Idris Elba Said the Idea of Playing James Bond Became ‘Off-Putting’ When It Became About Race

Last February, the British star revealed he stopped referring to himself as a “Black actor.”

Idris Elba recently admitted that the idea of playing the next James Bond eventually turned him off when the conversation became more about race than the iconic super spy.

During a recent appearance on the “Smartless” podcast, with hosts and actors Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett, the British star initially pondered the opportunity stating, "I was super complimented for a long time about this.”

RELATED: Idris Elba Further Explains Not Being A ‘Black Actor’ Comments

He added, “I was like, ‘This is crazy!’ James Bond…We’re all actors and we understand that role. It’s one of those coveted [roles]. Being asked to be James Bond was like, ‘Ok, you’ve sort of reached the pinnacle’. That’s one of those things the whole world has a vote in.”

Elba noted, “Essentially, it was a huge compliment that every corner of the world except from some corners, which we will not talk about, were really happy about the idea that I could be considered.” However, he added, “Those that weren’t happy about the idea made the whole thing disgusting and off-putting because it became about race. It became about nonsense and I got the brunt of it.”

Last February, the Luther star seemingly denounced being called a “Black Actor” explaining in an interview with the Esquire U.K. that the term “put me in a box.” He added, “We’ve got to grow. We’ve got to. Our skin is no more than that: it’s just skin. Rant over.”

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