Phoebe Waller-Bridge shoots down claims she was hired to help write 'No Time to Die' because she's a woman

Phoebe Waller-Bridge attends the 2019 British Academy Britannia Awards, 2019. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Daniel Craig has already called speculation that Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge was hired to help give the latest James Bond film a leg up in the #MeToo era “f***ing ridiculous.” Now the woman herself is speaking out.

Like Craig, who will make his final appearance as 007 in 2020’s No Time to Die, Waller-Bridge is dismissing claims that she was hired to help polish the film’s script because she is a woman.

As the Guardian reports, the Emmy-winning actress and writer took part in a live London event with podcaster Deborah Frances-White of The Guilty Feminist. During the conversation, Waller-Bridge acknowledged being only the second female writer to work on a Bond film — Johanna Harwood wrote for 1962’s Dr. No and 1963’s From Russia With Love — but insisted that her gender wasn’t a factor in getting the gig.

“That didn’t really come into the conversation,” she told Frances-White. “That’s only really the press that have made that thing, in terms of me being a woman, you can see it is a button-pressing thing.

Read more: Bond director confirms Grace Jones rumours

“The reality was I got a call from Barbara [Broccoli, the film’s producer] and Daniel saying, ‘We like your work, can you come in and help us?’ There wasn’t ever really a conversation about can you come in and help us with ‘the ladies.’”

James Bond (Daniel Craig) prepares to shoot in NO TIME TO DIE, a DANJAQ and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. (Credit: Nicola Dove. © 2019 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

She also objected to the notion that filmmakers were virtue-signaling or ticking off some sort of gender quota by hiring her.

“They are proper, amazing producers and writers and actors and suddenly they are reduced to those people?” she said.

Read more: The 50 most exciting movies coming in 2020

While much has been ballyhooed that Waller-Bridge has given Bond a feminist makeover, she downplayed her work on the script as being a “small contribution.”

Phoebe Waller-Bridge attends the 2019 British Academy Britannia Awards, 2019. (Kevin Winter/BAFTA LA/Getty Images for BAFTA LA)

“They said, ‘It will be your take, can you come aboard and help us polish the script?’” she shared. “The characters were there, the story was there, it was just really exciting to be a part of it. There was a bunch of writers, I was a small contribution to this thing.

“I left long before it had finished filming and they are rewriting all the time,” Waller-Bridge added.

No Time to Die will hit cinemas on 8 April, 2020. Watch the first trailer below.