David Bowie Was Offered The Part Of A Bond Villain And Turned It Down

For the most part, popstars are fairly predictable - they have big singles, tour their two or three albums, four if they're lucky, then seem to just fade away, eventually becoming an ironic reference point for future generations to look back at how poor their parents' taste actually was.

Very few make build a career that lasts several decades, managing to stay relevant, no matter which way the current mood is heading, and fewer still manage to move into other genres, whether it's art, music, or film.

David Bowie was one of those unique artists, constantly reinventing himself. However, one risk he wasn't prepared to take was in the mid 1980s when he was offered the chance to star opposite Roger Moore, as the crooked Max Zorin in A View To A Kill.

So keen were they to have Ziggy Stardust on board to play the evil villain, they even wrote the script with him in mind.

Bowie turned down the role, saying he didn't want to spend five months on a mountain. Credit: PA
Bowie turned down the role, saying he didn't want to spend five months on a mountain. Credit: PA

Bowie said: "Yes, I was offered that. I think for an actor it's probably an interesting thing to do.

"But I think that for somebody from rock it's more of a clown performance. And I didn't want to spend five months watching my double fall off mountains."

Yet, so confident were the film's producers, they had already announced that Bowie would be starring in the film, though were quickly forced to backtrack. After missing out on the androgynous popstar they tried another, this time Police front man, Sting, but he too turned down the part.

Eventually they looked to Christopher Walken and his beautiful bleach blonde hair, who went on to become one of Bond's most iconic nemesis.

Christopher Walken was eventually given the part after Bowie and Sting turned it down. Credit: MGM
Christopher Walken was eventually given the part after Bowie and Sting turned it down. Credit: MGM

The Thin White Duke was no stranger to film though, a year after rejecting Bond he starred as the conniving Jareth, the Goblin King, in Labyrinth.

And in 2016 Dominic Monaghan claimed Bowie auditioned for a part in fantasy blockbuster, Lord of The Rings.

Speaking at the time, Dominic said: "David Bowie came in and signed his little list and went in.

"I'm assuming he read for Gandalf. I can't think of anything else he would've read for."

Today would have been Bowie's 72nd birthday. The dexterous songwriter died on January 10, 2016, after having released his final album, 'Blackstar', just two days earlier.

It's tough to say whether Bond would have been improved with Bowie, but one thing is for certain, it would have been made drastically worse had Geordie crooner, Sting, managed to get his tantric hands anywhere near that script.

So be thankful for small mercies.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Dominic Smithers

After graduating from Leeds University with a degree in French and History, Dom went onto gain an NCTJ journalism qualification. Since then he has worked as a reporter at the Manchester Evening News and the Macclesfield Express, covering breaking news, court, sports, and politics.

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