Rupert Friend, known for his roles in Homeland and Star Wars, recently revealed why he turned down the opportunity to play James Bond in 2006’s Casino Royale. In an interview with Variety, Friend shared that he was approached by producers at the age of 22 to play a younger version of Bond straight out of college. However, he declined the offer, citing his lack of experience and fear of sinking the franchise.
Friend said that he had just finished three films back to back and felt that he wasn’t ready for such a big role. He also mentioned that he didn’t want to be handcuffed to a three-picture deal without knowing the directors or scripts. Friend’s comments raise an interesting question of what Casino Royale would have been like with a younger actor in the role of Bond.
Producer Barbara Broccoli has previously admitted to considering younger actors for the role of Bond, but ultimately decided that the character needed to be a veteran who had been through the wars. Daniel Craig was 38 years old when he first played Bond in Casino Royale, a far cry from the vision that Friend was pitched.
Whether audiences will ever see a younger version of Bond remains to be seen, but for now, Daniel Craig will continue to portray the iconic spy in the upcoming film No Time to Die.