The stats for men leaving their sick wives is insane. I think I read it was something like one in three will walk out when she gets a terminal or chronic illness. So Pierce who stuck around for his first wifes battle with cancer and now for his wife is way outside the trend. Good man.

      • byland says:

        My husband and I weren’t married when I was diagnosed with a chronic disease. This is after having already dealt with some pretty severe emotional issues stemming from childhood. Some men are a$$wipes who run out on their partners when the going gets tough. Some men aren’t. Let’s – Mrs. Darcy, Keeley, and I – rejoice in the fact that we got three of the good ones.

        P.S. To be completely fair, women can be jerks, too. I know a man whose wife of nearly ten years left him when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer because she “wanted children and now he couldn’t provide them.” No joke.

      • Mrs. Darcy says:

        @Desi – I know, I do think her weight is irrelevant to him but Keely gets so much crap for it that I think it’s worth pointing out she has a medical issue. He is obv. just a stand up guy, as you say.

        @byland I was shocked when I found out just how awful the statistics were for men especially leaving their partners when they get cancer or other illnesses. I remember thinking my Mom was overreacting/being weird once when she said that she gave my husband a lot of credit for how he handled things/sticking around (In my head it never even occurred to me he wouldn’t but I was young and dumb and frankly a little self centered what with the cancer!). But as you say it can go both ways, that is awful that poor man! Some people really don’t bat an eyelid at taking the sickness and health vow but when it actually happens they can’t deal. I am so glad you found a good guy to help your through your personal and health struggles, we are lucky indeed 🙂

      • qwerty says:


        ” He’s a real man and loves a real woman. ”

        As opposed to a fake one who is not overweight?

      • Green_Eyes says:

        I can relate.. Was married to one that can’t handle chronic illness and left. But I take it as meant to be.. I have been married to my twin flame for 19 years & we are about to celebrate 20 years together. I have a lot of respect for men & women that have that kind of love & devotion to their spouse or partner.

        One of the reasons I’ve always liked Pierce Bronson.

    • Darkladi says:


    • Greenieweenie says:

      I love that his wife has no effs to give (not regarding her weight, but regarding the way she is not dressed to hide her weight)

    • Gina says:

      Yeah, why obese woman are called “real”? Though I don’t judge Pierce’s wife for being overweight (who am I to judge), he stated in the interview many times that they are foodies and never deprive themselves of great dinner and a glass of wine. With age, unfortunately, you have to choose – youthful body or carbful 🙂 dinner.
      But men tend to praise (I’m now only talking about physical features) women’s curvy hips, butts and breasts, not “arm fat” or belly.

      • Nancy says:

        @Flim….I so agree with you. We are lovable in all sizes but if you’re too thin in some eyes or too heavy you get the judgment calls. I am petite and have always been thin. When I was in my 20’s there was girl talk in the bathroom lounge at work and overheard the girls saying I must be anorexic. At the time I was so offended because I was little but had a figure and never tried to be small, I just was. Almost twenty years later, those words still piss me off, but what are you going to do.

      • Mrs. Darcy says:

        @Gina I’m sorry but I don’t think it’s a big deal to call a woman of ANY figure “real”. No one is saying thin women aren’t real, it’s just that describing Keely or any other non-sylph like woman as what, “Curvy” at best from most outlets, quickly descends into people calling her fat. So what if people are trying to be positive about her, your comment about her eating too many carbs is ill considered when you know nothing about her, I hope you never get an adrenal or thyroid disorder and have to deal with people being judgmental about what you are “supposed” to eat.

    • mytbean says:

      I vote Djimon Hounsou, neither English nor white – maybe approach it as a spin off or something.

  2. Sars says:

    Did you see Salt?

    • ShinyGrenade says:

      She wasn’t call James, was she? He don’t said that woman can’t be kick-arse spies, but that they can’t be JAMES BOND.

      Seriously, people.

      • inthekitchen says:

        @ShinyGrenade – Errr, didn’t Ryan Reynolds and his faux-Goop wife name their DAUGHTER James? Why couldn’t a storyline be written where a woman has the name James?? It’s not inconceivable, is it?! It’s just fiction, anything can be made up!!

