Phoebe Waller-Bridge Was Not A 'James Bond' Diversity Hire, Thank You Very Much

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Not only can James Bond take down villains, he can easily put reporters in their place when they ask a question he doesn't like. In a new interview with The Sunday Times, published on Nov. 3, Daniel Craig explained why Phoebe Waller-Bridge was hired for the new James Bond film, No Time to Die. And he swiftly shut down the reporter in the process after he asked if the Emmy-winning actor-writer was hired in part because of her gender.

Speaking about the decision to bring on the Fleabag star and creator to polish the newest James Bond script, according to Indiewire, the reporter asked if it was meant make the James Bond canon more diverse. Craig, however, immediately shut down the notion that Waller-Bridge being a woman had anything to do with it. “Look, we’re having a conversation about Phoebe’s gender here, which is f*cking ridiculous,” Craig said. “She’s a great writer. Why shouldn’t we get Phoebe onto Bond?”

Craig continued, clarifying why Waller-Bridge was actually hired. “I know where you’re going, but I don’t actually want to have that conversation,” he told the reporter. “I know what you’re trying to do, but it’s wrong. It’s absolutely wrong. She’s a f*cking great writer. One of the best English writers around. I said, ‘Can we get her on the film?’ That’s where I came from.” Points were made.

Craig then explained that he first became aware of Waller-Bridge's talent through Fleabag. But it was her other famous show that hooked Craig in and made him advocate for her hiring. “Then I saw Killing Eve and what she did with that and just wanted her voice," he explained. "It is so unique — we are very privileged to have her on board."

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In April 2019, one of the film's producers confirmed that Craig recommended Waller-Bridge to be a writer on No Time to Die, a suggestion that everyone immediately agreed with. "We all leapt to it, we loved her," producer Barbara Broccoli told Good Morning Britain in an interview. "She has made a great contribution to it."

While Craig made it clear that Waller-Bridge was hired for her wits and talent alone, she is still the first woman to write on a Bond film since the 1960s, when Johanna Norwood contributed to 1963 film From Russia with Love. And this distinction is no less important.

In fact, the hiring of a woman off-screen could potentially even lead to the first female actor to play James Bond, something which Craig is open to. "I think that ­everybody should be ­considered," Craig told The Mirror about who could follow in his footsteps as Bond. "Also for women and for African-Americans, there should be great parts anyway, across the board."

Craig has said that No Time to Die will mark both the 25th film in the franchise and his last time playing the role as Bond, so don't be too surprised if you see a woman next time around. Perhaps Waller-Bridge will make the jump from writer to actor? The world would like to see it.