“What Was I Thinking?”: Austin Butler Reflects on Desire to Play James Bond

Austin Butler reacts to his Teen Vogue photoshoot from many years ago in which he expresses interest in playing British superspy James Bond.

Austin Butler as Buck in Masters of the Air juxtaposed with Daniel Craig as James Bond in Spectre

SUMMARY

 Austin Butler reacts to his comments from 2012 about wanting to be the first American to play 007, saying that James Bond should be British.


 Previous Bond actors haven’t all been British, including George Lazenby and Pierce Brosnan.
 An American Bond is unlikely given the current frontrunners and franchise producer Barbara Broccoli’s previous comments.

Austin Butler reflects on his comments about wanting to be the first American to play James Bond. Based on the character created by Ian Fleming, the first Bond movie, Dr. No, was released in 1962, with Sean Connery in the starring role.

Since then, five other actors have taken on the role of 007, the most recent being Daniel Craig, who had an explosive exit from the franchise at the end of No Time To Die in 2021.

As the wait for Bond 26 continues, Butler visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to promote Dune: Part Two and shares a clip from his Teen Vogue cover shoot in 2012 in which he expressed interest in being “the first American James Bond.”



That’s crazy,” Butler says, reacting to the clip. “What was I thinking?” he continues, “I grew up loving James Bond.” 

When Fallon expresses that Butler would make a great Bond, Butler pushes back, saying, Nah, he’s gotta be British.”

Will James Bond Ever Be Played By An American?

Why It’s Unlikely We’ll Get An American 007

A Well-Dressed James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) Lies on His Back and Aims His Walther PPK Directly at the Camera in Tomorrow Never Dies

In Bond‘s 60-year film history, it’s true that he’s never been played by an American. It’s worth mentioning, however, that 007 also hasn’t always been played by a British actor.

George Lazenby, who starred in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Servicehis only 007 film, is Australian. Pierce Brosnan, who played the iconic spy in four films, is also not British, with the actor having been born in Ireland.

Composite of Daniel Craig, Sean Connery (in tuxedo and smoking), and Pierce Brosnan as James Bond

It is tough to pick James Bond’s overall best moments when every actor’s version of the super spy has at least one iconic scene to his name.

There’s certainly precedent, then, for the role of Bond to go to an actor who isn’t British, but the franchise has yet to actually cast an American.

Although no announcements have been made regarding who will be next to play 007, there are notably no American stars included among the actors widely considered to be frontrunners.

According to a variety of reports, actors like Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Jack Lowden, Damson Idris, James Norton, and Regé-Jean Page could be in the running, and all are from the United Kingdom.

Regarding Bond 26 , franchise producer Barbara Broccoli recently told Deadline that ” nothing is happening yet ,” suggesting the wait for the next film will be a long one.

Franchise producer Broccoli would also weigh in on whether a non-Brit could play Bond, saying in a 2021 interview with THR that “he should be British.”

Considering Broccoli is one of the key figures that controls the franchise, it’s safe to assume that audiences shouldn’t expect an American 007 anytime soon. For his part, it seems like Butler has left his James Bond dreams in the past.

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