190205 Neeson
Irish actor Liam Neeson. Image Credit: AFP

Hollywood actor Liam Neeson has revealed that in the 1990s 'James Bond' producer Barbara Broccoli contacted him several times to ask if he was interested in taking on the role of 007.

According to Variety, an American media company, he made the revelation in a recent interview with Rolling Stone. At the time Neeson was fresh off an Oscar nomination when the role was offered to him.

However, the actor not taking up the role came down to his wife, Natasha Richardson. "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, and I said, 'Yes, I would be interested.'"

As per Variety, he added, "And then my lovely wife [Natasha Richardson], 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.'"

Neeson's affection for Richardson outweighed his desire to play James Bond, so he never agreed to a serious meeting with Broccoli.

What Neeson did do was tease Richardson by "going behind her back, making my fingers as though I'm holding a gun, and [humming the James Bond theme]... I loved doing that shit!" he said, reported Variety.

Fortunately for the actor, he'd get a second chance at action movie stardom with the 'Taken' franchise.

Neeson would also get a taste of mega-franchises with his role as Qui-Gon Jinn in 'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace', although that's not a universe he's keen on returning to right now, as per Variety.