Veteran actor Roger Moore has blamed a French magazine for embroiling him in a racism row after it reported his comments that Idris Elba cannot play James Bond because he was not ‘English-English’ enough. Sir Roger made the comments in an interview with French magazine Paris Match, although the former Bond star claimed his words had been ‘lost in translation’. The actor said: ‘An interview I gave to Paris Match implies I said something racist about Idris Elba. That is simply untrue.’
Idris has been widely tipped to take over the role of 007 when Daniel Craig eventually steps down from the role, which would make him the first black actor in the franchise’s history to play Bond. However, Roger – who starred in seven ‘James Bond’ films – has suggested it would be “unrealistic” for Idris to take on the part.
Speaking to Paris Match magazine, he explains: “Although James may have been played by a Scot, a Welshman and an Irishman, I think he should be ‘English-English’.
“Nevertheless it’s an interesting idea… but unrealistic.”
He also says: “A few years ago, I said that Cuba Gooding Jr would make an excellent Bond, but it was a joke!”
Last year, leaked emails from Sony suggested that Idris was top of producers’ wish-lists to play James Bond in the future – news which received a noticeably mixed reaction from some parties. Former ‘Bond’ actor Pierce Brosnan has also weight in on the debate, claiming that he would like to see Idris in the role. Idris himself had his say following the controversy back in December, after having been pretty vocal about his desire to play Bond “if the role were offered to him”.by