THERE’S been a lot of speculation of late about who’ll be the next James Bond.
And a certain actor stoked the fires when he tweeted: “The name’s Elba. Idris Elba.”
But it strikes me that Sam Heughan might have thrown his hat into the ring to be the second 007 from north of the border as his performance as a steel-jawed MI6 agent in espionage action-comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me could be seen as a perfectly-timed audition tape.
“I like that! Yes, please, that would be fantastic!” laughs the 38-year-old from Dumfries and Galloway.
“There’s definitely a great heritage of action movies that we’re drawing on in The Spy Who Dumped Me, certainly James Bond is one of them, and it would be every boy’s dream to play that role – I’m Scottish, come on!
“I think you could call this a spoof or a parody of a certain well-known James Bond movie from 1977. It definitely is set in that same world and it is a little nod to the Bond movies but not just to them, to other spy movies like the Bourne films as well.
“We shot all over Europe. One of the biggest sequences was shot in Berlin at the Technological Museum – it was incredible.
“There’s one moment when I’m standing on the rooftop and it felt pretty dramatic, like being in a Bond movie.”
Heughan is best known as dashing, red-headed Highland warrior Jamie Fraser in the historical time-travelling series Outlander.
So it’s quite a change to see him as suave English spy Sebastian in the tale of two friends – played by Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon – who get chased through Europe by assassins after discovering one of their ex-boyfriends is a CIA agent.
“He never wears a kilt, he’s English, he doesn’t ride a horse and he’s not a ginger!” grins Heughan.
“Yeah, obviously Jamie Fraser is in the 1700s, it’s very much a period piece, kind of straight drama, though he has a humorous side. But this is a very different project for me. It was fun to do something contemporary and play a spy.
“It was a fantastic experience. This was a great opportunity to do something completely different and Mila and Kate really are so good together, and funny.
“My character’s the straight guy which was great because it was pretty intimidating going up against two comedy greats like Kate and Mila.
“Their friendship, two women who have each other’s back, is the core of this movie and it’s genuine. Those two girls really hit it off plus, there’s some pretty badass action.
“We had a great stunt team led by Gary Powell who was the stunt coordinator on all the Bond films and Bourne films. You can really see it in our movie.
“We had a great stunt team in Budapest who worked really hard, we were rehearsing the stunts every day.
“I got to do all of the fight sequences. Obviously there are certain things I just couldn’t do, like the parkour stuff, which was just insane but they did such a great job and I enjoyed every moment of it.
“That’s the thing, people will just enjoy it, it’s so fun. And they’ll enjoy the action. See if you can see where I break my ankle like Tom Cruise did filming Mission: Impossible . . . no, I didn’t!”
The Spy Who Dumped Me (15) is in cinemas from Wednesday, August 22.