The latest James Bond film injected a little blink-and-you'll-miss-it queer representation into the franchise by having tech expert Q, who helps Bond with his gadgets, mention a date with a man. But many felt unsatisfied -- including the actor who plays Q himself.
Ben Whishaw, who is gay IRL, has been playing Q in the Daniel Craig Bond films since 2012 and had one scene in the latest, No Time to Die, that seemingly confirmed his sexuality. In the scene, Bond and Moneypenny (Moonlight's Naomie Harris) show up at Q's house when he's getting ready for a date, leaving him flustered.
Q tells the two spies they need to leave his house as he's meeting someone for the "first time" and "he's coming in 20 minutes." He also asks Bond, "can't a guy have a nice night to himself for once?"
When Tom Lamont from The Guardian asked about the scene and said it didn't sit right with him, Whishaw said he was interested to hear why. Lamont said that to him, it felt rushed and timid, as if it was a "creative decision taken grudgingly or embarrassedly."
"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," Whishaw replied. He also said he had similar feelings when the idea of bringing up Q's sexuality was first explained to him in a meeting with producer Barbara Broccoli.
"I think I remember feeling something like what you've just described," he said. "I think I thought, 'are we doing this and then doing nothing with it?' I remember, perhaps, feeling that was unsatisfying."
"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," he continued. "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."
With No Time to Die, Craig is leaving the franchise, meaning that a new Bond will soon be announced. Many fans are hoping for a Bond who isn't a cis, straight, white man, but it remains to be seen if we'll get any of those things. If the Bond franchise wants to get serious about LGBTQ+ inclusion and representation, perhaps it's time for a queer 007.