The Gentlemen's Theo James admits prospect of playing Bond terrifies him

"You're opening Pandora's box."

Theo James, a cast member in
The Gentlemen actor Theo James. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

The Gentlemen star Theo James has discussed potentially taking on the mantle of James Bond.

It's now three years since Daniel Craig sank his last vodka martini as 007 in No Time to Die, yet the spy franchise's producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson are still yet to identify his replacement.

During an interview with The Guardian, James, who plays Eddie Horniman in Guy Ritchie's new Netflix crime series, was asked about catching the eye of Broccoli.

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"Oh, Barbara Brocs..." he quipped. "I say that as if I know her: never met her, know nothing about it. But I'll give her a nickname.

"Everyone's interested in [Bond] because it's a big part of British cultural identity, but that probably wouldn't be me. I do think there are better people for that job. And, honestly, it would be terrifying: if you do that, there's no going back. You're opening Pandora's box there.

No Time To Die hits UK cinemas on 30 September (MGM/Universal Pictures/EON)
Daniel Craig's final Bond film was No Time to Die. (MGM/Universal Pictures/EON)

"You have got to be willing to live a very different life and have a different life for your family. And that would be pretty tricky," he went on to elaborate. "Plus, my mates would take the p*** out of me. Because they always say, 'Bondopoulos – the Greek Bond.'"

For context, the actor's grandparents on his father Philip's side were Greek.

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As for the Bond connection itself, James feels flattered.

"But it's also every male actor within a certain age. It's not like it's two dudes. It's 50 guys, literally 50 people," he noted. "So no... I'd like to play a seminal British figure in a different historical period. I know it's been done so many times, but I've always liked the idea of exploring Henry VIII in a way that isn't defined by the maniacal sociopath. Because he was that, but then there's also the journey to become that man."

The Gentlemen is now streaming on Netflix.

Watch: Theo James: "I find it hard to watch myself"