The James Bond film franchise is one of the most prolific and longstanding franchises in cinema history. Anyone who has played the role of the titular character has always made it big in Hollywood. It seems Liam Neeson could have been a Bond, but he chose to marry his wife instead.
While speaking in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Liam Neeson revealed that he was offered the role of James Bond. The actor was fresh off an Oscar nomination for best actor at the time thanks to “Schindler’s List.”
Liam Neeson added that James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli contacted him several times in the 1990s. However, when he asked his wife Natasha Richardson about the offer, she told him if he accepted the role, she would not marry him.
”I know the Broccolis. They looked at a bunch of actors,” Neeson said. “‘Schindler’s List’ had come out and Barbara [Broccoli] had called me a couple of times to ask if I was interested, and I said, ‘Yes, I would be interested.’ And then my lovely wife [Natasha Richardson], God rest her soul, said to me while we were shooting ‘Nell’ down in the Carolinas, ‘Liam, I want to tell you something: If you play James Bond, we’re not getting married.’”
Neeson’s affection for Richardson outweighed his desire to play the iconic role of James Bond, which is why he never seriously entertained any discussions with Broccoli. However, Neeson did enjoy teasing Richardson by humorously “going behind her back” and pretending to hold a gun while humming the James Bond theme song. “I loved doing that stuff!” he confessed.
She gave me a James Bond ultimatum,” Neeson added. “And she meant it! Come on, there’s all those gorgeous girls in various countries getting into bed and getting out of bed. I’m sure a lot of her decision-making was based on that!”
Fortunately for the actor, he had a chance to shine as an action movie star once again with the “Taken” franchise. Neeson also experienced the world of mega-franchises with his role as Qui-Gon Jinn in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,” although he is not currently eager to revisit that universe.
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