Most of the English-speaking world has already delivered a verbal smack down to James Bond author Anthony Horowitz for calling Idris Elba “too street” to play the iconic spy. Now, Elba has responded, too.

While he could have unleashed a rant that would have made Stringer Bell  proud, the British thespian kept it classy and shared a little wisdom he learned on the streets of London–keep smiling.

“Always Keep Smiling,” Elba wrote on Instagram. “It takes no energy and never hurts! Learned that from the Street!”

After being roundly criticized, Horowitz apologized, claiming he “clumsily” picked the word “street” to describe Elba’s role as DCI Luther in the BBC drama.

All of the Bond talk hasn’t phased Elba, who covers this week’s Variety with director Cary Fukunaga.

In the latest issue, Elba talks about his game-changing film Bests of No Nation, which will open in theaters and on Netflix. The movie was shot in his mother’s homeland of Ghana where Elba plays a warlord who turns child soldiers into killing machines.

“Here was this really beautiful point of view which was fascinating for me,” he said in Variety. “We could make a war movie, but this was about a boy coming of age within a new family. How do you humanize someone that’s a dictator to any army of kids? That was massive challenge to me.”

But what about Bond? While Sony executives may have wanted to see Elba in the role, the actor says if fans really want to see him play the super spy, they’ll have to push the issue.

“If human beings want to know if there’s any connectivity between all of us, the one thing I’ve heard around the world universally is that, ‘You’ll be great at James Bond!’” Elba told Variety in August. “If it should happen, that’s proof there’s connectivity amongst human beings. If everyone wants something, they can make it happen.”

Ok, folks. Let’s get to work.

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  • mywordsaremypower

    Love this man. He is so classy. He can never be too street. He would make an excellent bond. Miss Money Penny was black last time. Peoples heads would explode if it was a black duo. I think it would be amazing. The box office would be off the charts. Many people are not fond of bond but they are of Elba.