Roger Moore Backtracks After Suggesting Idris Elba Not ‘English-English’ Enough to Play Bond

The former 007 calls buzz about “Luther” actor as the super spy “an interesting idea, but unrealistic”

Last Updated: March 29, 2015 @ 6:52 PM

Roger Moore had some explaining to do after laughing off the idea that black actor Idris Elba could play James Bond.

“An interview I gave to Paris Match implies I said something racist about Idris Elba,” Moore tweeted Saturday night. “That is simply untrue. #Lost in translation.”

Moore, who played the super spy in seven films between 1973 and 1985, was asked by the French magazine what he thought about the buzz suggesting that Elba might play 007 in an upcoming installment of the film franchise.

“A few years ago, I said that Cuba Gooding Jr. would make an excellent Bond, but it was a joke!” Moore said.

“Although James may have been played by a Scot, a Welshman and an Irishman, I think he should be ‘English-English’,” he continued. “Nevertheless, it’s an interesting idea, but unrealistic.”

The 87-year-old Moore, who was knighted in 2003 by Queen Elizabeth II for his charity work, was roasted for the comments on social media. Many people were particularly angry at the idea that the London-born Elba was not “English-English.”

The idea of Elba playing Bond got started when leaked emails from former Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal indicated that she was interested in the “Luther” star for the iconic role.

“Isn’t 007 supposed to be handsome?” Elba subsequently responded on Twitter. “Glad you think I’ve got a shot!”

During a 2014 Reddit AMA chat, the 42-year-old actor said that he would love to portray Bond if the part was offered.