Young Actors Don’t Have The ‘Mental Capacity’ To Play James Bond, Longtime Casting Director Says

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Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
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James Bond casting director Debbie McWilliams said younger actors don’t have the “mental capacity” to play James Bond, during a recent interview with Radio Times.

Rumors began to swirl about the possibility of a younger actor stepping in to take Daniel Craig’s place as James Bond, and franchise producer Michael G. Wilson had to step in to set the record straight, Variety reported. He assured Bond fans that the next actor would be in his thirties, which was Craig’s age when he stepped into the role as 007 in “Casino Royale.” McWilliams lent her voice to the conversation, telling fans precisely why younger actors don’t have the capacity for the role.

“When we started, it was a slightly different feel,” McWilliams said about the last time they had to search for a new 007 and decided to cast Craig, according to Radio Times.

“We did look at a lot of younger actors, and I just don’t think they had the gravitas,” she told Radio Times.

“They didn’t have the experience, they didn’t have the mental capacity to take it on, because it’s not just the part they’re taking on, it’s a massive responsibility,” she said.

“So we kind of scrubbed that idea and went back to the drawing board and started again,” she said.

McWilliams clarified that opting for an older actor didn’t immediately imply they’d be looking for an overly established one, and she drew on past successful casting choices as an example.

“Timothy Dalton was known, but he was known as a Shakespearean actor, really,” she said.

“Pierce was known, but that was basically from television,” McWilliams said.

“Roger Moore was known from television. Sean Connery wasn’t [known] – nobody had ever heard of him,” she said.

She brought the conversation back to Craig. (RELATED: Minka Kelly Says Her Mom Took Her To Strip Clubs As A Child)

“A certain audience had heard of Daniel Craig, but much more the kind of independent cinema audience,” she said. “He hadn’t done any huge commercial film at all, really – [2004 film] Layer Cake I suppose was the most popular, should we say, of the things he had done prior to Bond, but he wasn’t a hugely well-known actor,” McWilliams said.