Yesha Callahan

Newest James Bond Author Says Idris Elba is ‘Too Street’ For the Movie

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Anthony Horowitz is the newest James Bond author and with his book Triggor Mortis being released soon, he shared a few opinions about one of our faves, Idris Elba.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Horowitz isn’t exactly cheering on Elba as a contender for the first black Bond. As a matter of fact, if he had his way, another more ‘refined’ black actor would get the role, because he thinks Elba is ‘too street’.

“Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better,” he said. He offered actor Adrian Lester as an example.

“For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a colour issue. I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”

Never mind the fact that Elba is the epitome of suave.

It’s obvious what Horowitz meant by his ‘too street’ comments, and needless to say, classism plays a huge role in his comments, especially in British culture.

  1. September 1, 2015 - Reply

    I’ma let this one slide because I do think James Bond is meant to be some pretentious prick type of character BUT… “street” is not the word that comes to mind when I think of dorky ass Idris. Let’s be real. He may not be the epitome of “I only wear underwear once because anything more is uncouth”, but he ain’t street either from what I’ve observed. Now we all know “street” = “urban” = “too black” = “not biracial enough” = “we really just want a dark skinned white person to ‘play’ black so the black folks will leave us alone about not representing them”… but like I said, I’ma let this one slide today.

    • September 1, 2015 - Reply

      @Me

      Dorky? Did you not see the Wire? Dorky? That sounds like the kind of foolery that bitter men often decry.

      “Street” in East London is not the same as stereotypical “street” in America. You should watch more English film to see what street life is like in other countries.

      While Anthony Horowitz is from an affluent family in London and has his own biases, I’m sure Idris has the range as an actor to pull this off.

      • September 1, 2015 - Reply

        @BillipPhailey

        I’m basing dorky on his real life personality (I figured Horowitz was basing street on the same thing). Whenever I watch him in interviews, all I get is “that dorky kid that grew up to be alright”. I don’t get any kind of authentic “edginess” to him that would have me calling him street in any country.

        • September 1, 2015 - Reply

          @Me

          lol-I am not sure what it is but his looks have changed to me. Years ago I threatened to throw myself at this man if I saw him walking down the street but now, I don’t know we all age I guess.

          • September 1, 2015 - Reply

            @Vintage

            Maybe it is age. He is in his mid-40s now so maybe that’s what I’m seeing come through as dorky. I do kinda feel bad that so far I’ve called all dads & all middle aged men dorks, but all I’m trying to say is that he’s the farthest from street that I could think of (besides Adrian Lester of course… that man ain’t even sidewalk). But even a few years ago, I would never have guessed “street” as my first adjective to describe him. Looks can be deceiving, but if he had a big personality growing up and wasn’t just a wall flower, I’d be surprised. I get the impression that whatever swagger he has now is a result of the fame & not the other way around. But that’s just what I see.

            • September 1, 2015 - Reply

              @Me

              Don’t feel bad regarding middle aged men as dorky. When I was younger most guys around that age reminded me of high school principals or someone of that nature, polo shirts and jeans, etc. Now that I am around that age that is fine for me, 401ks and pensions are sexy now. And I realized when I was throwing my panties at Idris in my head, it was right after he left The Wire and I still thought of him as Stringer Bell a little bit. The whole bad boy thing, and then to hear that Brit accent, man. But i think the novelty wore off for me, and we started seeing him everywhere and I got bored.

              • September 1, 2015 - Reply

                @Vintage

                The funny thing is I’m not that much younger than Idris. When I was younger middle aged men were “debonair” to me. Now that I’m catching up to them, they’re “just men”. Not to say that I ever needed men to live up to some role, but the allure has faded to business as usual.

      • September 1, 2015 - Reply

        @BillipPhailey

        London isn’t all tea and crumples either.

        • September 1, 2015 - Reply

          @truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

          Agreed. That was my point.

      • September 1, 2015 - Reply

        @BillipPhailey

        Anyone attaching the label ‘dorky’ to Idris Elba is the definition of bitter and insecure. And I’d be with Idris on the underwear thing.

