Ben Whishaw Admits the Reveal That His James Bond Character Is Gay Felt 'Unsatisfying'

"I thought, 'Are we doing this, and then doing nothing with it?' " Ben Whishaw remembers thinking of the No Time to Die moment

Ben Whishaw at the World Premiere of "NO TIME TO DIE" at the Royal Albert Hall on September 28, 2021 in London
Ben Whishaw. Photo: Jeff Spicer/Getty

Ben Whishaw wanted more from his James Bond character's big reveal.

The Emmy winner plays tech expert Q in the Daniel Craig 007 movies Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015) and last year's No Time to Die, which serves as the last entry featuring Craig, 53, in the lead.

During one scene in No Time to Die, it's hinted that Q is gay when he mentions he has a date with a man — though Whishaw, 41, admitted to The Guardian that he thought the moment was too underplayed.

"I suppose I don't feel it was forced upon the studio. That was not my impression of how this came about. I think it came from a good place," he said of the reveal, adding, "And I think I remember feeling something like what you've just described. I think I thought, 'Are we doing this, and then doing nothing with it?' "

"I remember, perhaps, feeling that was unsatisfying," said Whishaw.

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Ben Whishaw. Karwai Tang/WireImage

"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," continued Whishaw. "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, an openly gay actor, also told the outlet his thoughts on straight actors playing gay roles: "I'm critical if I don't think the performance is, from my subjective experience, accurate. I might think, 'I don't believe you!' And even a small moment of hesitation or inauthenticity will block my engagement with the whole story."

He added, "I just feel that we can end up arguing over these black-and-white things and get extremely polarized over these questions when I don't think it needs to be that way. Have a discussion. There can be disagreement. There can be different points of view."

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In September, Whishaw told Attitude magazine his thoughts on a gay actor taking over the role of James Bond post-Craig.

"God, can you imagine? I mean, it would be quite an extraordinary thing," Whishaw said. "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."

He added, "I think that would be real progress. But we'll see, we'll see where we're at. I'm amazed by how much has changed just in the last five or six years, so we'll see."

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