Daniel Craig has announced that he is stepping away from the iconic role of superspy James Bond. Already numerous news reports have claimed to identify a host of young leading men as the lock to succeed Craig.
So far, I’ve read “verified reports” that Taron Egerton, Idris Elba, Luke Evans, Richard Madden, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson have all been signed to be the next Bond.
In fact, online sports betting companies are giving odds and taking bets on who will be the next 007. Currently odds are being laid that the likes of Henry Cavill, Tom Hardy, James Norton, and Rege-Jean Page will soon be ordering their martini’s shaken and not stirred.
Some of these actors have come out with statements that they haven’t been signed to play Bond and don’t expect to. But that doesn’t matter. The rumors will persist.
When it was announced that producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson were going to replace Pierce Brosnan with a new actor for Casino Royale, a similar media explosion happened. I should know, I was in the middle of it.
INTO THE FIRE
After it was announced Brosnan wasn’t being brought back as Bond, the media was abuzz with names like Hugh Jackman, Julian McMahon, Clive Owen, and Sam Worthington being a shoe-in to play the MI6 agent.
Then something strange happened. Suddenly my name was in the news linked to being the next James Bond.
Now to be clear, despite what the news was reporting, I was never offered the role of James Bond. I did not turn the role down. I’ve never even had a conversation with Barbara Broccoli.
But, that’s not what the news was reporting.
According to mainstream media, Rikki Lee Travolta was one of a small handful of actors in the final running for Bond. Jackman, Cavill, Owen, Goran Visnjic, and I were apparently battling it out for the role.
In fact, the rumors were so prevalent that gambling institutions around the world were giving me even odds with actors like Jude Law in the Bond race.
While some might humor my ego and credit me with minor fame, I recognize I’m not a widescale household name. Nor am I English. So how then does someone like me end up on the supposed short list for one of the most sought after roles in cinematic history?
PRICE OF BEING NICE
I’m a nice guy. I like to help people when I can.
I had done a small cameo in film. I didn’t think much of it at the time. Apparently, though, the filmmakers had an interesting idea for getting notoriety.
A day after shooting my scene, stories started appearing linking me to Bond. What followed was countless accounts of me being one of the leading contenders to land the role.
These stories littering the news contained fictional quotes that I never said and misrepresentations of my biographical information. They definitely did not originate from my team.
No matter how loudly I denied the rumors, that never made the news. But I did learn a unique set of skills in the years after trying to clean up that mess. PR skills, to be exact.
In fact, I was able to harness those skills and segue from my career as an actor to executive positions running public relations and marketing for some of the biggest brands in the country. My natural spokesperson talents came in handy too.
But I had to learn those skills. When the whole Bond rumors started, I didn’t know what to do.
What I learned having my name in the Bond race back in the days leading up to Daniel Craig landing the role, is that a lot of people in the media are going to report the sensationalist headlines. It’s the nature of the business. Big headlines get big readership. Big readership gets big advertising dollars.
I am not James Bond, nor was I ever going to be. But that’s not a very exciting story.
Barbara Broccoli has said the rumors of the next James Bond having been selected are false, that they haven’t even begun the process. I don’t doubt that. But the rumors will persist.
People have inquisitive minds. People want to know who will follow in the esteemed line of actors to play the most famous spy in history.
If I was to play casting director, of the men who have been in the rumor mill I would be deciding between Henry Cavill or Idris Elba. But everyone has their favorite flavor.
What I am sure of, is that so far I have enjoyed every actor who has played Bond. My favorites is Sean Connery, but they have all been excellent.
So, with an impeccable track record so far, I am sure all the care and consideration necessary will go into the casting the next Bond. It’s a multi-billion dollar franchise, they know what they’re doing.
Peace. Love. Trust.
Rikki Lee Travolta
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