When the Sony hack hemorrhaged damning emails from execs arguing over whether Idris Elba should play the iconic spy-cum-seducer of women James Bond, everyone had an opinion, some uglier than other. Anthony Horowitz said that Elba was “too street” to play Bond, surely the phrase that will haunt him the rest of his career; Elba casually brushed aside the slight with a suave Instagram saying, “Always keep smiling!! It takes no energy and never hurts! Learned that from the street!!” with a smiley face emoji at the end. Since then, everyone has either campaigned for Elba (like us) or against him, but Elba himself has remained oddly mum. Now, in an interview with the Telegraph, he says, “Enough is enough.” He’s simply done talking about James Bond:
It’s 30 minutes and three seconds into my interview with Idris Elba when the “B” word is first used. “Can we talk about the media obsession with you playing James Bond?” I ask him. “Can we not?” he says forcefully.
Why not? “Because it feels like I’m campaigning, and I’m not. At first it was harmless — oh, I know, wouldn’t it be great? — and now it’s started off racial debates. I’m probably the most famous Bond actor in the world, and I’ve not even played the role. Enough is enough. I can’t talk about it any more.”
Elba also didn’t want to discuss discrimination in the film industry: “As soon as you say discrimination, you’re planting seeds over and over again. I don’t want to be called a black actor. You’ve got a generation of people who just want to move forward, not keep going on about the past.”
He did, however, happily discuss how he DJed Madonna’s show in in Berlin: “I didn’t feel pressure until I was standing behind a massive curtain, next to two big images of her face, and beyond that curtain were 17,000 people and my turntable, and I was like, oh right, yes, Ma-donna.”
So while we won’t see Elba don the moniker of Bond, we may see him spinning records for the material girl again. “Donna. Ma-donna.”