How James Bond Candidate Henry Golding Feels About Diversity Playing A Part In The 007 Casting

Henry Golding as Nick Young in Crazy Rich Asians
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Last month, moviegoers officially said goodbye to Daniel Craig’s James Bond in No Time To Die following the actor's 15-year stint as 007. As it goes, there will be another Bond in the mix sometime in the future. Ahead of any decisions being made, there are a number of actors the public has nominated, including Crazy Rich Asians and Snake Eyes star Henry Golding, who has offered his own take on what’s important for the franchise going forward. 

Henry Golding finds himself among many big names that have been thrown around in the theoretical conversation, including Henry Cavill, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Richard Madden, Sam Heughan and so forth. When he spoke to the Radio Times, Golding was asked about diversity, perhaps needing to be a contributing factor in choosing the next actor. Here was his response:  

It shouldn’t be a factor at all. I think Bond represents something that we’ve all sort of grown up with and that’s a man of substance, a man who has stoic properties and is a protector, has a sensitive side. So really, the talk of having to have them be diverse is – it’s great and all, but I think you have to do justice to the source material. He’s such an iconic character, so I wouldn’t say that there should be any pressure.

As the actor shared, he doesn’t think the Bond producers should pick a minority for Bond simply because the rest have been white men so far. He thinks the best person for the role should be the person who gets the role. Simple as that. In his words: 

I think they will choose the right person for the role. So be it Black, Asian, Latino, mixed… anything, as long as they have the attributes that they can bring to the screen. I think that is what the fans really want.

You know the term “diversity hire?" It happens sometimes when companies want to appear more inclusive or are trying to be but remain pretty much the same on other fronts. They can then point to their “diversity hire” to prove that they are improving, all while other elements that would make them more inclusive remain unchecked. If the producers simply picked a non-white actor to fulfill this “diversity hire,” it simply would not be as helpful as auditioning a breadth of talent and picking the best person for the job. 

Golding makes a great point with this response, and it’s not unlike the argument many have made regarding the chances of a female Bond. While early on, actresses like Charlize Theron and Emily Blunt were brought up as good possible Bonds, people, such as even Daniel Craig, have shared their disinterest in a woman taking over Bond. Not because the role shouldn't be inclusive, but because we’d rather see a female spy character of her own written rather than becoming female version of another thing. It’s just lazy, folks. 

The latest update on the search for the next Bond suggest that the producers are “not looking at anything” at the moment. This is understandable, given they just wrapped a long time tenure with Daniel Craig’s version. It has been reported that they’ll start making plans next year. Henry Golding is most certainly a great pick following his rise in Hollywood the last few years. We’ll keep you posted on Bond news here on CinemaBlend. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.