      • Liv says:

        I don’t get why a man from a different era from Scotland has to be black or a woman? Does nobody want to stay true to the autor? I’m not that familiar with the whole Bond saga, but I hate when characters are changed so much. Why not doing sequels like they did with Bourne and have a agent that’s black or a woman or both?

        I’m all for diversity in film and against whitewashing roles and characters. But is James Bond supposed to stand for any human being in the world? Serious question.

      • inthekitchen says:

        @Liv – I don’t think anyone is saying James Bond HAS to be black (although I’m sure there are black Scottish men) or female, just that why can’t that even be considered? I haven’t read the original books, but is it specifically stated that Bond is white or is that just assumed? It’s a made up individual, so why can’t the role be played by different kinds of people? Also, the movies are no longer in a “different era” they are set in modern times, not 1955 or whenever they were written…so why does the casting need to stay in 1955? Why can’t the role go to the best actor, the most charismatic, etc. regardless of race or gender? It’s not as if they’ve only cast Scottish actors in the role.

        I don’t really get why it’s such a big deal and don’t recall the same people (not you specifically, just generally) getting as up in arms when roles that are specifically written for people of color (the entire cast of that Moses movie, the recent one set in Hawaii, the one with the little kid who was Asian in the book, etc.) go to white actors. Where are all the Bond = white man supporters then?

      • Liv says:

        I found something on Wikipedia and there’s a picture of the ideal James Bond. Anyway, he was supposed to be born 1920, so I assume there weren’t many black scotish men back then, were there?

        I thought about that too, that the James Bond movies are set in our time and that’s indeed an argument for a black or female Bond.

        I don’t know. I think if there are roles who rely on books then the film should be true to that. Same goes for roles who are written for black people ore asians. Why can’t they create a film about another agent in the Bond universe who’s black? Or a woman? And then they meet Bond in the next movie like The Avengers – that’d be epic! 😉

  3. Lucy2 says:

    It’s amazing how many people are chanting Idris! Idris! yet the people in charge of such decisions are cluelessly ignoring him. Their loss, he would be awesome.

  4. InvaderTak says:

    The Broz-man is keepin’ it real.

  5. Maya says:

    Yes and which is why Angelina starred in the hugely successful Salt. Lots of people loved Salt and want a sequel with Angelina.

    But how about an Asian, Latin Bond, Native American, Aboriginal etc as Bond????

    • bored says:

      hated Salt – found it unwatchable.

      • Naya says:

        I was super excited when I heard that a role written for Tom Cruise was going to a female actress….and then I watched the movie. No wonder Tom turned it down. Hopefully our female Bond gets a better script. Also, now that Rhonda Rousey has told us to appreciate functional muscle on a woman, could we not cast a reed thin actress in the part. I was really worried when Salt tried opening that trap door that her poor arms would snap. Actors have to bulk up for action parts, women should too.

      • Liv says:

        I liked Salt. I’m excited for Emily Blunt’s new film Sicario, wasn’t her role written for a man too?

      • lucy2 says:

        I want to see that Emily Blunt one too, she was kick-ass in that Tom Cruise movie. I never would have imagined her as an action star but she’s killing it.

  6. lisa2 says:

    I don’t know why this is still a story. IT IS very obvious that the powers that be.. who ever they be do not want Idris to play Bond.. He is not going to be offered the role. Doesn’t matter that the public is saying or people on Gossip sites..

    Maybe one day in the far away future; but not going to happen any time soon. And look at what happened when they made one of the Fantastic Four black.. It because some stupid issue. If they are going to make a Black Bond then do it .. It shouldn’t be a big issue or deal. Just do it. But I don’t see it happening. And the thing is I don’t really care. They could create another character in the Bond mode and make him any ethnicity. And if I was Idris I would want this whole discussion to be over.

    • Jayna says:

      I don’t think it’s obvious. Why would the “powers that be” say something now or address it? They aren’t addressing any actor and shouldn’t so prematurely. Spectre with Daniel Craig doesn’t even come out until November and people want them overshadowing that by talking about a new James Bond already?

