Natasha Richardson wouldn’t have married Liam Neeson if he took James Bond role

Natasha Richardson wasn’t keen on Liam Neeson playing James Bond (Pictures: Getty)

Liam Neeson has revealed he was once in the running to play James Bond, but his wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn’t marry him if he took the role. 

The actor, 69, appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden via video link, where he revealed he was once touted to play the super-spy, but late wife Natasha wasn’t keen on the idea.

He said on the show: ‘Yeah, they approached me, I believe it was a couple of calls from Barbara Broccoli, who’s now the main producer of the Bond films.

‘This was after I had done Schindler’s List, which was 26 years ago. But I wasn’t offered it. I know they were looking at various actors and I, apparently, was among them. 

‘However, my dear departed wife did say to me – we were doing a movie together in South Carolina – and she says, “Darling, if you’re offered James Bond, and you’re going to play it, you’re not going to marry me.”’

Liam joked: ‘Any time we had arguments after that, I would always go up to her and go [sings James Bond theme song],’ as he put his hands up in a mock gun pose. 

Natasha died in 2009 at the age of 45 after sustaining a head injury while taking part in a skiing lesson in Canada. 

She had initially refused medical assistance but later complained of a severe headache around two hours after the accident, and died in hospital in New York two days later from an epidural hematoma. 

During his interview, Liam also revealed that he learned to drive late – something that is key to being James Bond – and was taught by Fast & Furious’s Helen Mirren. 

Liam used to wind Natasha up with the James Bond theme tune (Picure: Reuters)

He revealed: ‘I was 28 I think, maybe 29. I had a lady by the name of Dame Helen Mirren [teach me to drive]. 

‘We were doing a film called Excalibur, this was 1979 or 1980 and Helen and I formed a lovely friendship, very proud to say, but she taught me how to drive, essentially.’

Liam finally got his license out of sheer necessity, after booking an acting job and having to make his own way to the set each day. 

He explained: ‘She was very good and then I had to go to a British driving school when in London and do two two-hour sessions because I got this job in Pinewood Studios but they wouldn’t supply the transport for me.’

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