Liam Neeson explains why he turned down James Bond

News Simon Brew 10 Mar 2014 - 06:44

Liam Neeson was linked to the role of James Bond in the 1990s - and here's why he resisted it...

We missed this story, which popped up in the Hull Daily Mail the week before last. But we suspect that many of you may have missed it too, and thought you may be interested.

While promoting his new hit movie Non-Stop, Liam Neeson chatted about the role of James Bond, with which he was heavily linked in the 1990s. "I was heavily courted, let's put if that way, and I'm sure some other actors were too", he said.

So why did he turn it down?

"It was about 18 or 19 years ago, and my wife-to-be said 'if you play James Bond we're not getting married. And I had to take that on board, because I did want to marry her!'"

Neeson's of course referring to Natasha Richardson, who he went on to marry, and the two were married from 1994 through to her tragic death in 2009.

As we charted in this feature here, Neeson was in line for a second remake of Thunderball, under the guidance of Kevin McClory, that would have been an 'unofficial' James Bond movie. But it all never came to pass.

Non-Stop, meanwhile, has already taken over $50m at the US box office, and marks his latest action thriller hit.

Here's the full interview at the Hull Daily Mail.

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That's possibly the best reason to do anything (or not), ever.

I wonder why she didn't want him to do it, though. I mean, being married to Bond would be pretty hot.

Perhaps because she thought it would take over his life and mean too much time away from home on location?

I missed this too... and I'm from Hull! Good old Hull Daily Mail.

The same interview was also in the Friday (7th March) edition of my local paper the Shropshire Star. I thought it would have made more sense to have published it alongside the actual film review the week before.

And there would probably also have been a whole load of media hype/intrusion to deal with. Not to mention nit-picking from Bond fans etc.

Neeson would have killed the franchise as stone-dead as his acting 'style. The mere idea of a lunking dunderklumpen as 007 is as implausible as casting Frankenstein's monster as Bond.

Of course the McClory 'franchise' never got off the ground, thank the maker.

Is he talking about the McClory project or replacing Pierce?

Personally I think he would be a better choice now than back then

I wouldn't describe Daniel Craig's surly monosyllabic Bond as being a million miles away from Liam Neeson's action roles.

coulda worked

An Irish guy playing Bond, yeah that's really likely ;)

This is such a bs reason. If they (the Hull Daily Mail) are gonna run with the story, at least find out a real reason

about as likely as a Welsh guy playing Batman...

Or a Frenchman playing a Scot, and a Scot playing a Spaniard...

He wasn't Spanish, he was Egyptian... pretending to be Spanish, played by a Scotsman.

obviously you have never heard of Pierce Brosnan.

No he was a Zeistian pretending to be Egyptian, pretending to be Spanish, played by a Scotsman.


We don't mention the Z word around here because it never happened.

Amen to that, brother

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