Liam Neeson Reveals Why He Turned Down The Role Of James Bond Before It Went To Pierce Brosnan

c-title pmc-u-font-size-20 pmc-u-font-size-38@tablet pmc-u-font-size-46@desktop-xl u-text-align-center@mobile-max u-letter-spacing-0025 pmc-u-line-height-normal u-line-height-45@tablet pmc-u-padding-t-1 pmc-u-padding-t-050@mobile-max”>Liam Neeson Reveals Why He Turned Down The Role Of James Bond Before It Went To Pierce Brosnan

By Caroline Frost

Caroline Frost


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March 19, 2023 1:48am

Liam Neeson in the title role of ‘Marlowe’
Open Road Films

While the search goes on for the next 007, Liam Neeson has revealed that the role of James Bond was once his for the taking – except his partner had other ideas. 

Following the success of Schindler’s List in which he played the title role, Neeson’s star was high in the early 1990s, and the James Bond people came calling. 

Neeson told The Times of London that he had expressed his strong interest in the role, until his then girlfriend, actress Natasha Richardson, intervened, wary of what Neeson called the “gorgeous girls in various countries getting in and out of [Bond’s] bed.”

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The actor revealed Richardson had told him she wouldn’t marry him if he took the role, and so he turned it down – leaving the licence to kill free for Pierce Brosnan to collect. Instead, Neeson and Richardson did get married in 1994 and had two sons before the actress’s death following a skiing accident in 2009.

Neeson’s career has contained more than his fair share of high-octane action thrills, however – his current role as Philip Marlowe in a new take on the LA-based private detective is his 100th movie, and he revealed he continues to be sent action scripts, despite now being 70. 

The Taken star told The Times, “I’ll call up my agent and say, ‘Do they know what age I am?’

“People say I do my own stunts. I do not. But look, the dollar amount is very pleasing. And I’m not getting any younger.”

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