Inside James Bond and Skyfall’s Gay Subtext


Apparently Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem (who plays the current Bond villain Silva) have an "erotically charged scene" in Skyfall (above) in which Silva strokes Bond's chest.

Bond reportedly asks the villain: "What makes you think this is my first time?"

Movieline's Frank Diagiacomo asked Craig about it at the press junket:

"What are you going to do?"  Craig replied breezily, getting a nice laugh from the crowd, but then he added: "I don't see the world in sexual divisions."  He then  changed the subject from Bond to to Bardem's wonderfully flamboyant character, Silva. "Someone suggested that Silva may be gay," Craig said with a big smile. "And I'm like, I think he'll f**k anything."

Producers suggest it's all a power struggle. As for Bardem:

Asked how Silva's "sexuality informed [Bardem's] interpretation of the character, the actor responded; "It  was part of the game, but it’s not entirely the game."  Bardem explained that his "main goal" as Silva was creating "uncomfortable situations" for anyone who crossed his path. "Within that, you can read anything that you want or wish," Bardem said. "But  it was more about putting the other person in a very uncomfortable situation where even James Bond doesn't know how to get out of it."

More at Movieline.

It's worth noting that back in 2006 Craig reportedly suggested to producers that they give Bond a gay scene.


  1. AngelaChanning says

    Oh great…We are now back to being portrayed as the sexual aggressors. Poor James Bond! Even HE does not know how to get out of it, despite getting out shark tanks, runaway cars, crashing planes, you name it. At least Daniel Craig handles the matter with some amount of class.

  2. Bob says

    I think this says clearly that the Bardem character is not Gay, but sexually opportunistic, and willing to use sex as power.
    @ANGELACHANNING— some of us ARE the sexual aggressor, like ME!!!!!!!!
    Who the hell are you to say Gays are not all over the spectrum, and, if you are actually a woman, are you sure you are not just putting down male assertiveness with your comment? Are Gay boys easier for YOU to deal with when they kiss lesbo-ass?

  3. AngelaChanning says

    Andrew, of course, I don’t expect nicey-nice portrayals but I do have hopes that some movie producers would not revert to old stereotypes, especially when the franchise has been updated so well. I would have expected this during the Roger Moore period. But, I realize I am jumping to conclusions based on the internets. I will watch the movie and keep an open mind. 😉

  4. Tim NC says

    “It’s worth noting that back in 2006 Craig reportedly suggested to producers that they give Bond a gay scene.”

    Craig has also suggested in the past that Bond be given a scene with full-frontal nudity. When is that going to happen?

  5. jj says

    I’ll keep an open mind, too, but having just re-read “The Celluloid Closet,” I’m doubtful. Oh, and if you want to see “The New Normal” in a new light, re-read “The Celluloid Closet.” That book is mindblowing.

  6. Mike says

    Without having seen this, I’ll reserve my final comment, but it sounds like it has nothing to do with sex, and everything to do with power, and domination. For example, a lot of people still think that rape is about sex, when it is actually about power, domination, degradation, and violence.

  7. says

    People constantly talk about gay characters recreating stereotypes – the sissy gay, the predator gay, the unsexual best friend gay, etc – but I’m not sure what sort of gay character would NOT be a stereotype at this point. Even the hyper-masculine-oh-wait-he’s-actually-gay character is now a stereotype, yeah?

    Maybe all these movies where characters aren’t necessarily given overt heterosexuality (in the form of a female partner for instance) are to automatically assumed to be gay and that way Hollywood is actually creating a lot of gay roles! It’s just the way it is that the gay men that people can instantly identify as homosexual are ones that adhere to some sort of “cliche”.

    Of course, saying that, it’s as if these stereotypes don’t really exist when they actually do. Anyone complaining about gay stereotypes is probably internalising their homophobia or just isn’t opening their eyes to the world.

    The “stereotype” we have of James Bond is that he’s an alpha male who can get all the ladies he likes, but he’s never once found himself up against a villain that is willing to exploit Bond’s sexuality rather than just tie him up and hope he doesn’t escape before the bomb goes off. “even HE doesn’t know how to get out of it” I imagine many gay people would be uncomfortable at a heterosexual making sexual advances at them if it’s not the norm.

  8. AngelaChanning says

    Bob, you are making too many assumptions about who I am and what I am thinking. JJ actually brought up what I meant to reference, regarding Hollywood’s early history as portraying gays as depraved or being predators to straight men…i.e. conversion. The Celluloid Closet is also a great documentary. I already acknowledged that I made a judgement about a movie I have not seen. For the record, I am gay, out, and have no hidden self-loathing. ::Rolling eyes::

  9. Iban4yesu says

    “thought we had finally gotten beyond the only gay character in a movie being evil”

    How about the new Q, which is played by the openly bi sweetie, Ben Whitshaw….. Is he identifiably straight? We’ll see…

    Dir. Sam Mendes made the Scott Bakula +1 next door gay couple the most normal characters in American Beauty….

  10. matthew says

    How can we judge the sexuality of a character in a film that has not been seen yet. I am more inclined to go along with the interpretation of the character of the person that played the character, and his interpretation seems to be that the character is not gay but sexually opportunistic sort of the evil version of Bond, and that he uses it as a way to put people in situations that they don’t know how to get out of and thus puts him in the position of power.

  11. Michael says

    Craig’s Bond does NOT read heterosexual. He exudes sexuality, much more so than any total heterosexual nor homosexual possibly could. IMO the character comes across as pansexual.

  12. Tim says

    So, we’re only going to be happy when the only way a gay character is portrayed is as the superhero that looks, acts and sounds like a straight man but goes home to his husband? I think I’ve met enough gay men in my years to know that I’ve yet to actually meet someone like that, yet the “stereotypes” being referred to all remind me of at least someone I’ve met along the way. Mostly all perfectly lovely people, regardless of what “stereotype” label you want to throw at them.

    As far as the predator goes, I would only call this villain a predator if his reason for capturing Bond was for sexual purposes, which it doesn’t seem to be. It’s part of his interrogation of him (seemingly).

    Can’t wait to see this. Love Bond, Daniel Craig and Bardem.

  13. Relic says

    First time commenter here.

    I had the pleasure of seeing a preview screening of Skyfall, and I completely agree with Javier Bardem’s explanation of that scene: it is all about the power struggle between the two. Yes, it is sexually charged, but it doesn’t comes across as gratuitous. His need to make the situation as uncomfortable for Bond is palpable, and it makes for a really intense scene.

    On a side not, his character also makes out with a woman in the film, so the character’s sexuality seems murky at best.

    The film is amazing, BTW.

  14. Daniel says

    The new movie looks good, gay villains or otherwise. I’ve always thought that Daniel Craig made a great Bond, although I think it is fair to say that casting him in that role does rather challenge the traditional perception of Bond as a red blooded secret agent. The media images of the body beautiful Craig (which was never an issue with previous Bonds) only adds to this. I know Craig is married, but the tape of him at certainly makes for interesting viewing….

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