Best known for playing CIA hitman Quinn in Homeland and for various film roles including The Death of Stalin and Pride and Prejudice, Rupert Friend was actually asked to screen test for the role of Bond at the age of 22, after Pierce Brosnin left the franchise — but Friend said no.
“I just thought, ‘I’m too young for this. I need to have some life experience. James Bond needs to have lived’,” Friend said in an interview with The Times. “I love Bond films. I don’t want to be the guy who messes it up because he hasn’t got miles on the clock.”
Of course, now that he’s had the requisite life experience, it begs the question: would Friend say yes this time around?
The Peaky Blinders actor is the latest star to be tipped for the role, after his odds of becoming the next Bond were slashed in March 2019.
The acclaimed actor would be the second Irish star to play Bond, following in the footsteps of Pierce Brosnan. Although maybe the rumours have more to do with his return to Peaky Blinders later this year?
Luther star Idris Elba has long been tipped to replace Daniel Craig — and the Golden Globes added fuel to the fire when they decided to have a little fun and sit Craig right next to his long-rumoured successor…
However, back in 2016 he told fans that “your guess is as good as mine, to be honest”.
“I’m sorry to disappoint you everybody,” he said at Wizard Comic Con in Philadelphia. “I don’t think that announcement is coming.”
Ever since Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden broke TV records — and the nation’s hearts —in his Golden Globe-winning Bodyguard role, he’s been widely rumoured to be waiting in the wings for Craig’s Bond role.
“I’m more than flattered to be mentioned, for people to consider putting me in that role. I’m very flattered and thankful. It’s a really brilliant thing to be in,” he said in an interview in GQ magazine.
“I don’t want to curse anything by saying anything. I think that’s the curse of that. If you talk about anything, you’ll curse it.”
His Bodyguard co-star Keeley Hawes however, who played Home Secretary Julia Montague in the drama, has thrown her support behind Madden.
“I said to Richard while we were shooting, ‘This is like James Bond!’” Hawes said at the Radio Times Covers Party.
“I would love to see Richard playing James Bond; I would love that,” she added. “I think he would be phenomenal.”
Poldark star Aidan Turner has the requisite brooding stare needed for the role, but he’s previously refused to entertain the possibility of becoming the next 007 — or at least until Daniel Craig steps down…
Asked about the rumours by the i newspaper, Turner said: “There’s someone else playing the role – I always feel weird talking about it. It’s come up a lot in recent times.”
But he added: “When it’s free, I’ll have a look at it. But it’s not free now.”