Former Bond star: 'Audiences aren't ready for a gay 007'

Former James Bond actor John Rhys-Davies has dismissed the "daft" suggestion that the iconic MI6 spy could be gay in a future iteration of the character. Rhys-Davies, who starred as General Pushkin opposite Timothy Dalton in 1987 Bond instalment The Living Daylights, believes a gay Bond would see more fans tune out than tune in, reports Digital Spy. “Don't subvert the next Bond by coming up with daft suggestions, like 'Bond should be gay',” he said. "I don't think that the audience is ready for a gay James Bond. You could try it, but it would be interesting to see what the numbers were afterwards." John Rhys-Davies gbap The 71-year-old also hit back at Daniel Craig’s comments which likened “slashing his wrists” as a more appealing prospect to reprising his role in the next bond instalment. "The problem with Bond actors is they don't realise that they have a short shelf-life in that role - they feel bitter and confused and they get stupid," he said. "I mean, for Craig to say, 'I wouldn't do another one - it's just too much hard work and there's not enough money in the world you could pay me - I understand it, as an actor, but it doesn't wear well with somebody living on income benefit in Manchester or some place like that." Rhys-Davies added the Bond franchise was always going to be “bigger than any individual actor”. "That's hard for actors, who think that they're going to make a real difference, that they're great actors and things like that," he said. "They get involved with a character that is actually bigger than them, and probably the biggest thing that they will ever do - and that's a tough one. "What you have to do is take it with joy and grace, and just do it the best you can." Craig2 Last year, former franchise star Pierce Brosnan said a gay Bond would make for “interesting viewing” but its long-standing producer Barbara Brocolli would never allow it. “Actually, I don’t know how it would work. I don’t think Barbara would allow a gay Bond to happen in her lifetime," he said at the time. “But it would certainly make for interesting viewing. Let’s start with a great black actor being James Bond. Idris Elba certainly has the physicality, the charisma, the presence. "But I think Daniel [Craig] will be there for a while yet.” More stories: 8 important figures from gay history you might not have known ‘First Dates’ star Daniel May injured in violent homophobic attack