‘James Bond’ Actor Ben Whishaw Said Q’s Coming Out Was ‘Unsatisfying’

The latest James Bond flick, No Time to Die, did just as much to revitalize the franchise with new ideas as it did to conclude the Daniel Craig era. Intentionally calling back to 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the 2021 film is a statement from several angles.

No Time to Die is so completely packed with ideas, in fact, that it buckles under the weight a little. Actor Ben Whishaw, who brought a fresh take to Skyfall‘s Q character, isn’t shy to point out exactly where he thinks a less overstuffed pace might’ve helped the James Bond film. It involves how his character was handled, of course.

Q came out in the most low-key way in No Time to Die

Whishaw is openly gay. His character in the James Bond universe, on the other hand, was left entirely ambiguous. However, this changed with No Time to Die. The movie sets out to humanize Bond and the familiar characters around him in ways few entities in the franchise have. Q was no exception. The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it look into Q’s personal life, as described by Cinema Blend, is a charming moment to be sure.

Q is seen sitting in a restaurant, where he is suddenly interrupted by Bond and Moneypenny. The plot hooks his character right back into the action while giving viewers a mere few seconds’ glimpse at who Q is off the job. Before springing into action, Q says he was waiting for a man to arrive to meet him for dinner.

Q actor Ben Whishaw felt like there wasn’t enough to the reveal

Ben Whishaw attends the answers questions on the red carpet for 'No Time to Die'
No Time to Die actor Ben Whishaw | Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and Universal Pictures

Whishaw speaks in positive terms about his time with the James Bond franchise … most of the time. But, in an interview with The Guardian, he was direct about his feelings on Q’s No Time to Die coming-out moment. The experienced stage, TV, and film actor has seen it all and isn’t shy about contextualizing his experiences in honest ways.

“I think I thought, ‘Are we doing this, and then doing nothing with it?’ I remember, perhaps, feeling that was unsatisfying,” the 41-year-old said. But he decided it wasn’t appropriate to bring up the issue while on set.

“Maybe on another kind of project I would have done? But it’s a very big machine … I said the lines. And it is what it is,” the Whishaw concluded. The scene, to its credit, instantly implies that Q has been openly gay to his colleagues the whole time. But, as Whishaw points out, it’s so brief that some viewers might not notice it at all.

Whishaw’s experience as an award-winning actor helps him look at his roles critically

Whishaw was the sixth actor to take up the mantle of Q. Like any of the major Bond roles, it’s an honor that tends to go only to the most accomplished actors. The Clifton, United Kingdom, native certainly fits the bill, with a career stretching back to 1999’s World War 1 film The Trench, according to IMDb.

The Trench happened to star his Bond cohort, Daniel Craig. But Whishaw’s breakout came later, with his 2001 British Independent Film Award-winning performance in My Brother Tom. From there, he turned to the stage, with critically-praised roles in classics like Hamlet, as well as a notable turn in an adaptation of His Dark Materials.

Having worked with many of the best, brightest British actors of his generation, Whishaw has some suggestions on the future of Bond. He’d like to see a gay actor take up the mantle. And his suggestions are hard to argue against. The immensely talented Bridgerton star Jonathan Bailey, as well as Beauty and the Beast live-action star Luke Evans both, bring major Bond vibes to the role — and both are gay men.

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