Film

Ben Whishaw says No Time to Die’s fleeting coming out scene was ‘unsatisfying’

Josh Milton February 1, 2022
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A still image from the James Bond film Skyfall in which James Bond meets Q for the first time

The latest James Bond film No Time to Die quietly appears to confirm that Q is queer. (YouTube/James Bond 007)

Ben Whishaw has said he felt No Time to Die‘s fleeting reference to Q’s sexuality was “unsatisfying”.

The waifish British actor, known for playing the gadget-making Quartermaster in the James Bond film franchise, opened up about how “some things were not great” about the 2021 film when it came to Q’s sexuality.

In a brief scene, James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Eve Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) ask for Q’s support as they burst into his apartment with the dining table neatly laid out.

A flustered Q attempts to shoo them off: “He will be here in 20 minutes,” Q tells the duo of his date who will be there at any moment.

It amounted to an easily edited-out pronoun and was pretty much never mentioned again, but the scene was the first acknowledgement of Q being part of the LGBT+ community in the action-espionage franchise, with Whishaw playing the tech specialist for the last three films.

Ben Whishaw had to ‘accept’ Q’s coming out scene was ‘unsatisfying’

But looking back, Ben Whishaw, 41, told The Guardian that as much as the studio was in no way browbeaten into doing the scene, it in no way lived up to the hype it first touched off.

Other than a text from It’s a Sin creator Russell T Davies, the Paddington voice actor received little to no feedback about the scene – whether to be positive, negative or even neutral.

“I’m very happy to admit maybe some things were not great about that [creative] decision,” Whishaw, who is openly gay, told the newspaper.

“I suppose I don’t feel it was forced upon the studio,” he added. “That was not my impression of how this came about.

“I think it came from a good place.”

Ben Whishaw (L) and Clara Amfo at the world premiere of No Time to Die. (Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and Universal Pictures)

Concerned about how the scene would come across, Ben Whishaw initially told producer Barbara Broccoli: “Are we doing this, and then 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,” Whishaw added. “But it’s a very big machine. I thought a lot about whether I should question it.

“Finally, I didn’t. I accepted this was what was written. And I said lines. And it is what it is.”

While Q’s subtle coming out scene didn’t exactly break any barriers, Whishaw hopes that Daniel Craig’s replacement does.

Last year, Ben Whishaw told Attitude magazine that it would be “extraordinary” for the actor taking over the role Craig held for more than a decade to be a member of the LGBT+ community.

“I really believe that we should be working towards a world where anyone can play anything,” he said, “and it would be really thrilling if it didn’t matter about someone’s sexuality to take on a role like this.”

More: ben whishaw, Daniel Craig, James Bond, No Time To Die

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