Obsession star Richard Armitage would rather play a Bond ‘villain’ than 007 himself

Richard Armitage in a green shirt on the red carpet looking at the camera.

Obessions star Richard Armitage has seemingly quashed rumours that he could take over from Daniel Craig as the next James Bond.

The 52-year-old actor, who opened up publicly about his sexuality and his male partner for the first time in April this year, revealed that he would rather play one of 007’s arch-nemeses.

When asked by Radio Times magazine this week about the rumours he could be lined up to take on the role of Bond, Armitage suggested that they are just that – rumours.

“Oh, every three weeks there’s a newspaper story about that,” he said. “My nephew still asks if I’m going to be James Bond, and I say, ‘No. You just read it in a paper.'”

While Armitage concurred that the role of Bond was an “amazing” one, he explained that he would be “more likely to be tempted towards playing the villain” in the film.

If Armitage were to be cast as James Bond, he would become the first out LGBTQ+ actor to take on the esteemed role.

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Armitage is best known for his role as Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit film trilogy, released between 2012 and 2014. Earlier this year, he starred as William Farrow in Netflix’s steamy thriller series Obsession

Actor Richard Armitage attends 'The Hobbit : The Battle Of The Five Armies' Paris Premiere at Le Grand Rex on December 4, 2014 in Paris, France.
Richard Armitage starred in Netflix’s erotic thriller ‘Obsession’. (Richard Bord/Getty)

While promoting the series, he explained that he came out as LGBTQ+ to his loved ones as a teenager.

Speaking to Radio Times, he shared: “[Coming out] happened when I was 19 – to anybody who mattered – and I was always waiting for that question to punch me in the face, and it never did. I thought, ‘Are people being polite, or is it that they don’t want to know?’

“I don’t know that I ever wanted to put myself in front of the work I was doing, anything about my family or personal life. I just thought, ‘Let the work speak for itself’.”

He added that he had been hesitant to discuss his sexuality publicly as he didn’t want it to be seen as “fixed”.

“I love the conversation with the younger generation. I love the idea that whatever gender, sexuality, the fluidity of who you love, how you identify, is not fixed,” he added.

“That was always a thing: if I declare who I am and my sexuality, then I’m saying it’s fixed and I don’t know that, or if I might feel something for somebody further down the line. I doubt it, but I don’t know.”

Richard Armitage is one in a long line of actors who have been tied to the role of James Bond, including Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson, The Witcher actor Henry Cavill and Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel.

Daniel Craig bowed out of the film series following the release of the 25th Bond movie, No Time To Die, in 2021.