        • September 1, 2015 - Reply

          @sandisays

          Anyone who believes this would be the definition of wrong. I don’t need to be bitter or insecure to think Idris is dorky.

          • September 1, 2015 - Reply

            @Me

            I consider Idris to be in the middle personality wise. He’s a regular black man. I’m about to leave. Peace Sister and have a Great Day. .

            • September 1, 2015 - Reply

              @truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

              Maybe the middle might be a better category for Idris. Everything about him screams dorky dad to me, but maybe that’s just because I view dads as plain vanilla, no thrills, nothing special types. (I don’t even think Idris has kids yet, but he has dad-swag all over him)
              Anyway. Have a good day Truth

  2. September 1, 2015 - Reply

    Soooo…I thought the whole job of being an actor…is to put on an act. *insert that picture of the guy with the question marks surrounding his head*

    If he’s “too street” (rolls eyes), doesn’t a great actor (such as my darling boo-thang, Idris), have what it takes to tone down the “street”…and let’s say…Give the character an “avenue” or “boulevard”-like feel to the damb guy. Heck…sprinkle a little “dirt road” on the Bond. Yes! Take away the seasoning and make it as bland as you know how… You know, to fit the tune of this clearly insane writer?

    But to heck with all that; there are movies out there for him to go for.

    There there, Idris. There there.

    • September 1, 2015 - Reply

      @TuckingFypo

      “Give the character an “avenue” or “boulevard”-like feel to the damb guy.”

      You are too much!

    • September 4, 2015 - Reply

      @TuckingFypo

      To be honest, I think Daniel Craig plays bond in a rougher way than I’ve ever seen. I don’t see him as suave, myself. (And I think he’s physically unattractive in the face, but that’s another story.) He’s no Pierce nor a Sean. But Idris is “too street”? Okay.

      One the one hand, it’s likely just him using code. On the other hand, this is the problem when white folks get their hands on black slang and don’t know how to use it without getting into trouble.

  3. September 1, 2015 - Reply

    Is Anthony serious? Idris Elba has great range as an actor. He has shown range in Luther and the Nelson Mandela biopic too, so he would do a great job if was in a James Bond movie. Also, the term “street” has many meanings for many people. We know the meanings. Frankly, there is nothing wrong with a black person being urban or not as a long that person promotes character, honor, strength, and dignity.

  4. September 1, 2015 - Reply

    Adrian Lester as Bond? Is he serious?

    • September 1, 2015 - Reply

      @Electric Relaxation

      LMAO! I must’ve skimmed past that line. That would be a James Bond comedy. No doubt. Adrian Lester. LOL. If Idris is too Street, Adrian is too Sesame.

      • September 1, 2015 - Reply

        @Me

        Right? Oh my gosh! I so agree…I think he’s a good actor but I cannot imagine him as James Bond.

      • September 1, 2015 - Reply

        @Me

        Lol

    • September 1, 2015 - Reply

      @Electric Relaxation

      IKR

    • September 4, 2015 - Reply

      @Electric Relaxation

      I think he just tried to smooth it over by saying the first brother’s name that popped in his head. He was likely thinking, “What was the black guy in that movie I saw last week? Oh yeah!”

      • September 4, 2015 - Reply

        @FromTokyo

        Yes. I’ll will go that. He was trying so save face.

  5. September 1, 2015 - Reply

    I’m kind of tired of hearing about Idris Elba and James Bond. I don’t really care if there is a Black James Bond to be honest. While I’m not sure I would describe Idris as street, he is a little more rough around the edges than I initially thought he would be. But, that actually adds to the absurdity of saying an actor’s personality disqualifies them from a role. Their job is to be something they are not. A good actor can play a priest in one movie and a serial killer in another with the right script. That’s the whole point of acting. You let the person audition before you rule them out because you never know who may surprise you.

    • September 1, 2015 - Reply

      @Ang

      ITA with your comment-Even if it was a color issue who cares, really? If someone wants to see a Black actor in this type of role this is a good opportunity for a good filmmaker to create one-and NOT starring Wesley Snipes ewww.

      Besides I doubt if Idris has given a second thought to the dearth of roles for dark skinned Black actresses or Black women, period. Why should we care if he or any Black actor gets a shot at playing 007.

