Even though we’re still two years away from seeing Daniel Craig’s last turn as James Bond, we cannot stop speculating about the next 007, you know, the one that is, like, five years from being a real thing. To that end, Richard Madden is British GQ’s January cover dude and he is, naturally, talking about Bond. Specifically, he’s talking about the rumors that he is the odds-on favorite to be the next Bond, mainly because of his Bond-ish performance in Bodyguard.  Of the rumors he says, “[…] this is what happens with all these shows, like Tom Hiddleston in The Night Manager. Then there’s the next one. I’m the next one. Everyone just loves the rumour mill on that topic. I’m just the current one. There’ll be a different one next week.”

He’s not wrong, that every British actor that appears in something even vaguely spy-thrillery gets talked about as the next Bond (is this why we don’t talk about James McAvoy as the next Bond?). I’m guilty of that—Dev Patel rocketed to the top of my “Next Bond” list after I saw The Wedding Guest at TIFF. And it does feel like the next Bond will just be whatever British actor has most recently starred in a thriller by the time Craig is officially done. 

Being years away from actually needing a new Bond isn’t stopping GQ, though, as they have styled Madden on one of the covers in a tux, posed with a vintage car. It’s all very suggestive. (And hot. Madden is looking REALLY good these days.) And Madden might be self-effacing but he’s not totally disinterested, confessing to reading all the Bond books. So despite obviously not wanting to look over-eager, there is maybe a little thirst there. I mean, of course there is. It’s JAMES BOND. I’m sure every actor under fifty, and more than a few over fifty, want to play Bond. I’m sure Madden wouldn’t mind getting the gig.

Of course, even if he doesn’t get to be Bond, Madden will always be the once and future King in the North. GQ made him revisit the Red Wedding, which he says made him cry the first time he watched it. Yeah, Rich, JOIN THE CLUB. Here he is super hot maybe-Bond watching his TV death for your Friday treat.

Click here for the full GQ feature.