Liam Neeson Rejected James Bond Role Because Of His Wife

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Liam Neeson revealed that producer Barbara Broccoli reached out to him numerous times in the 1990s. Apparently, she wanted to know if he was interested in playing the role of 007. That’s right, Liam Neeson was almost James Bond. Neeson had recently been nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars for Schindler’s List. Many were surprised to find out that Neeson turned down the opportunity to play such an iconic action star. However, for him, the final decision came down to his wife, Natasha Richardson.

When asked about the role of 007, Neeson said “I know the Broccolis. They looked at a bunch of actors. ‘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.’”

Liam Neeson And His Wife

Neeson added that “She gave me a James Bond ultimatum. 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!” Apparently, Neeson’s love for Richardson was stronger than his desire to play the iconic action star. Therefore, he never had a serious meeting with Broccoli. However, Neeson loved to tease Broccoli about the situation. He would do so by “going behind her back, making my fingers as though I’m holding a gun, and [humming the James Bond theme].” He said he “loved doing that shit!”

Thankfully, Neeson got a second chance at further stardom with the Taken movie franchise. He was also in the Star Wars franchise as Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. However, that is not a franchise he is interested in returning to. He recently said on Watch What Happens Live! that he wouldn’t return. “There’s so many spinoffs of ‘Star Wars.’” he said. “It’s diluting it to me, and it’s taken away the mystery and the magic in a weird way.” Watch Neeson’s most recent performance in the film Marlowe now playing in theaters.


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