Elba 'Disheartened' About Racial Backlash Over Possible James Bond Casting

Idris Elba 1800
FILE - In this file photo dated Tuesday, April 14, 2015, actor Idris Elba poses for photographers during the MIPTV, International Television Programme Market, in Cannes, southern France. British actor Idris Elba has stoked speculation he may take over the role of James Bond when Daniel Craig steps aside, offering an enigmatic Twitter post Sunday Aug. 12, 2018, saying "my name's Elba, Idris Elba,’’ fuelling the buzz about him becoming the first black Bond. (AP Photo/FILE) -- The Associated Press

Some people were happy. Some people were downright mad.

But either way you call it, Idris Elba being considered as the next star of the legendary James Bond franchise became hotly debated among cinpehiles and film fans far and wide.

Since 1962 and throughout 25 feature films, only white actors have portrayed the role of the dapper British Secret Service agent based on Ian Fleming's best-selling novels.

And some folks wanted more of the same -- as far as skin tone is concerned.

The backlash is not lost on the British heartthrob, who became a household name in America with his role as intelligent thug Stringer Bell on David Simon's seminal HBO series "The Wire" in 2004.

Since then, Elba has starred in "Tyler Perry' Daddy's Little Girls," the Will Packer-produced suspense thriller "Obsessed" and received high marks for his leading run in 2013's "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom."

Even though he won a Golden Globe Award for the title role in the British crime drama series "Luther," he found it unnerving that people didn't think he was fit to do the iconic James Bond role because of his ethnicity.

"You just get disheartened when you get people from a generational point of view going, 'It can't be.' And it really turns out to be the color of my skin," Elba shares in the August issue of Vanity Fair.

"And then if I get it and it didn't work, or it did work, would it be because of the color of my skin? That's a difficult position to put myself into when I don't need to," he continued.

While no one knows yet who will replace Daniel Craig when he wraps up his five film tenure with 2020's "Bond 25," Elba may still be a contender.

"James Bond is a hugely coveted, iconic, beloved character, that takes audiences on this massive escapism journey," the 46-year old newlywed said.

"Of course, if someone said to me, 'Do you want to play James Bond?,' I'd be like, 'Yeah!' That's fascinating to me. But it's not something I've expressed, like, 'Yeah, I wanna be the black James Bond.'"

Much before any announcements will be made, film goers will get a chance to see People magazine's current "Sexiest Man Alive" in another blockbuster franchise, "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw," due in theaters in August.

This article is written by Karu F. Daniels from New York Daily News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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