      Daniel Craig hasn’t even stepped down from the role. He only said this might be his last, he is leaning toward not coming back, but “we’ll see.” He has never said 100 percent he isn’t coming back. He’s been a hugely successful Bond criticswise and box-officewise, and if he wanted to, I’m sure they would like him back for one more movie. But even that is yet to be seen, because the newest movie hasn’t been released. And they don’t know the reception yet regarding box office. I imagine, though, it will be strong.

      All of this seems very premature saying they don’t want Idris as Bond.

  7. Swofty says:

    There’s no reason to not like Pierce Brosnan, and his fine WiFi, no i dont mean WiFi, spelchecker.

  8. NewWester says:

    How about they bring on Pierce as James Bond’s boss? I think he is a great actor

  9. lower-case deb says:

    so what’s stopping them from casting Idris? or Chiwetel?
    do we need to Skywrite our demands?

    • Mrs. Darcy says:

      Chiwetel! Damn, he kind of makes me re-think Idris as no. 1 choice. Like sometimes I feel like Idris is too smooth, like he’s basically Sean Connery already. Chiwetel might be dare I say it a more modern choice.

  10. Kaye says:

    The James Bond persona’s race is irrelevant; the attitude and skill set are primary.

  11. K says:

    I think he is just saying what we are all thinking that yeah the audience wants Idris and there is no reason it can’t be Idris (Idris would be amazing) but the people in charge will cast a white guy. I mean is this shocking? Let’s be real they threw out Idris to get people talking about James Bond, because it’s the most excitement it’s gotten in years even with films out, and to get people like me to consider seeing it. And trust me I’d rather be poked in the eye with hot daggers then go to a James Bond film but I’d go if Idris was playing the part. So the plot worked but they were never serious which sucks.

    As for the woman as James Bond sorry I agree it’s a dude part and I don’t want Hollywood re-writing male characters to give to women I want them developing awesome women characters to franchise that are only women. Frankly at this point let James Bond be a boring stuffy sexist out of touch white guy and some one write and produce awesome kick ass characters for women and black actors! If this summer box office taught us anything people like diversity in film.

  12. Incredulous says:

    That’s a fine scrape you’ve got there, Pierce.

  13. BeBeA says:

    I’m so sick of this discussion frankly, we can’t have what they won’t allow! If the people who envisioned James Bond only saw a white man then so be it. Create a kick ass Black super spy be it male or female that can compete with the James Bond franchise. And let it go like.

    • Incredulous says:

      There is – Guinness man or whatever he’s called. He grew out of adverts in Africa a bit like Milk Tray man. I haven’t seen any of his movies but I am assured they are cheesy good fun.

  14. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    He seems nice, but I’ve never found him sexy. Too “stick up the behind” for me – something about the way he carries himself. Idris would be a great Bond. He’s suave and sexy. I think the idea of a female Bond is unappetizing- the whole Bond series is dated, sexist – the “man’s man” – martini drinking handsome but unavailable guy who gets the gorgeous model in bed before she is punished by being killed- they always get killed. Why not write a modern, exciting role for a woman spy instead of just a lame copy of this tired old dog?

  15. SafetyJan says:

    Rallying for Sam Heughan (Outlander) for the next James Bond.

  16. Sixer says:

    I think Bond can be black. I think Bond can be brown. I think Bond can be a woman. I think it’s a good thing when franchises refresh themselves but I get that the financial risk is such that they don’t do it as often as they should.

    All in all, not something I get worked up over.

    And we’re back to that whole humour thing again, aren’t we? I have decided that (some, not all) Americans need to stop seeing meanness where there is only humour AND that (some, not all) Brits need to understand that sometimes their humour misses the mark and is more mean than funny.

    And with that, I’m off to get the tweezers so I can get the splinters out of my backside!

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Yeah, I agree about the humor. I’m a little tired of British people saying they are hilarious and we just don’t get it because we are humorless, and I’m tired of some of us, including me at times, not getting it and being humorless. I’m sort of tired of the subject.

      • Sixer says:

        I hear you. It should be a Celebitchy resolution: celebrate cultural differences, not bitchfest over them.

      • byland says:


        I think that breaks one of The Internet’s Ten Commandments. Number three, I believe. “Thou shalt not be reasonable.”

