No Time To Die’s Ben Whishaw wants a gay actor to replace Daniel Craig as James Bond

Headshots of Ben Whishaw and Daniel Craig

No Time To Die‘s Ben Whishaw has said he wants a gay actor to take on the iconic role of James Bond after Daniel Craig steps down.

For Whishaw, the 40-year-old who has played the genius inventor behind 007‘s gadgets since 2012’s Skyfall, a gay actor playing Bond would be a sign of “real progress”.

Ahead of the film’s long, long-awaited 30 September premiere, Whishaw said he would like to see a gay actor from the UK play the secret agent.

“God, can you imagine?” the gay star told Attitude. “I mean, it would be quite an extraordinary thing. Of course, I would like to see that.”

He added: “I really believe that we should be working towards a world where anyone can play anything and it would be really thrilling if it didn’t matter about someone’s sexuality to take on a role like this.”

“I think that would be real progress. But we’ll see, we’ll just see where we’re at.

“I’m amazed by how much has changed in the last five or six years, so we’ll see.”

Thinking about what openly gay actors would make a good replacement, Whishaw had a couple of ideas – even as he admitted that there “aren’t many out gay British actors”.

“It’s hard to say,” he said, but Beauty and the Beast‘s Luke Evans and Bridgerton‘s Jonathan Bailey would be “ideal casting”. 

“I mean, they’re both wonderful and they’re both wonderful actors,” he said.

“I wonder if either of them would want to – because it’s not just the demands of the role, but it’s, like, the demands of being Bond in the world and what it symbolises and how it would change your life.”

But the role of Bond isn’t something Whishaw himself is ready to add to his IMDb profile anytime soon.

He’s not “Bond material”, the Paddington star joked, but him not wanting the top part is for an important reason.

“I think it’s important that there are a range of masculine or male identities,” he explained, “that we don’t all have to be the Bond-type, you know?

“Having said that, maybe Bond is becoming more receptive now to being defined in a different way,” Whishaw said, before adding: “I’m excited going forward what will happen next; how it will evolve given what’s happened in the two years since we made this one.

“I think it’s very exciting and it’s the only way it will survive.”