Liam Neeson on why he never played James Bond, and why he’s not “Taken” with superhero movies

ABC/Randy Holmes

(NOTE LANGUAGE) In a new Rolling Stone interview, Liam Neeson spilled some tea about his career, and about one near miss in the form of a certain secret agent with a license to kill.

Neeson explains that while he wasn’t expressly “offered” the role by the James Bond-producing Broccoli family back in the day, he might have been had his deceased wife, Natasha Richardson, not forbade it.

“I know the Broccolis. They looked at a bunch of actors. Schindler’s List had come out and Barbara [Broccoli] had called me a couple of times to ask if I was interested,” Neeson explained.

“I said, ‘Yes, I would be interested.’ And then my lovely wife, God rest her soul, said to me…’…If you play James Bond, we’re not getting married.'”

He explained, “So I would tease her by going behind her back, making my fingers as though I’m holding a gun,” Neeson said, humming the Bond theme. “I loved doing that s***!” he added with a laugh.

The Taken franchise star commented, “She gave me a James Bond ultimatum. And she meant it! Come on, there’s all those gorgeous girls in various countries getting into bed and getting out of bed. I’m sure a lot of her decision-making was based on that!” he laughed.

Neeson also admitted he’s “not a fan” of superhero movies, though he “admires” the technology that brings them to the big screen. “They all seem to me to be just the same story,” the actor said.

That said, he did appear in Christopher Nolan‘s Dark Knight trilogy. Of that, he said they were the exception. “They had a noir feel to them. And Chris Bale and Gary Oldman? Come on! What a cast. And Michael [Caine] and Morgan [Freeman]? My God!”

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