entertainment Famous Actors Who Were Almost James Bond

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List Rules A list of notable people who were (somewhat) close to being 007. Vote up the ones you would love to see play the secret agent.

Skyfall once again showcased Daniel Craig as one of the most suave and simultaneously vulnerable Bonds in the history of the James Bond franchise, but there were plenty of other famous actors who almost got the part of James Bond.  a list of famous actors who were almost James Bond, as voted on by experts and fans alike.

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.
Liam Neeson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Actors Who Were Almost James Bond
Photo: Karen Seto / 司徒嘉蘭/Flickr
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Liam Neeson


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."

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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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Hugh Jackman is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Actors Who Were Almost James Bond
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Hugh Jackman


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."

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Credits (TV): Viva Laughlin, The Academy Awards, Tony Awards, The Man from Snowy River An Aussie Goes Bolly, + more

Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

Nationality: Australia

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#29 on The Best Actors Working Today

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Cary Grant is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Actors Who Were Almost James Bond
Photo: kate gabrielle/flickr/CC-BY 2.0
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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.
 


 

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Birthplace: Horfield, United Kingdom

Nationality: United States of America, England

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#14 on The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

#12 on The Best English Actors of All Time

#21 on The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)

#25 on The Best Actors in Film History

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Gerard Butler is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Actors Who Were Almost James Bond
Photo: Marco Manna/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
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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?"

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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

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Jason Statham is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Actors Who Were Almost James Bond
Photo: Brad Hill/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
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Jason Statham


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.”

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Birthplace: Shirebrook

Nationality: England

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Clive Owen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Actors Who Were Almost James Bond
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Clive Owen


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.”

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Credits (TV): The Knick, Hemingway & Gellhorn, The Hire, Chancer Sharman

Birthplace: Keresley, United Kingdom

Nationality: England

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#44 on The Best English Actors of All Time

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Christian Bale is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Actors Who Were Almost James Bond
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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

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Birthplace: Haverfordwest, United Kingdom

Nationality: Wales, United Kingdom

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#5 on The Best Actors Working Today

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Sean Bean is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Actors Who Were Almost James Bond
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Sean Bean


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

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Credits (TV): Game of Thrones, Missing, Legends, Scarlett Red Riding, + more

Birthplace: Handsworth, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Nationality: United Kingdom

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#24 on The Best English Actors of All Time

#20 on The Best Living English Actors

#8 on The Best Irish Actors of All Time

#70 on The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)

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