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Queer as Folk ex-twink Charlie Hunnam is ‘100 per cent’ interested in playing James Bond

Reiss Smith November 5, 2020
Charlie Hunnam

Charlie Hunnam would love to play James Bond. (Getty/Cindy Ord)

Charlie Hunnam said he would he “honoured” to play James Bond amid speculation as to who will replace Daniel Craig.

James Bond is set to change face once again following the (much-delayed) release of No Time To Die, the 25th instalment the franchise and Craig’s swansong.

Hunnam is one of several actors whose name has been linked to the role, and in a recent interview with People, he said he would “100 per cent” be up for a turn as 007.

“I would be so flattered and honoured to be considered to play James Bond as an Englishman,” he said.

However, the 40-year-old, whose big break came playing schoolboy Nathan Maloney in Russell T Davies’ seminal Queer as Folk, said his “intuition” tells him that he won’t be getting the phone call from James Bond’s producers any time soon.

“I think there are many people ahead of me on that list,” he said, dismissing rumours he could take on the role as “external chatter”.

“It’s very flattering sort of fan dialogue,” he added.

“Nobody’s ever, on a professional level from within the industry, brought that up to me.”

Nonetheless, Hunnam said, he’s happy for fans to continue linking his name to Bond’s.

“Maybe that’s the genesis of these things. Maybe fan chatter leads to industry people actually talking about it in a more serious way,” he added.

Charlie Hunnam launched his career with Queer as Folk.

Charlie Hunnam and the cast of Queer as Folk broke new ground in 1999 with their unflinching portrayal of gay life in the UK.

The Channel 4 series was the then-19-year-old’s first major role, following small parts in Byker Grove and My Wonderful Life, and from the offset was unashamedly gay.

The very first episode followed Hunnam’s character, a 15-year-old schoolboy, as he – along with a generation of young gay men – was introduced to the wonders of rimming by Stuart (Aidan Gillen)

“I have very fond memories of it,” Hunnam told The Sun of the show in 2017. “I’m very proud of being a part of that show. I’m very happy when people bring it up.”

Charlie Hunnam as Nathan in Queer as Folk, standing topless
Hunnam was 19 when he played schoolboy Nathan in Queer as Folk. (Channel 4)

Queer as Folk aired while Section 28 – the Conservative policy banning the so-called promotion of homosexuality in schools and by public authorities – was still in effect.

The needle on LGBT+ rights was already moving – Labour had been elected two years earlier, and on the day the first episode premiered, the House of Lords debated the bill that eventually equalised the age of consent.

But Queer as Folk undoubtedly gave Britain something it had arguably never had before: a realistic, authentic and three-dimensional look at gay lives on a national broadcaster, paving the way for every queer show that followed.

“We had complaints everywhere,” creator Russell T Davies told PinkNews at the 2019 PinkNews awards..

“We had complaints from straight people. We had complaints from gay people. But do you know who we had complaints from? Folk dancers. ‘Dear sir, Don’t associate my hobby with rimming and paedophilia.’ Frankly, it’s a fine line between that and the tarantella. Not that much of difference!”

Despite it all, Davies said he had no regrets about making the show in the era he did.

“If I could’ve started writing 20 years earlier, in the 60s and 70s, that would have been glorious,” he said. “But certainly not later, no, I enjoyed being the first with Queer as Folk.

“I loved knocking down the walls, I loved challenging the press, I loved the fight we had to make! It was great fun. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”

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