Who will play the next James Bond? The hunt for the next 007 is shrouded in secrecy and speculation. At Timothy Spall's art preview last night, we asked iconic playwright and theatre director Steven Berkoff, who once played a Bond villain, his ideal successor for the role.
“You need somebody who has brilliant and articulation and a great voice. And Ithought the ideal person would be Benedict Cumberbatch because he looks good,he’s very strong, he’s physical and he has an amazing voice," Berkoff said.Why is the voice so important? "If you don’t have a good voice then that doesn’t work. A great voice can dominate a film." The other upside? "If you have a great voice you don’t have to do so many stunts," Berkoff said.
Actor and stuntman David Leitch is currently campaigning for a Best Stunts Oscar. Berkoff agrees there should be one. "You’ve got to try and copy the mannerism of the actor and then do the stunt and take risks with your life! It’s the most brilliant thing. It’s absolutely mandatory that you should get a little award for that." Should BAFTA do the same? "Of course."
We spoke with the man of the evening, Timothy Spall and his actor son Rafe, who turned out in support. "I don't really quite know how it happens so every time I finish a painting I have no idea how I'm going to do the next one," Timothy said. "It's a whole discipline I don't know. So when people turn up and they go 'I like that', well that's nice," Tim said.
"I grew up with my dad drawing on the back of his scripts," Rafe reminisced. "Before he went to RADA he did an art foundation. I used to draw a lot as a kid because of him. He would draw from his mind never from life. That was very inspirational. He's a pure creative spirit."
Bill Nighy also popped his head in. He arrived fashionably late dressed in an immaculate suit, admired the art with a friend, caught up with fellow actors and went on his way. It was his night off after all, he told us.