The name’s Bond, James Bond—and it should stay that way, at least according to Daniel Craig.
In a recent interview with Radio Times, the actor, who will reprise his role as the infamous 007 for the last time in the upcoming James Bond movie, No Time to Die, was asked if he believes an actress should follow in his super-spy footsteps. Craig explained that he believes women and actors of color should receive their own roles equal to, if not better, than the ranking of the famous character.
“The answer to that is very simple,” he told the outlet. “There should simply be better parts for women and actors of color. Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?”
Although No Time to Die (set for an Oct. 8 release) will still, of course, focus on Bond and his latest thrilling adventure, an unprecedent number of women are part of the latest installment, both on and off camera.
Actress Lashana Lynch joined the lineup as an agent who’s given the spy’s well-known code number 007, and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge lent her talents to the script, and, as Craig put it, made her presence felt throughout the action-packed movie.
“She’s got devilish humor,” he told the outlet about the Fleabag creator. “Her influence permeates a lot of this film. She walked that fantastic line of keeping it as a thriller and being very funny. But Phoebe didn’t come in to change Bond. She came in to spice it up for sure, but she’s a Bond fan—she wasn’t about to take him in a different direction.”
Craig’s latest comments about the secret agent role echo that of producer Barbara Broccoli, who previously told Variety that although Bond can “be of any color, he is male.”
“I believe we should be creating new characters for women—strong female characters,” she told the outlet in January 2020. “I’m not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that.”
In an interview with The Guardian in 2018, Broccoli also explained that although Bond’s gender is unchanged, she believes there’s been a shift when it comes to his role as a whole.
“I think Bond has come through and transformed with the times,” she said. “I’ve tried to do my part, and I think particularly with the Daniel [Craig] films, they’ve become much more current in terms of the way women are viewed.”