After much speculation on the likelihood of a gay James Bond, Luke Evans has addressed rumors that might take up the mantle. In a new interview with Bustle, Evans talks about playing spies, playing gay, playing toxic men, as well as his day-to-day life as an out actor.
Although protective of his private life, Evans has been publicly out for nearly the entirety of his career—broaching the subject way back in 2002 . Before this, he came out to his family when he was sixteen. “It was difficult, but we love each other and love overrides everything,” Evans said.
Since then, he has found mainstream success in Hollywood. But between characters like Gaston and The Coachman in the upcoming Pinnochio, he is often cast in villainous roles. When asked why he is drawn to such characters, Evan responded, “Well, I don’t [get] drawn to them. I just get offered them.” He went on to explain, “I’m good at them. Maybe because it’s so far removed from who I am. … If you pick characters where you really have to shed your skin and put on theirs, it’s much more difficult. It’s much of a deeper dive into a person and the psychology of a human being.”
Although Evans has been publicly out for some time, he has only played gay onscreen once—in Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers. He will do so again in the upcoming drama Our Son, where he stars alongside Billy Porter as former partners engaged in a custody battle. “It was emotionally one of the most traumatic things I’ve done,” Evans recalled. “The story is so real. It’s what people are going through the whole time, and it’s very relatable — not just to the gay community.”
But the question on everyone’s mind of late is whether Evans might be the next James Bond. As a conventionally handsome leading man, he is always coming up in those conversations. As far as he is concerned, sexuality shouldn’t be a barrier—it’s about playing the character well. “I don’t know what the current temperature is with audiences, whether they care enough to worry about what James Bond does in the bedroom,” said Evans. “I don’t think it really matters at all to the character if I’m really honest.”
The James Bond franchise has already featured more diverse 00 agents. In 2021’s No Time to Die, Lashana Lynch gave us a queer Black female 007 (Daniel Craig was still the star, his James Bond having become a rogue agent). As for whether Evans could take on the role, his recent action-hero role in Apple+’s Echo 3 proves he is more than capable. “When you talk about James Bond, that kind of training, every day I was playing that special services kind of character who you put into any environment and [he] survives.”
Evans is ready, which means it’s your move, Hollywood.