Friday 25 May 2018

Neeson: I turned down Bond for wife

Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson for a movie premiere in 2008
Neeson with his late wife, Natasha Richardson, who died in 2009

Liam Neeson has revealed he turned down the role of James Bond on the request of his late wife Natasha Richardson.

The 61-year-old actor has recently carved a niche for himself as an action star, following the success of 2008 thriller Taken, but he revealed he had previously said no to the coveted role of 007.

Liam said: "I was heavily courted, let's put it that way, and I'm sure some other actors were too.

"It was about 18 or 19 years ago and my wife-to-be said, 'If you play James Bond we're not getting married!' And I had to take that on board, because I did want to marry her."

He did go on to marry actress Natasha Richardson, who tragically died five years ago following a skiing accident, leaving him a single father to their two sons Michael, 19, and Daniel, 18.

The Non-Stop star returned to work just days after Natasha's funeral and has made 20 films since her death.

He has no regrets about roles he's turned down, but he revealed there was one film that took his fancy last year.

"All Is Lost was a very, very good film," Liam said of the award-nominated drama which starred Robert Redford as a sailor stranded alone at sea.

"That's the only thing recently where I thought, 'Oh I would have loved to have played that part'," he admitted. "Mr Redford was wonderful and it's a terrific film, but I did feel a little pang of you know, jealousy!"

This year the actor is taking on fewer new projects, but he will be appearing in Taken 3, Seth McFarlane's new film A Million Ways To Die In The West, plus Martin Scorsese's latest film Silence.

"I made nine films last year, four of them were animated, it was stupid!" he confessed. "I'm keeping busy, which is thrilling. I love to work."

:: Liam stars in action thriller Non-Stop, in cinemas now.

Press Association

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