The James Bond films have been around for fifty years and many of Britain's top actors, like Hugh Grant and Clive Owen, have been considered to play the world's most famous character. Some of these performers haven't even been British. Some of the stars on this list include Irishmen (Liam Neeson), Americans (Clint Eastwood), and even Australians (Hugh Jackman).
What actors were considered for the role of James Bond? Has there ever been an American James Bond? Now, many of the top actors on this list would have made pretty awesome James Bonds. Can you imagine Liam Neeson kicking some enemy butt as 007 instead of in the 'Taken' films? Or Denzel Washington bringing the same gravitas he brought to 'Malcolm X' to P***y Galore? Or Sean Bean being 'Ned Stark'-honorable instead of of the villain in 'GoldenEye'? It's fun to come up with scenes that could have been with the caliber of talent you'll be ranking.
There are also some pretty interesting almost-Bonds on this list. Clint Eastwood? That would have been too aggressive, too 'American'. Adam West? Too campy. James Mason? Way too old. But still, it's interesting nonetheless.
Please rank the top notable James Bond runner-up and if you don't see an actor who should be on this list, feel free to add him -- or her -- so that others can vote for him -- or her -- as well.
Way before Liam Neeson was trying to save his daughter by being an action hero he was doing whatever he could to stay away from the action genre. "I was approached very heavily, but I wasn't really interested."
Credits (TV): Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Big C, Liberty's Kids, A Woman of Substance Play for Today, + more
Birthplace: Ballymena, United Kingdom
Nationality: United Kingdom
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In an interview with some Australian radio DJs, Jackman exposed that he was approached to play Bond before the producers went with Daniel Craig. When asked if he would take over the franchise he said, "I’d seriously consider it."
Credits (TV): Viva Laughlin, The Academy Awards, Tony Awards, The Man from Snowy River An Aussie Goes Bolly, + more
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia
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23 people just voted on Cary Grant
At one point, Cary Grant was going to be Bond, but the producers knew it would be a one movie deal and they didn't want to put up with looking for another Bond so quickly after booking Grant.
Birthplace: Horfield, United Kingdom
Nationality: United States of America, England
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26 people just voted on Gerard Butler
Butler didn't want to take on Bond because it would mean putting a stop to the rest of his film work. "I enjoy doing an array of films. If I was to play Bond, that would quickly stop. How likely would I be accepted doing those roles after having played Bond?"
Credits (TV): Attila, The Young Person's Guide to Becoming a Rock Star, The Young Person's Guide To Becoming A Rock Star, The Jury Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married
Birthplace: Paisley, United Kingdom
Nationality: Scotland, United Kingdom
#60 on The Coolest Actors Eversee more on Gerard Butler
According to the tough-as-nails actor, his appearance in Layer Cake was sort of an audition for the role of Bond, and he really wants that role after it's vacated by Daniel Craig. “Could I do it? Abso-f***ing-lutely,” he says. “Would I do it? Abso-f***ing-lutely. Is Daniel Craig a great Bond? Abso-f***ing-lutely.”
#38 on The Coolest Actors Ever
#19 on The Hottest Men Over 40see more on Jason Statham
Clive Owen was so close to being James Bond that he could almost taste the martinis. But things got stirred, not shaken, when a rumor circulated that he wasn't chosen due to asking for gross profit points. Owen doesn't seem too distressed, saying, “Am I going to be the next Sean Connery? No, I’ll just be the next Clive Owen.”
Credits (TV): The Knick, Hemingway & Gellhorn, The Hire, Chancer Sharman
Birthplace: Keresley, United Kingdom
#44 on The Hottest Men Over 40see more on Clive Owen
21 people just voted on Christian Bale
After playing Bruce Wayne for almost a decade, Christian Bale said, "I'm good. My days of wearing capes are over," when he was asked about portraying Bond.
Birthplace: Haverfordwest, United Kingdom
Nationality: Wales, United Kingdom
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Sean Bean was almost the replacement for Timothy Dalton, but his casting was overruled by the film's producers and he was cast as the film's villain.
Credits (TV): Game of Thrones, Missing, Legends, Scarlett Red Riding, + more
Birthplace: Handsworth, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Nationality: United Kingdom
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