Why Idris Elba Should Be the Next James Bond

Esquire teases out all the reasons why 'Dark Tower' star is ready.

July 7, 2017 9:05 am
Idris Elba
Presenter Idris Elba poses in the winners room at the House Of Fraser British Academy Television Awards 2016 at the Royal Festival Hall on May 8, 2016 in London, England. (David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Idris Elba has played some of the most macho and manliest roles in the last 20 years. Stringer Bell on The Wire. Detective John Luther on Luther. And you’d have to have forgotten the face of your father to not be aware that he’s playing Roland “The Gunslinger” Deschain in The Dark Tower.

But it’s the role that’s eluded him—or rather, that he seems content politely ignoring—that would be his true coming out party.

That is, Bond, James Bond.

After all, he’s been endorsed by then-Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal and even the likes of Steven Spielberg. And the directors he’s worked with have nothing but good things to say about him. Says Aaron Sorkin of the actor: “If Idris Elba says he wants to play a part, that’s pretty much the end of your casting search.”

Esquire caught up with the actor in London, a few reasons why Elba should be the next international man of mystery came to light. Here are a few of those reasons:

1) Perseverance – Born in one of the poorest sections of London, he ended up attending a top arts school, which led him to New York City, where he nabbed his breakout role on The Wire.

2) Grit – He lived out of a Chevy Astro for three months before landing the part of Stringer Bell in The Wire.

3) Swagger – Of Stringer Bell, Elba told Esquire, “Where I grew up, gangsters had to be smart,” he says. “That whole flashy thing—no, mate. It was suits and smiles. I said, ‘That’s how I’m going to make Stringer.’”

4) Marksmanship – Of his gunslinging in The Dark Tower, Elba says “I had a clash of conscience with my character. In America, there’s a real awareness of gun culture. I had to break down why he’s good at shooting. We erred on the side of ‘This is his tool. It’s set in this world that’s part of Stephen King’s imagination, and it is what it is. . . .’ I’ll probably be crucified by the film company for even mentioning this.”

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