In an interview with Rolling Stone published Monday, the “Marlowe” actor, 70, revealed that he once expressed interest in playing the suave British secret agent, but Natasha Richardson told him that if he took the role, she would not marry him.
In 1994, Neeson and Richardson married. Richardson died in 2009, at the age of 45, from a head injury sustained while skiing.
“I wasn’t offered the role of James Bond,” Neeson told Rolling Stone. “They took a look at a group of actors. ‘Schindler’s List’ had just come out, and (Bond producer) Barbara (Broccoli) had called me a few times to see if I was interested, and I had said, ‘Yes, I would be interested.'”
He went on to say: “And then, while we were shooting ‘Nell’ in the Carolinas, my lovely wife (Richardson), God rest her soul, said to me, ‘Liam, I want to tell you something: If you play James Bond, we’re not getting married.’ So I’d tease her by going behind her back, pretending to hold a gun, and then (humming the James Bond theme).”
Richardson allegedly gave Neeson a “James Bond ultimatum.”
“And she meant it!” he continued. “Come on, all those beautiful girls in various countries getting into and out of bed. I’m sure it influenced a lot of her decisions!”