Liam Neeson Says His Late Wife Talked Him Out of James Bond Role in the 90s

    Schindler’s List and Taken actor Liam Neeson recently narrated a sweet story about his late wife and acclaimed actress Natasha Richardson on a talk show. Apparently, Neeson rejected the offer to play James Bond in GoldenEye due to his then partner, Natasha Richardson’s opposition to it. The Irish actor appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden, and when asked if he was ever approached to play James Bond, Neeson said the following, “Yeah, they approached, I believe it was a couple of calls from Barbara Broccoli, who’s now the main producer of the Bond films. This was after I had done Schindler’s List, which was 26 years ago. But I wasn’t offered it. I know they were looking at various actors and I, apparently, was among them. However, my dear departed wife did say to me – we were doing a movie together in South Carolina – and she says, ‘Darling, if you’re offered James Bond, and you’re going to play it, you’re not going to marry me.'”

    Neeson, the Taken lead, ultimately heeded Richardson’s wish, and the two got married in 1994. They remained married till Richardson’s death in 2009. She passed away at the age of 45, soon after sustaining a head injury during a skiing accident. Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton, too, turned down the role of James Bond the first time around due to scheduling issues or being too young. Neeson, on the other hand, turned down the role out of love for his wife. Though he never ended up playing Bond, Neeson says he often teased his wife about it, humming the James Bond theme while making a gun sign with his hands after arguments with Richardson.

    RELATED: New No Time to Die Trailer Arrives, Bond Is Back in Theaters This October

    Anyway, Neeson still ended up becoming an action star. Since 2008’s Taken, Neeson has starred in mostly action or thriller films. Though earlier this year, Neeson expressed his desire to retire from action films to pursue other more challenging roles. While he is not starring in Obi-Wan Kenobi, doors are still open for Neeson to reprise his role as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn in any of Disney’s various upcoming Star Wars shows. While talking to People (the TV show!) Neeson joked about doing comedy films. “I’ve been approached by Seth McFarlane and Paramount Studios to maybe resurrect the Naked Gun films. It’ll either finish my career or bring it in another direction. I honestly don’t know.”

    Though he may be too old to portray James Bond now, there is still hope for Neeson to play a Bond villain. Fans would go wild if an actor like Liam Neeson were to join the cast of the next James Bond film. Neeson played the famous Batman villain Ra’s al Ghul in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. Plus, with that voice of his, he’d be an ideal fit for a Bond villain. Speaking of the next James bond, Bridgerton star Rege-Jean Page has overtaken Tom Hardy and James Norton to become the oddsmakers’ favorite to succeed Daniel Craig as the iconic spy. Recently, former Bond actor Pierce Brosnan endorsed Tom Hardy and Idris Elba to take over the 007 mantle. And at the moment, Liam Neeson is busy promoting The Ice Road, his latest action thriller. The Ice Road is currently streaming exclusively on Netflix. This news comes to us via People.

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