Fans of the James Bond franchise will recognise Ralph Fiennes as M, the Head of the Secret Intelligence Service and Bond’s beleaguered boss — a role he’s set to reprise in Bond 25.
But it turns out that the legendary British actor, who took over from Judi Dench as M at the end of Skyfall, was once considered for the role of 007 himself…
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Asked during a readers’ Q&A on The Guardian about his role as M, The English Patient actor said: “I[‘m] enjoying playing M. I certainly had big shoes to fill, succeeding Judi Dench who was a brilliant M.
“There was a discussion, once, some years ago, about my playing 007. I don’t think I would have been very good, but I did feel that I could have had a crack at it if it had been set in the 1950s. I love the books and I always saw them in black and white, gritty, noirish and very dangerous. And probably very politically incorrect!”
Daniel Craig, who stars in the coveted role of Bond opposite Fiennes’ M, will bow out of the franchise next year, and there’s already been much speculation as to who will replace him.
Cillian Murphy, Richard Madden and Idris Elba are among the named that have so far been floated around for the role, while Sex Education’s Gillian Anderson was delighted when Twitter started a campaign to cast her as the first ever female Bond.