Ben Whishaw admitted in an interview with The Guardian that he was left unsatisfied by the revelation in “No Time to Die” that his recurring James Bond character Q is a gay man. The reveal is brief and occurs when Bond (Daniel Craig) and Moneypenny (Naomi Harris) drop by Q’s apartment unannounced for help. Q is in the middle of cooking dinner and preparing for a date with a male romantic partner when the two show up at his door. Q’s sexuality is not referenced again in the film.
“I think I thought, ‘Are we doing this, and then doing nothing with it?’ I remember, perhaps, feeling that was unsatisfying,” Whishaw said about revealing Q is gay but keeping his sexuality relatively unexplored. “For whatever reason, I didn’t pick it apart with anybody on the film. Maybe on another kind of project I would have done? But it’s a very big machine. I thought a lot about whether I should question it. Finally, I didn’t. I accepted this was what was written. And I said the lines. And it is what it is.”
Whishaw added, “I’m very happy to admit maybe some things were not great about that [creative] decision.”
Despite not being satisfied with the reveal, Whishaw noted the film’s screenwriters were coming “from a good place” when they decided to make Q a gay man. The actor added, “I suppose I don’t feel it was forced upon the studio.”
In a September 2021 interview with Attitude ahead of the “No Time to Die” theatrical release, Whishaw pitched making James Bond an openly gay man in the franchise’s future. Daniel Craig’s tenure as 007 is now over following “No Time to Die,” and the search for the next Bond will begin sometime this year. Whishaw made his debut as Q in “Skyfall,” then reprised the role in “Spectre” and “No Time to Die.” Whishaw did not reveal if he’ll be back as Q in any future non-Craig Bond movies.
“God, can you imagine? I mean, it would be quite an extraordinary thing,” Whishaw said about a gay Bond. “Of course I would like to see that. I really believe that we should be working towards a world where anyone can play anything and it would be really thrilling if it didn’t matter about someone’s sexuality to take on a role like this. I think that would be real progress.”
Speaking to Variety last year, Whishaw said that wherever the Bond franchise goes next it “should be something quite radical, something really different.” The actor added, “It’s got to change; it’s got to keep changing. We’re in different times now. There will always be people who want it to stick to the way it was whenever ago, and they’re important, because they love these films. But I think you can do both. You can honor the character and the tradition, and you can push it forward, too. And I think you have to, if it’s not just going to become a kind of museum piece.”