Liam Neeson Rejected James Bond Role Over Wife Natasha Richardson's Ultimatum

Liam Neeson revealed why he passed up the role of a lifetime.

During an interview with Rolling Stone, the 70-year-old “Taken” actor claimed James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli approached him multiple times about taking on the 007 character back in the 1990s. At the time, Neeson had been riding the waves of his Oscar nomination for his performance in “Schindler’s List,” which prompted the producer to consider the actor for the iconic spy franchise.

Though he initially jumped at the chance, Liam decided to pass on the opportunity after his late wife Natasha Richardson put her foot down.

“They looked at a bunch of actors,” Neeson recalled. “‘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, 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.'”

Turns out his love for Richardson overpowered his interest in taking on the role of the international super spy.

Though he had no problem rejecting the offer, Neeson shared that he used to tease the “Parent Trap” star by “going behind her back, making my fingers as though I’m holding a gun, and [humming the James Bond theme],” he laughed. “I loved doing that s—!”

Liam continued: “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!”

Eventually the actor would get a second shot in joining an action movie franchise with “Taken.”

Pierce Brosnan eventually stepped into 007’s shoes in 1995, appearing first in “GoldenEye.” The 69-year-old Irish actor went on to make “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997), “The World Is Not Enough” (1999) and “Die Another Day” (2002), before they rebooted the franchise (again) with Daniel Craig in 2006.

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