Idris Elba Distances Himself from James Bond Rumors: I Don't Play Roles That 'Solely Define Me'

Idris Elba still isn't convinced about signing on as the next Bond

Idris Elba is distancing himself from the world’s most famous secret agent.

PEOPLE’s reigning Sexiest Man Alive opened up in a new interview with the Daily Mail‘s Event about the consistent rumors that he’s taking over for Daniel Craig in the James Bond franchise. Craig is set to retire from the role after he wraps up the next installment.

“Bond is one of the biggest franchises in the world, and for that reason, whoever ends up playing it, lives it,” Elba, 46, said in the interview. “You’re THAT character, and known as that character for many, many years. I’m creating characters now that can still live alongside Idris. Not ones that take over me and solely define me.”

"The Dark Tower" Photocall
Dia Dipasupil/Getty

Elba’s name has been bounced around as a future Bond for years now, including in 2014 when an email leaked from Sony Pictures senior executive Amy Pascal revealed her feeling that “Idris should be the next Bond.”

At the time of the leak, Elba said on a Reddit AMA that he would “absolutely” take the role if it was offered to him.

Elba also talked about that hilarious selfie with Craig at the Golden Globes. In the shot, Craig, 50, smiled knowingly at Elba, who wore a nervous look on his face. “Awks,” Elba wrote over the photo.

But Elba told Event that the picture didn’t mean anything other than a silly moment between the two.

“We just did it on the spur of the moment, thought it would be a laugh. It was a selfie. Didn’t realize it would be picture of the year,” Elba said.

The actor next stars as the bad guy in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw opposite Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, out in theaters Aug. 2.

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