      • September 1, 2015 - Reply

        @Vintage

        So true. It’s always women sitting around worried about what opportunities black men have available but you rarely hear of them doing the same for us. And I really don’t care too much about the 007 franchise. But black people being pissed about not having a black actor in the role is getting old. They also would never let an American (of any race) play James Bond. But I never hear white American actors complaining about that. They just create their own movies. I know Tom Cruise didn’t create Mission Impossible but he produced all the movies. No one is really checking for Tom anymore but he can keep cranking out MI movies on his own. I’m sure no one would have cast Ice Cube in a family movie but he was able to make his own. We may not have an abundance of black producers/writers in Hollywood, but enough have done it that people should know its possible if they really want to make their own movies.

    • September 1, 2015 - Reply

      @Ang

      Im really starting to think that black ppl care way more about Idris playing James Bond than Idris himself. There have been several occasions where he has come off as if he really dosent gaf about it, but for some reason ppl keep pushing it.

      • September 1, 2015 - Reply

        @_a_

        I agree.

  6. September 1, 2015 - Reply

    Too street? LMAO.

    • September 1, 2015 - Reply

      @SeoulShit

      Same. Horowitz is basically making the point that any masculinity Idris Elba possesses is of the ‘street grade variety’ – but lacks the real sophistication and refinement necessary to play Bond. Throwing Lester’s name into the mix, is a way to downplay Elba’s obvious Alpha qualities at the same time as trying to convince that his comments are not rooted in race. Which they clearly are. Because you know anytime someone tells you its not about race/colour..

  7. September 1, 2015 - Reply

    LOL they keep on using code words in-order to tell you what they really think about you. “Too Street”, aka “Too Much of a Alpha Black and not a punk”

    • September 1, 2015 - Reply

      @MannersMakethTheMan

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  8. September 1, 2015 - Reply

    Too street? Adrian Lester? If this dude don’t stop the PC bull crap. Just be bold and say you don’t see a black James Bond for the franchise. First, he knows damn well he would never cast Adrian Lester as James Bond. Secondly, Idris Elba is not too street to play James Bond. I actually started to see him for James Bond when I saw him on The Wire/Luther because he did a good job straddling the line of good guy/bad guy. Furthermore, I am going to need people to stop acting like the character of James Bond is so righteous. One could go far and say that James Bond is a “street” dude with a top notch job that gives him license to do whatever he wants basically. But you know what, let them keep their James Bond. I would love for a black writer/director to come together and create our own version of James Bond/spy type of movies/franchise.

  9. September 1, 2015 - Reply

    ROTFL at Adrian Lester as black James Bond that would be a comedy. I couldn’t stand him on Girlfriends as Joan Clayton’s boyfriend .

  10. September 1, 2015 - Reply

    “Too street” code word ” I am a easily intimidated white man with no balls or spine.”

    • September 1, 2015 - Reply

      @Mary Burrell

      Exactly. I was thinking that too.

  11. September 1, 2015 - Reply

    I sided with the majority of comments when I first read this. But 1) Idris in British shows/movies is grimier than US works and 2) The author likes his Bond actors tame and also didn’t like Daniel Craig (who I thought made an excellent Bond). I think this is mainly if not entirely a guy who prefers a prim and proper Bond sans edge and actually believe his apology:

    “I’m really sorry my comments about Idris Elba have caused offence,” he wrote. “That wasn’t my intention. I was asked in my interview if Idris Elba would make a good James Bond. In the article I expressed the opinion that to my mind Adrian Lester would be a better choice but I’m a writer not a casting director so what do I know? Clumsily, I chose the word ‘street’ as Elba’s gritty portrayal of DCI John Luther was in my mind but I admit it was a poor choice of word. I am mortified to have caused offence.”

    I don’t expect clumsy word choice from a writer, but perhaps this is why he makes his money keeping his mouth shut. I agree that the setup for racism and classism is there, but I don’t think this is a blatant example – no matter how much I love me some Idris and know that he’d be the best Bond ever.

  12. September 4, 2015 - Reply

    Uh…yeah, we actually possess a dictionary for your code words, Anthony.
    You tried it.

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