Liam Neeson reveals he had the chance to take upon the role of agent 007 but opted against it as shehis late wife gave him an ultimatum.
Antrim movie star, Liam Neeson would have done anything for his late wife, Natasha Richardson. So much so, he would even give up on one of the most eloquent roles he could have portrayed, 007!
Speaking during an appearance The Late Late Show with James Corden, the 69-year-old revealed he was approached by Bond producer, Barbara Broccoli in the early ‘90s. Neeson received the call shortly after his appearance in the 1993 hit movie, Schindler's List.
However, with his offer of a lifetime, the Taken star turned it down, following an ultimatum from Natasha. Neeson’s late wife was not too keen on the idea of her husband donning the black and white tuxedo, leaving Neeson to give up his chance to be The Man With The Golden Gun.
“I know they were looking at various actors and I apparently was among them. However, my dear, departed wife did say to me … 'Darling, if you're offered James Bond and you're going to play it, you're not going to marry me,'”Neeson told Cordon.
“I know they were looking at various actors and I, apparently, was among them. However, my dear, departed wife did say to me … ‘Darling, if you’re offered James Bond and you’re going to play it, you’re not gonna marry me.’ Any time we had arguments after, I’d always go up to her and go…. [holds up gun and hums James Bond theme tune].”
While Liam did not reveal the reasoning behind Natasha’s ultimatum, we’re going to assume that if he had to choose between James Bond and the love of his life, he would have gone with the latter.
Neeson’s love of his life died at the age of 45 in 2009, following a head injury sustained while skiing at Quebec's Mont Tremblant. The actress suffered blunt force trauma after falling on a beginner's slope while out with an instructor and refusing initial medical treatment after the accident.
Neeson’s love for his late wife remains evident to this day, 12 years after the fatal accident. The star, and his eldest son, Micheál, recently developed their 2020 film, Made in Italy, where they found solace. The story tells of a father and son, coping with the death of the family matriarch. Micheál, who changed his last name in 2018 to honour his mother, said he “felt” his mother’s presence while filming.
“When you lose somebody so close to you, sometimes you just push it away and out of your head because the thought of them hurts,” Micheál said last year. “But I found that's an unhealthy thing to do. You have to remember them.”
If the Bond producers still wish to coheres the star into taking up the role, they might be a bit too late. They like their main character’s Martinis shaken, and not the actor himself. Coming up to 70, the actor revealed earlier this year that he intends to retire from action movies in the near future. Neeson noted he had “a couple in the pipeline” before he is prepared to take on other roles.
No Time to Die will be Daniel Craig's final turn as 007, leaving the franchise to seek out its next star. The film is scheduled to hit theatres in October.