For almost 60 years of cinematic history, James Bond has been an individual of arrogant bravado, emblazoning his misogynistic attitude onto the lapel of his Ted Baker suit. Portrayed throughout the 20th century by British thespians such as Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton as well as Australian George Lazenby, it was the scruffy ego of Pierce Brosnan that would drag the character into the 21st century.
Then, in October 2005, it was announced that Daniel Craig would take up the illustrious mantle of the iconic character, taking the British spy to new uncharted territory that would expose his deep-rooted scars and personal shortcomings. With No Time to Die, the actor’s final film as James Bond imminently arriving, the discussion has already begun as to who should take over from Craig in the influential role.
Speaking to the Radio Times, Daniel Craig has suggested that the actor to take over from his tenure should probably not be a woman. “There should simply be better parts for women and actors of colour,” the actor said. “Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?” he added.
Meanwhile, whilst many agree with Craig, numerous others also believe that the character requires a serious revamp, with No Time to Die star Lashana Lynch stating in an interview that Bond “could be a man or woman” or “white, black, Asian, mixed-race…They could be young or old,” she said, before adding: “At the end of the day, even if a two-year-old was playing Bond, everyone would flock to the cinema to see what this two-year-old’s gonna do, no?”.
Such calls for change are joined by the former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan who stated to The Hollywood Reporter, “I think we’ve watched the guys do it for the last 40 years, get out of the way, guys, and put a woman up there. I think it would be exhilarating, it would be exciting”.
So, with the discussions as to who should replace Daniel Craig primed to begin, we take a look at the ten female actors who would make a great James Bond.
Top 10 female actors who would make a great James Bond:
10. Letitia Wright
At the age of 27, Letitia Wright would make for a young version of James Bond, though her track record in film and television shows that she would certainly have all the acting potential to play the influential character.
Having shown her capabilities for high-profile action scenes in Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame and Black Panther as Shuri, Wright has also demonstrated her capabilities for compelling dramatic roles, having starred in Humans for Channel 4 and Steve McQueen’s Small Axe series. Having shined alongside the towering likes of the late Chadwick Boseman and Mark Ruffalo, Letitia Wright would be an inspired choice of casting.
9. Gemma Chan
Another actor who shined during her time on the Channel 4 series, Humans, this isn’t the only similarity Gemma Chan shares with the aforementioned Letitia Wright, with Chan also enjoying success with the Marvel cinematic universe.
Unusually appearing as two different characters in the universe, Gemma Chan appears as Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel and Sersi in the upcoming Eternals film from Chloé Zhao. In addition, Chan has also enjoyed success with action roles in Transformers: The Last Knight and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, showing that she is certainly capable of taking on James Bonds’ espionage activities.
8. Lupita Nyong’o
An extraordinary acting talent, the Academy-award winning Lupita Nyong’o for Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, has since been catapulted into international acclaim with multiple high-profile roles.
Proving her terrifying dramatic potential in Jordan Peele’s Us, as well as her role as an undercover spy in the cultural gamechanger Black Panther, there is no doubt that Lupita Nyong’o could take on the iconic character of James Bond. Whilst she was asked to come onboard for No Time to Die in a supporting role, perhaps the biggest question is less ‘would Lupita Nyong’o be cast’ and more ‘would Lupita Nyong’o want to take the role’.
7. Claire Foy
Having already demonstrated both sides to the character of James Bond throughout her previous filmography, the casting of Claire Foy as the iconic spy should be a considered choice for James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli.
Showing her regal sophistication in the award-winning portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s The Crown, Foy has also illustrated her darker, fierce side as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Showing the international popularity to take on the famous character, Foy could take Bond to uncharted territory, continuing the work of Daniel Craig in portraying a broken individual still bruised from their past. Simply look no further than her performance in Steven Soderbergh’s Unsane.
6. Tessa Thompson
To see just why Tessa Thompson would make an excellent James Bond, look no further than her role as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame, playing a character as physically dominant as she is charismatically charming.
Looking further through Tessa Thompson’s filmography only details more reasons why she should be considered for the role, with an impressive acting range that covers everything from drama to action to comedy. Playing Josie Radek in Alex Garland’s Annihilation as well as Charlotte Hale in HBO’s fantastic Westworld, Tessa Thompson has delivered consistently powerful performances that are only getting better and better.
5. Vanessa Kirby
One of the finest working British actors, Vanessa Kirby has the international stature necessary to take on the role of Britain’s most influential spy, having also appeared in multiple blockbuster action roles.
Having starred as the White Widow in Mission: Impossible – Fallout as well as Hattie, the sister of Jason Statham’s Shaw in Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw, Vanessa Kirby has demonstrated her capabilities for the role of James Bond by taking part in several exhilarating action set-pieces. In addition, Kirby has also shown she has the quality to take the Bond character to new heights, with captivating performances in Pieces of a Woman, The World to Come and the TV series The Crown.
4. Lashana Lynch
Already due to appear in Daniel Craig’s final film as James Bond, No Time to Die, it is believed Lashana Lynch’s Nomi will take on the 007 title while the character is in exile, theoretically becoming the very first black female actor to take on the character.
Of course, 007 is merely a title, though this is not to say that Lynch could never take on the lead role of the iconic character, particularly as she has already proven her worth in an action role in Captain Marvel. Speaking to Harper’s Bizarre about her latest role in the film, she commented: “I didn’t want to waste an opportunity when it came to what Nomi might represent. I searched for at least one moment in the script where Black audience members would nod their heads, tutting at the reality but glad to see their real life represented”.
As an incredible actor at the prime of her career, she would be perfect in the lead role.
3. Tilda Swinton
Want to take the James Bond character to totally new territory? There is perhaps no better choice than Tilda Swinton, an actor capable of taking the character and transforming it into something and someone far more complex.
One of the finest actors of this generation, Tilda Swinton is a fierce Oscar-winning performer, famed for roles in Michael Clayton, We Need to Talk About Kevin and Only Lovers Left Alive. A dramatic actor of extraordinary capabilities, Swinton is also not foreign to an action role, having appeared as The Ancient One in Doctor Strange as well as Gabriel in Constantine.
Want to totally revamp the James Bond character, giving them a new dark sincerity? Look no further than Tilda Swinton.
2. Michaela Coel
Often in the casting of a brand new James Bond actor, one of the key requirements is their lack of significant fame, with this certainly being the case for Daniel Craig whose casting back in 2005 was met with scepticism.
The same could be perceived for Michaela Coel, who despite not having a vast array of credits, has shown her capabilities to take on the role with captivating dramatic performances in both Black Earth Rising and I May Destroy You.
Having successfully written the TV series Chewing Gum and also directing I May Destroy You, Coel is a revolutionary creative talent wishing to push to the boundaries of the medium and tell stories of genuine contemporary pertinence. If she didn’t become the next James Bond, she should certainly become the writer and director of the next of the characters’ adventures.
1. Jodie Comer
There is perhaps no better working actor who possesses such a perfect mix of the stereotypical traits to play the James Bond character than Jodie Comer, having appeared in a vast array of dramatic and action-orientated roles.
Best known for her Emmy award-winning role as Villanelle in Killing Eve, where she displays both an immeasurable level of charm as well as a fiendish streak of evil, Comer has also bolstered such a performance with a wide array of dramatic successes.
Playing Elizabeth of York in The White Princess as well as the gun-wielding Mille alongside Ryan Reynolds in Free Guy, Jodie Comer has shown glimpses of her potential as the James Bond character. It would be glorious.