Benicio Del Toro Tells Broccolis Clive Owen Should Be Bond

Oscar-winning actor lobbies for his 'Sin City' co-star.

Clive Owen is keeping so tight-lipped about his possible casting as the next James Bond that he won't even divulge whether he likes his martini shaken or stirred. His "Sin City" co-star Benicio Del Toro, however, is trying to help the smooth-talking Brit obtain his License to Kill.

"That's right," Del Toro said of Owen being his choice for Bond, "and I made the phone call. I told him I made the phone call."

Del Toro, the Oscar-winning star who started out in Hollywood with a small part in the Timothy Dalton Bond movie "License to Kill," said that he still has a direct line to the Broccoli family, which has owned the rights to 007 for decades. He said he's urged Barbara Broccoli, the producer of the upcoming "Casino Royale," to cast Owen.

"I would definitely put the word in for him. He's just a very good actor, Clive Owen, and a good man," Del Toro said.

With "Die Another Day" star Pierce Brosnan not involved in the upcoming film, the Broccoli family has been busy lately as they look at possible Bonds while denying a list of rumors longer than Q's inventory of gadgets. Owen has been mentioned as a potential Brosnan successor ever since he sported a tux in 1998's "Croupier," but he's consistently declined opportunities to lobby for the role publicly.

"You know, anything that I do ... it's never been official," Owen squirmed. "There's never been any approach. There have just been things written in various publications, but there's no ... you know, it's not substantiated in any way at all."

Regardless, Del Toro says Owen has the right stuff to follow in the footsteps of legendary secret agents like Sean Connery and Roger Moore. "He's the obvious one, man," the actor insists. "He's got that get-down macho thing. And I think the ladies like him a lot. And you need to have that there in a Bond movie."

Owen said he appreciates his friend's intervention on his behalf, but maybe Barbara Broccoli should be looking for the first Puerto Rican James Bond instead. "I think Benicio should do it," Owen laughed. "I'm going to have to make a phone call for him."

Is Clive really the answer? Check out our feature "Saving Agent Bond" for 007 ways that the Bond camp can revivie the film world's longest running franchise.

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