Liam Neeson was “heavily courted” for the role of James Bond, but turned down the martinis and bikinis because of his late wife’s wishes.
The Irish actor, whose latest film Non-Stop is top of the US box office, is renowned for his work in action movies.
But when his wife Natasha Richardson told him she would not marry him if he played 007, Neeson decided against taking up the high-profile part.
“I was heavily courted, let’s put it that way, and I’m sure some other actors were too,” the 61-year-old told the Hull Daily Mail.
“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.”
Oscar-nominated Neeson insists that he has never regretted passing on any film roles.
Recently, the actor spoke candidly about his grief after Richardson died five years ago in a skiing accident.
In an emotional interview with Anderson Cooper, Neeson said: "It hits you. It’s like a wave. You just get this profound feeling of instability. The Earth isn’t stable anymore and then it passes and it becomes more infrequent, but I still get it sometimes.
"(Her death) was never real, it still kind of isn't. There’s periods now in our New York residence when I hear the door opening, especially the first couple of years. Anytime I hear that door opening, I still think I’m going to hear her."
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