James Norton has said he felt “unattractive and disempowered” during his school years.
The War & Peace star, rumoured to be the next James Bond, told Man About Town magazine he was bullied at the boarding school he attended.
He said: “I was the kid at the all-boys boarding school who was bullied, whose younger years were definitely spent at the bottom of the pile feeling unattractive and disempowered.”
Asked about his “pin-up status”, Norton said: “You never fully know how to deal with it but that pin-up status is really nothing to do with me and everything to do with others. That stuff is created around you, not by you. As soon as people deem you a pin-up they expect you to have this extra special power, to walk into every room powerfully, but you don’t. It’s not real.”
He added: “When people credit me with having ‘a pin-up pout’ now, it doesn’t mean anything because my bones are not that. But I do have moments when I’m being shot by a great photographer, wearing great clothes, when the little unattractive bullied kid in me is laughing his f***ing head off.”
On the rumours he will replace Daniel Craig as 007, he said: “For that younger version of me inside of me, it’s fun and flattering and ridiculous and great. If I was to tell my 16-year-old self that even three people in the world would consider that I could play that role he’d turn to those bullies and go, ‘Just you f***ing wait!’”
Craig will appear as the spy one final time in No Time to Die, which will be released in November after being delayed for 18 months due to the pandemic.