Rupert Friend has addressed the possibility he could be the next James Bond, telling press he may finally have enough life experience to take on the iconic spy role.


The actor, who is currently starring in Apple TV+ comedy-drama High Desert, was in contention to play the MI6 agent before Daniel Craig's casting, but ultimately stepped away from the conversations due to his young age.

At just 22 years old, he felt he wouldn't be able to bring appropriate gravitas to the job, but the past two decades have given him "the scars and the bruises" to consider taking it on.

He told Variety: "Back then, not only could the part have sort of eclipsed me, I felt like the part was bigger than me as an actor or even as a person. That it would sort of swallow me up and I might sink the franchise, or at least be the worst Bond that ever lived. And that was just not an option, because I love the franchise."

"But very, very recently, last week [in mid-April], it started to come back into my consciousness that, let’s put it this way, maybe I’ve got the scars and the bruises now," continued Friend.

"From having literally been around the block or in the school of hard knocks, but also having navigated film sets and directors and difficult situations. You sort of realise you’re at a point where you can take things on that perhaps you couldn’t before."

His comments come as longtime Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson are on the hunt for a star to take over from Craig, who finally vacated the role after 2021's No Time to Die.

Names currently rumoured for the gig include Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Bullet Train), Paapa Essiedu (The Lazarus Project), Richard Madden (Citadel), James Norton (Happy Valley) and Henry Golding (Snake Eyes).

Rupert Friend in Anatomy of a Scandal stood in a dock in court
Rupert Friend as James Whitehouse on Anatomy of a Scandal Netflix

Friend acknowledged that his moment to snatch up the role might have passed, but added he feels contentedness in being confident enough to step up if called upon.

"Last week, I literally decided that I was ready," he added. "Now they may or may not be interested, and that’s totally fine... It doesn’t matter if you do it or not, but it’s important to listen to the cycles of life and understand the universe is always on time, just sometimes you and I are a bit early or a bit late."

In addition to High Desert, the actor recently played the villainous Grand Inquisitor in Obi-Wan Kenobi, politician James Whitehouse in Anatomy of a Scandal and Peter Quinn in spy thriller Homeland.

No Time to Die is available to stream on MGM+. Check out more of our Film coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.

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