Liam Neeson says his late wife refused to marry him if he was cast as James Bond
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Liam Neeson has revealed his late wife, Natasha Richardson, was fairly adamant about him refusing what some actors would call the role of a lifetime.
There are few franchises in the history of cinema that have such prestige, bums-on-seats power and sheer epicness as the James Bond saga.
There have been seven actors who have graced the big screen as the legendary British secret agent.
Sean Connery, David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig have been granted the privilege of being 007.
Liam Neeson could have been one of those names if it wasn't for his late wife.
The Taken star has recalled how Natasha talked him out of even thinking about going for Bond when producers were looking for their next leading man.
He told Rolling Stone: "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'."
This was in 1994 and GoldenEye was coming out the following year.
Timothy Dalton did Licence to Kill in 1989 and the people behind the 007 franchise were on the hunt for someone who could replace him.
Liam admits he was 'interested' in the role but he was never formally offered it.
However, that doesn't mean he didn't have some fun with his late wife's opposition to him playing Bond.
"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 s**t!" he explained.
"She gave me a James Bond ultimatum. And she meant it!"
In an interview with the Hull Daily Mail he says his desire to get married to Richardson far outweighed his want to be James Bond, even though he was 'heavily courted' to be 007.
Neeson and Richardson were married for 16 years.
She suffered a horrific head injury in a ski accident in 2009 and died a short time later.
Speaking to Anderson Cooper about her death, the actor said he went through a '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," he said.
"[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."