Liam Neeson has revealed that he almost played James Bond, but ultimately turned down the part for love.
In an interview with Rolling Stone (via Variety), Neeson said he was approached multiple times by James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli to see if he was interested in the part.
“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 honored Richardson’s request and never had a serious meeting with Broccoli. The actor did say he teased his partner by posing his fingers like a handgun while humming the James Bond theme.
“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!”
Neeson would go on to have a very successful acting career without playing 007, starring in the Taken franchise, Rob Roy, Batman Begins, and many others. Of course, the actor is also known for playing Qui-Gon Jinn in the Star Wars franchise, but the actor recently revealed he’s not interested in returning for a spinoff about the character, saying the amount of Star Wars content has “taken away some of the mystery and magic in a weird way.”
For more, check out our picks for the top ten Liam Neeson movies and our guide to the James Bond movies in order.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for covering video game and entertainment news. He has over six years of experience in the gaming industry with bylines at , Nintendo Wire, Switch Player Magazine, and Lifewire. Find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.