The James Bond casting director for more than 40 years has explained why the producers have never cast a “younger” person for the lead role. Speaking to RadioTimes, Debbie McWilliams–who has been the James Bond casting director since 1981–said younger actors who tried out over the years lacked a level of “gravitas” required for the role.
“We did look at a lot of younger actors and I just don’t think they had the gravitas, they didn’t have the experience, they didn’t have the mental capacity to take it on, because it’s not just the part they’re taking on, it’s a massive responsibility,” McWilliams said. “So we kind of scrubbed that idea and went back to the drawing board and started again.”
Of course, “young” is a relative term. The youngest actor to ever play James Bond was George Lazenby, who was 29 during the filming of 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Daniel Craig, who played James Bond in five films wrapping up with No Time To Die, was 38 when he played James Bond for the first time in Casino Royale. Henry Cavill was 22 when he auditioned to play James Bond for Casino Royale, a film that McWilliams was involved with.