Idris Elba is one of the hottest men alive who has played a rainbow of roles with a body that is always ready for a topless, fresh-from-the-ocean close-up. But for the newest James Bond novelist the actor is just... “too street” for the part.

The Daily Mail spoke to Anthony Horowitz about the release of the next Bond book with a cheesy title, Trigger Mortis, and asked whether he thought Elba could play Bond.

‘Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better.’

He names Adrian Lester, star of Hustle.

‘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.’

I loved Lester in Primary Colors and as Joan’s boyfriend on Girlfriends, too, but let’s be serious: Elba would be the better Bond. As Ta-Nehisi Coates said on Twitter:

According to Elba, it wasn’t his “street” quality but the internet’s thirst for him that has ruined his chance to play Bond.

On Tuesday, Horowitz has apologized for his comments in a public statement via The Guardian, saying:

I’m really sorry my comments about Idris Elba have caused offence. 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.


Contact the author at Hillary@jezebel.com.

Image via Getty.