      • laura in LA says:

        As a sarcastic wise*ss from Boston myself, I sort of get the British perspective on Americans’ lack of humor, and I’ve found that especially true here in LA, but I also get that sometimes what we think of as being witty sounds more caustic to those from anywhere else.

        Anyway, carry on, Sixer! I for one always appreciate your comments from where I sit now waaay across the pond.

  17. serena says:

    He already spoke up in favour of Idris Elba in a previous interview, so he would be up for a black james bond and that makes me happy because I love both of them!

  18. AlmondJoy says:

    I honestly can’t even believe we’re still talking about this. I agree with Brosnan that there’s no reason why a black actor can’t play Bond. Is Bond so sacred and pure and classic that it can’t be updated or played by a person of color?? Of course, this is coming from a person who’s never seen a Bond movie, so maybe I’ll never understand lol…

    It kind of reminds me of all the people who were up in arms about the star of the new Annie being black. As if there was no way a little black girl could play and orphan and they were saying “it just isn’t right.” I mean seriously, who cares?

    • idontknowyouyoudontknowme says:

      Well, when the characters physical features are so emphasized this happens (thats why its best to write books leaving it somewhat ambiguous, so everyone can imagine the characters for themselves).
      It’s not so much that the characters’s are so sacred and untouchable, just that if let’s say a character is writen to be tall, very thin, with blue eyes and blonde hair, if you put in a short, very curvy brown eyed brown haired woman it is essentially not the same character anymore..
      You can create an original script and create the character however you want it; why do people always want to fix whats not broken (or actually has been overdone for years now and shoudl actually be replaced by something totally new instead)?

      • Lucky Charm says:

        Like casting Katherine Heigel as Stephanie Plum. I always pictured Lea Thompson in that role, because she fit the description of the character so well. She would have been perfect 20 years ago, but in since it just came out a couple years ago, they should have gone with Emma Stone instead of KH, imo. Sometimes a character is just so specifically written, and with a certain attitude, that you can’t really go outside the box.

  19. Kelly says:

    I love this man. He’s big and hunky; he’s black Irish; he’s a charmer, and he is one of the few actors that actually plays opposite women his age. PLUS, he adores the women in his life.

    I have had the biggest crush on him since The Manions of America came out in the 80s then Remington Steele.

    SIgh. My husband is also black Irish, but his proportions are a tiny bit different than Mr. Brosnan, but I love him. My husband.

    Oh yeah, I would love to see Idris as Bond, James Bond.

  20. Ronda says:

    Why not create something new for a woman? i find this whole “we’ll now do it with women” totally insulting. its like “we have milked it, its done, now even a woman can do it” like women get the left overs.
    James bond is male just like Lara Croft is female. switching genders is really lame. create something new.

  21. Frosty says:

    Love Pierce! Not interested in a female bond, that would seem like stunt casting to me. But I’m all for female action stars. I thought Salt was just okay though. I wanted more, somehow. Geena Davis pioneered woman-action-heroine to me – she was so awesome in The Long Kiss Goodnight.

  22. idontknowyouyoudontknowme says:

    Might be a minority here but I really disagree with casting Daniel as Bond… the character is specifically written to be a tall dark handsome type (Winter coloring :D), that is the main essence of the whole thing (along with the gears and womanizing)…
    I’m not saying there can never be a female spy movie or one where the lead character isn’t a WASP type (in fact they are being made I’ve seen quite a few Bollywood movies with a similar topic) but I’m not sure why its being stressed that the Bond franchise should continue and go through these make-overs for the sake of diversity and color blind casting…
    The franchise is already outdated and has been dying a slow death for a while..Espionage might have been a fun and actual topic in the 60’s/70’s with the Cold war going but its quite boring now, always the exact same cliché….

    • jwoolman says:

      I’m not fond of spies in real life, too much deceit and not the only-bad-guys-get-hurt type portrayed in the movies and on TV.

      How about retooling Bond as an investigative environmentalist? Hmmm? Travels the world tracking down the real global evil-doers… Gathering evidence as he drinks his shaken, not stirred martinis. Or if he’s concerned about his health, maybe shaken, not stirred fruit smoothies. Hey, it could work.

