Liam Neeson Turned Down The Role Of James Bond For The Sake Of Love
Sometimes, ya gotta pick love over being the coolest and suavest spy on the planet. Liam Neeson apparently had been offered to play James Bond, but he rejected the opportunity to play the role because apparently, his late wife, Natasha Richardson, wouldn't marry him if he became 007.
The star of Non-Stop told the UK's Hull Daily Mail that he had been asked put on Bond's suit early on in his career, and that the team behind the series had really, really wanted him to jump on board. But he says that his wife-to-be (meaning Richardson), said to him, "If you play James Bond we're not getting married!" His thoughts on that? "[...] I had to take that on board, because I did want to marry her."
Ultimately, turning down the offer did work in his favor, as the two were married for fifteen years, due to her untimely death back in 2009. If he had accepted the role, he would taken on the role of 007 for 1995's Golden Eye, for which ultimately Pierce Brosnan snagged the role. Brosnan ended up staying on as Bond for the next four films.
Bottom line: it didn't hurt his career, and he he still got to marry the woman he wanted to marry, even if she, sadly, died a too-soon death. He obviously remembers their relationship fondly and warmly, and he seems like he has zero regrets about turning down the role.