Cliff Curtis not interested in playing Bond villain

Cliff Curtis won’t be putting his name forward to play the next James Bond henchman, he told Māori Television a month after a search was launched for a Māori actor to star in the new 007 film. 

“It might be an opportunity for someone else,” he says.

The successful actor spoke to Māori Television last night at the NZ premiere of his latest Hollywood blockbuster, The Meg, at Auckland’s Civic Theatre.

He says the James Bond role is an opportunity for other Māori actors to shine.

“There’s so many. I wouldn’t want to limit the possibilities. I like the idea that there’s a lot of new talent coming through. There’s plenty of space for everybody to have their turn.”

A casting call revealed by an unofficial 007 fan site last month said producers were seeking a Russian male villain, a Russian female, and a Māori henchman for the new Bond film, starring Daniel Craig as the famous British spy.

The film will be written and directed by Oscar-winner Danny Boyle, who made Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire and directed Curtis in the film Sunshine.

The Māori supporting role was looking for someone between 35 and 55 years old with advanced physical, fighting and stage combat skills.

In 2002, Māori actor Lawrence Makoare played henchman Mr Kil opposite Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in Lee Tamahori's Die Another Day.

The new James Bond film is scheduled to begin shooting in December, with its release in October next year.

Watch our full interview with Cliff Curtis and Tom Hern at the premiere event: