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Liam Neeson explains why he would have turned down rumoured James Bond role

Actor said he was interested but would have said no to the coveted film role

Peony Hirwani
Tuesday 21 February 2023 07:38 GMT
Liam Neeson tells Dame Helen Mirren how he fell in love with her

Liam Neeson has revealed that his late wife Natasha Richardson wouldn’t have married him if he played the role of James Bond.

The actors were married for 16 years until her death in 2009.

When a reporter asked the 70-year-old actor if it was true he turned down the lead role in 1995’s Golden Eye, Neeson said he was “interested” but never offered the part.

Neeson added that in 1994, right before their wedding, his late wife Natasha Richardson told him if he plays James Bond, “we’re not getting married”.

“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,’” Neeson told Rolling Stone’s Marlow Stern.

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He continued: “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!

“She gave me a James Bond ultimatum. And she meant it!” he said, adding that her threat might have been due to “all those gorgeous girls in various countries getting into bed and getting out of bed”.

Elsewhere during the interview, Neeson spoke out against an “uncomfortable” segment he recently participated in on The View, calling it “BS”.

Richardson and Neeson were together for 19 years before she died of a head injury in a skiing accident in Canada in 2009.

Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson (Getty)

Richardson had signed up for a ski lesson at the Mont Tremblant resort when she struck her head after tumbling on a nursery slope.

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An ambulance arrived 17 minutes after the report of the fall, but Richardson had decided that she felt fine.

Richardson returned to her suite at the Hotel Quintessence where she later began to feel unwell and an ambulance was called again.

Within 45 minutes, the medics loaded the Parent Trap actor into the ambulance and headed to the Centre Hospitalier Laurentien in Sainte-Agathe, a local hospital.

Richardson was airlifted the next day to Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, where she was placed on life support.

She died with Neeson by her side after her family made the decision to switch off the life-support.

An autopsy report found she had suffered a blunt blow to the head.

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