James Bond movies have been one of the most successful franchises throughout cinematic history. This franchise has captured the hearts of millions of fans worldwide due to the intensity of the 007 character’s role and actions.

As a result, many Hollywood legends sought to play the role of James Bond, and among them was one of the industry’s legends, Liam Neeson. During an interview for his new movie Marlowe, the 70-year-old star revealed that after his award-winning performance in Schindler’s List, he considered playing 007 in GoldenEye (1995) after being approached for the lead role.
Liam NeesonLiam Neeson
However, the James Bond role was offered to Pierce Brosnan because the Taken star refused to take the role due to his then-would-be wife Natasha Richardson’s ultimatum. Apart from his wife’s request, he also did not wish to upset her and followed her instructions. Furthermore, Liam Neeson’s newest film, Marlowe, based on Raymond Chandler’s iconic detective character, was released in theatres last week, depicting 1930s San Francisco in the film.

Why Did Liam Neeson Not Consider Playing James Bond In GoldenEye?

According to Liam Neeson, 70, he did not seriously consider playing James Bond in the 1995 film GoldenEye because of his late wife, Natasha Richardson. His award-winning performance in Schindler’s List almost led to his portrayal of 007, but he was left with no choice and had to deny the $7B James Bond Franchise. During an interview with Rolling Stone on Monday regarding his new movie Marlowe, Neeson clarified that he was offered the James Bond role and wanted to consider it. But, his wife Natasha Richardson, whom he married in 1994, stepped in and took over the situation before their marriage. During the interview, Neeson told the outlet that she would never have married if he had played James Bond.
Natasha Richardson and Liam NeesonNatasha Richardson and Liam Neeson
Neeson told the outlet,

“They looked at a bunch of actors. 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.’”

He continued,

“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.’”

“So I would tease her by going behind her back, making my fingers as though I’m holding a gun, and then [hums the James Bond theme]. I loved doing that sh*t!”

He added,

“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!”

In 2009, Neeson’s wife Richardson died due to suffering blunt force trauma after falling while skiing in Quebec’s Mont Tremblant. During an interview in 2014, Neeson indicated that he had to accept Richardson’s James Bond ultimatum, as he desired to marry her and did not wish to lose her. However, he is still grieving the sudden loss of his wife.

Liam Neeson And Natasha Richardson’s Lovely Relationship Ended On A Tragic Note

They met in 1993 when Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson were cast opposite on Broadway in Anna Christie. Even though the timing was not ideal, their attraction was instantaneous. The chemistry they shared on stage was undeniable, earning them critical acclaim, Tony nominations, and endless media attention. According to news reports, Richardson married Robert Fox when the Taken star began to feel for her. In light of Richardson’s relationship status, countless tabloid reports filled with rumors of an affair soon appeared. It was a challenging time for Richardson to navigate the mounting headlines.
Richardson and NeesonRichardson and Neeson
After so many hurdles in their love relationship, Neeson and Richardson married in 1994, and they share two sons, Micheál Richardson, 27 and Daniel Neeson, 26. The Non-Stop star and Richardson enjoyed 15 years of their blissful wedding, but in 2009, Neeson’s world was turned upside down as he lost the love of his life in a tragic skiing accident. However, before tragedy ended their 15-year marriage, Richardson and Neeson shared a love that inspired others and set a benchmark for couples.

Marlowe, starring Liam Neeson, was released on February 15, 2023, and is currently in theatres.