James Bond needs older actor for ‘Gravitas’, says casting director

“It’s a huge responsibility,” casting director Debbie McWilliams said.

James Bond will not be a young figure anytime soon.

The franchise’s casting director, Debbie McWilliams, detailed the criteria for playing 007, citing that younger stars do not have the “mental capacity” to become 007. Radio Times interview. (Director Martin Campbell says Henry Cavill and Sam Heughan were considered before Daniel Craig was cast in “Casino Royale.”)

“When we started, it felt a little different,” said McWilliams, who has been working on the films since 1981. “We looked at a lot of younger actors and I just don’t think they had the gravitas. They didn’t have the experience, they didn’t have the mental capacity to take on this, because they are not only taking on the role, but also a huge responsibility.”

McWilliams added, “So we scrapped that idea and went back to the drawing board and started over.”

Craig was in his mid-thirties when he was cast as Bond. He continued as an MI6 agent until 2021’s No Time to Die.

Craig’s emerging talent also played a role in the casting.

“They knew Timothy Dalton, but he was really known as a Shakespearean actor. Pierce (Brosnan) was known, but that was basically from television. Roger Moore was known from television. Sean Connery wasn’t (known) — nobody had ever heard of him,” McWilliams said of the franchise’s history. “A certain audience has heard of Daniel Craig, but it’s more that kind of independent cinema audience. He didn’t do any major commercials at all – (2004 film) The ‘Layer Cake’ I suppose it was the most popular of his pre-Bond stuff, let’s say, but it wasn’t very big. well-known actor.”

Producer Michael G. Wilson confirmed in October 2022 that the next Bond will be a “veteran” of the spy world.

“Before, we tried to look at younger people,” Wilson said. “But it doesn’t work if we try to imagine it. Remember, Bond is already a veteran. He had some experience. He is a man who has lived through the wars, so to speak. He was probably in the SAS or something. He’s not a high school kid you can bring in and start. That’s why it works for a 30-year-old.”

“Bridgerton” breakout Regé-Jean Page, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Tom Hardy are rumored to be on the shortlist for the role. However, the next Bond film is at least two years away.

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