Liam Neeson On Why He Turned Down JAMES BOND

Liam Neeson On Why He Turned Down JAMES BOND

While doing press for his new action movie, Non-Stop, actor Liam Neeson ("The Grey") revealed why he turned down the role of James Bond, which eventually went to Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye (1995). Come check it out.

It's never been a secret that Liam Neeson was at one time in contention for the role of James Bond, but what we didn't know he turned it down. Now the actor has chosen to reveal how closely he was to taking the part and more importantly why he passed up on the opportunity. Nearly two decades ago, the producers of the James Bond films were looking to hire a new 007. Before they cast Pierce Brosnan they looked at other actors, like Mel Gibson, Sam Neill, Hugh Grant and Lambert Wilson. One actor that they looked at that really caught there eye was Liam Neeson. Around that time the Irish actor was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for the role of Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg's 1993 masterpiece Schindler's List. He explains that his then-girlfriend/now late wife, Natasha Richardson ("The Parent Trap"), had major reservations about him taking on the iconic role of 007.
“I was heavily courted, let’s put it that way, and I’m sure some other actors were too,” says Neeson, as he chews thoughtfully on a toothpick and rests his long limbs on an armchair.

“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,” he recalls, smiling.
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Samssun - 3/10/2014, 2:09 AM
try1231 - 3/10/2014, 2:10 AM
Reasonnnn - 3/10/2014, 2:14 AM
"Special set of skills"

Marxman12 - 3/10/2014, 2:15 AM
Marxman12 - 3/10/2014, 2:15 AM
Dang it, Reasonnn. You threw off the groove. Lol.
JosephKing - 3/10/2014, 2:18 AM
Oh boy, the things we do for pu... love.
mgeoff88 - 3/10/2014, 2:27 AM
Liam Neeson almost played James Bond in Goldeneye? What???

He is an incredibly talented actor, but I just don't see him as James Bond.

Pierce Brosnan was great in the role. It's a shame the rest of the scripts during his run didn't measure up to Goldeneye's. The scripts just kept getting worse and worse.
relentless1 - 3/10/2014, 2:34 AM
what a [foo foo] wife, why would she care if he played 007?? [frick]in broad deprived us of a way better bond than we got in brosnan
DEATHbyEXILE - 3/10/2014, 2:35 AM
Niklander - 3/10/2014, 2:35 AM
Nah I don't mind Brosnan was good as Bond.I am sure Neeson with his particular set of skills would have owned but hey maybe on a parallel universe it might have happened
Niklander - 3/10/2014, 2:37 AM
@mgeoff88 well IMO Tomorrow Never Dies and (the obvious worst Bond film) were Die Another Day.The World Is Not Enough was actually good
TonyChu - 3/10/2014, 2:40 AM
@relentless You do know his wife is dead. Show some class dude.
nikgrid - 3/10/2014, 2:45 AM
for the record i didn't say [foo foo] i said C U N T

Wow [frick]ing prick I said f v c k i n g.

Natasha Jane Richardson (11 May 1963 – 18 March 2009) was an English stage and screen actress. She died on because of a skiing accident on 18 March at the age of 45
McGee - 3/10/2014, 3:01 AM
You guys are all a bunch of [McGees] and I said F A G G O T S.
mgeoff88 - 3/10/2014, 3:01 AM

1. Goldeneye
2. The World is Not Enough(Denise Richards as a Bond girl...)
3. Tomorrow Never Dies(underwhelming villain)
4. Die Another Day

Die Another Day was just all around terrible. That was like the "Batman & Robin" of the modern James Bond movies. Halle Berry may be gorgeous, but she is not Bond girl material.
McGee - 3/10/2014, 3:02 AM
What th.....really?
McGee - 3/10/2014, 3:02 AM
I had no idea what the censored replacement word would be.
McGee - 3/10/2014, 3:03 AM
Big G and Nate are [Gustos].
McGee - 3/10/2014, 3:04 AM
....I'm sorry for calling you guys [Gustos], please don't Phantom Zone me.
MarVell - 3/10/2014, 3:04 AM

jp688 - 3/10/2014, 3:12 AM
Neeson is definitely not Bond!
mgeoff88 - 3/10/2014, 3:26 AM
@relentless What the hell is your problem? It's just a movie role! And she obviously had her reasons.