  23. Jade says:

    I enjoyed Salt and miss Angelina in an action movie for sure.

  24. Josefa says:

    I agree with him. Saying the next Bond will most likely be another white British dude is just being realistic. As for having a female Bond? I’ll get eaten alive for this, but I feel like it wouldn’t work. James Bond is an international icon for traditional views of masculinity. I’m all for women starring in a similar role travelling around the world kicking ass and banging hot dudes, but have her as the next Bond? It would just seem way too forced. It wouldnt be a Bond movie anymore.

  25. Liz says:

    I don’t understand all the fuss about Idris. He tries to be too smooth.

    Someone mentioned Keely having an adrenal disorder but I found nothing on the web to support that. Her diet and lack of exercise is probably the reason.

    Slim (not sticks) women are also “real”, just like overweight (full-figured, fat) women.

    • laura in LA says:

      Liz, do you always believe everything you read on the worldwide interwebs? Just because you didn’t find the info there, doesn’t mean it’s not true…

      And so what if she’s overweight, for whatever the reason, why do you care? It seems like those who are slim take this as some sort of affront to their existence, and I’ve been both in my lifetime, so I can speak to this.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      “sticks” are also real women.

      • laura in LA says:

        ^^This exactly!^^

        How do we know why someone is “skinny” or “fat”? And what right do we have to judge them for it?

  26. laura in LA says:

    Yes, Pierce is simply acknowledging the truth that the producers will probably just go with another white male, but as he said, there’s no reason at all anyone else, black or of another race, couldn’t play it…

    My vote is for Idris Elba, and as for him being “too street”? Well, I do also remember before Daniel Craig played the part that fans were up in arms because he wasn’t handsome or suave enough (and he couldn’t even drive a stickshift!)

    This brought the part into the new millenium of men who are smart and tough, yet vulnerable, like Jason Bourne, and that last piece is precisely what keeps us on the edge of our seats. Otherwise, the franchise would be like any other superhero series where some gadgets or CGI saves the day.

    Let’s also remember as revealed in Casino Royale that 007 was an orphan chosen for this very reason, his identity as “James Bond” not his own, but one that was assigned to him, also like Jason Bourne. And while I doubt that the producers will ever cast a female in the role, there’s also no reason they couldn’t do it – but better yet, why not write a new series with a woman?

    Finally, speaking of women, Keeley needs no excuse for her weight, but I believe it’s due to a medical condition (as mentioned above). No matter, they seem happily married, like they know what love is and what “for better or worse” means, and it’s why they’ve lasted this long.

    (*Steps down off soapbox*)

  27. vilebody says:

    I just wanted to throw another opinion in the mix. I am a writer, and I will never ever be okay with any screenwriter or public movement changing the characters as I wrote them. I really dislike that Daniel Craig is a blond Bond–that’s not how he was written. It’s as bizarre to me as having a curvy, red-headed Scarlett O’Hara or a lanky, sandy-haired, lisp-ridden Mr. Darcy. I know others will disagree, saying the character is a changing figure and yada yada yada, but it’s disappointing to me that someone, whether a fan or a studio head, would ever feel entitled enough to change a person that I not only created, but created using my own time, energy, and emotion.

    That said, I think it would be really cool if MGM could do spin-offs and have movies based on other agents where they can choose different races or genders. Can you imagine a movie based on a 005 or 008? I think they’re missing a huge opportunity by not Avenger-ing it up.

  28. Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

    A black Bond? Shouldn’t it be a POC Bond? Someone help me. I can’t keep up with what the acceptable jargon is.

  29. Alex says:

    There is a reason not have a black Bond: it’s racism and the fact that certain eastern hemisphere areas that bring in big bucks to Bond films wouldn’t like a Black bond. And that’s the truth

  30. Jessica says:

    James Bond is a male character. Let him be a male character. I’m all for kick-ass woman characters but create new ones, don’t just make long-time male characters into female characters to be PC.

    This is the same issue I have when people talk about making The Doctor female. No. The Doctor is a male character, let him be male and create new female characters to go along with him or new female characters to lead their own shows.