James Bond: Clifton-born actor Ben Whishaw says he'd like to continue as Q after contract ends with No Time To Die

He has received acclaim as a film, TV and stage actor

Monday, 4th October 2021, 2:13 pm
Updated Monday, 4th October 2021, 3:49 pm

The latest James Bond film No Time To Die has received rave reviews from critics - and stars a former Chronicle Country schoolboy.

Ben Whishaw plays boffin Q in the film - which has become one of the top 10 most expensive movies of all time.

And while his contract to appear as Bond's quartermaster Q has officially come to an end, the 40-year-old actor says he'd like to continue in the role.

Ben Whishaw at the premiere of No Time To Die

He told Yahoo: "I was contracted to do three films. That is obviously up now. And I was wondering if there is a future for me as Q, and I was wondering to myself how I felt about that. And today I woke up and thought 'ooh, maybe I kinda would like to continue'. So we'll see."

Whishaw was born in Clifton and brought up there and in Langford.

A former pupil of Henlow Middle School, he began acting with the Bancroft Players Youth Theatre at Hitchin’s Queen Mother Theatre, and the Big Spirit theatre company when he attended Samuel Whitbread Community College in Clifton.

He graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 2003 and has since gone on to win acclaim as a film, television and stage actor.

He received a BAFTA for his portrayal of Richard II in BBC’s The Hollow crown, based on WilliamShakespeare’s history plays.

And his portrayal of Norman Scott in the miniseries A Very English Scandal saw him pick up the British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.

Meanwhile, younger film-goers may recognise him as the voice of Paddington Bear in the big screen outings of the popular children's character.

Whishaw first appeared as Q in Skyfall (2012), going on to reprise the role in Spectre (2015).

Bookmaker William Hill has cut the odds that No Time To Die will become the highest grossing UK film of all-time, from 10-1 to 7-1.

No Time To Die’s producers - Universal - has said it took somewhere between £4.5 -£5 million on the first day.

But the film, which has faced a series of delays owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, faces external pressures too, with many suggesting it carries the hopes of the industry and its returning to pre-Covid revenues.

It could also prove that such a thing as a “box office hit” still exists.

Previous Bond films Skyfall (£103.2m) and Spectre (£95.2m) are second and third respectively in the all-time UK and Irish box office earnings; both starring Daniel Craig and both trailing 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens (£123.2m).