You know, that same wife you're speaking about inappropriately passed away. Show some damn respect.
SnapperCarr - 3/10/2014, 3:45 AM
MercwithMouth - 3/10/2014, 4:06 AM
Could've been very cool to have Neeson as Bond. But I thought Brosnan was great in GoldenEye. One of the few Bond films I actually enjoyed. And the greatest Nintendo video game since Duck Hunt.
datNAMEtho - 3/10/2014, 4:10 AM
I think Neeson is a great actor. Could've pulled off Bond.

However, I still think Cavill would've been a great choice with Casino Royale. His youth even fitted the story. But alas. now we got him as Superman :D

I'd love to see Christian Bale as Bond after Craig but I doubt he'll do it. Otherwise, I got no idea who should play him. I like Craig, I think he's a very good actor but his looks (mainly his face) haven't really been in his favor as Bond IMO. Not that he's ugly or anything like that (oh those eyes!) but he doesn't really manage to pull off the charming Bond and I think Bond should be charming and charismatic. Hope the new Bond is capable of doing that.

All in all, I love Casino Royale and I really like Skyfall (to me, QoS doesn't exist) and I look forward to Mendes' return to Bond 24! Real shame Deakins won't be back. They better get someone who's really really ridiculously good as well!! I love Fiennes as M and I think it's nice to have Moneypenny and Q back.
RichardBoldly - 3/10/2014, 4:10 AM
McFarlaneFan - 3/10/2014, 4:11 AM
There have been 2 great Bonds: Connery and Daniel Craig.
When I was a kid I liked Roger Moore but then I got older and realized his Bond was a tongue in cheek, pun delivering, cartoon.

If you look honestly at Brosnan's Bond you realize he brought nothing new to the role. In both writing and acting his Bond was unoriginal and a bore.

Neeson had the ability to be a great Bond and even the best Bond. But...the 90's writing was garbage. Neeson would've been a great actor wasted in a shitty role as he was with Qui Gon Jin. Even Neeson couldn't make Qui Gon an interesting character and he couldn't have saved the 90's Bond either.

Like an alcoholic Bond had to hit rock bottom with 'Die Another Day' before Bond could decide he was tired of sucking, go to suckoholics anonymous and start the road back.
Just as Batman had to hit his rock bottom with Batman and Robin before he would move on to Batman Begins.

I'm glad Neeson wasn't a part of the 90's Bond-mess-meltdown. Too bad he WAS a part of the 90's Star Wars-mess-meldown.
fortycals - 3/10/2014, 4:13 AM
The guy who played darkman turns down bond, who'd a thunk it. Btw darkman was awesome.
loki668 - 3/10/2014, 4:28 AM
Heh. relentless thought he was being edgy, until the asskicking started.
SuperCat - 3/10/2014, 4:33 AM
Thirty thirdith!
joniegogo84 - 3/10/2014, 4:38 AM
good thing he turn down the Bond role, if not we would not be getting Bryan Mills
BoosterGold1991 - 3/10/2014, 4:49 AM
He would be a good doctor strange.
IronRuhail - 3/10/2014, 5:45 AM
He's just too badass to play a by the books agent.
Pasto - 3/10/2014, 5:45 AM
Thirty Seventh!
Enphlieuwince - 3/10/2014, 5:49 AM
Brosnan was outstanding in Goldeneye.
ManofSteel23 - 3/10/2014, 5:54 AM
You got this from the hull daily mail? As in the UK HULL? I live there! This is the first time I've been on this site that something came from my home town lol
GenerationX - 3/10/2014, 5:55 AM
I couldn't see him as Bond
mrHJK - 3/10/2014, 6:15 AM
Honestly, it was his call in the end, and I think everything turned out great. I wouldn't say anything about his wife though (mother of his two children) since she died in 2009.
Lhornbk - 3/10/2014, 6:54 AM
I'm not sure I'm buying that they ever actually offered him Bond. There has been a documentary out recently about the Bond movies, and it seemed pretty clear that Brosnan was always the first choice that time. He would have got it instead of Dalton if it hadn't been for Remington Steele being renewed at the last second.
fettastic - 3/10/2014, 6:58 AM
In that quote he does not say he was offered the role, merely that he took himself out of contention.

They wanted Brosnan for The Living Daylights. He essentially had the role but his TV show Remington Steele decided to capitalize on the recognition he got from that negotiation and re-upped his contract. That took him out of contention until Goldeneye. Brosnan was ALWAYS going to get that role, they just looked at other actors as fallbacks in case something else came up. I can't imagine they ever seriously considered Neeson because he is nothing like James Bond, despite being awesome in his own right.
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