James Bond Famous Actors Who Were Almost James Bond  

Greg Stopera
51.9k votes 2.8k voters 138.3k views 78 items

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
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1 1,673 VOTES

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."

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: Northern Ireland, United States of America, United Kingdom

Also Ranked

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

#25 on The Coolest Actors Ever

#16 on The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

#31 on The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

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Hugh Jackman is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Actors Who Were Almost James Bond
Photo:  Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
2 1,514 VOTES

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."

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

Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

Nationality: Australia

Also Ranked

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

#17 on The Coolest Actors Ever

#10 on The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

#59 on The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

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Cary Grant is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Actors Who Were Almost James Bond
Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
3 1,150 VOTES

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

Also Ranked

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

#15 on The Coolest Actors Ever

#15 on The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

#29 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
4 1,294 VOTES

medusatouch added 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: United Kingdom

Also Ranked

#64 on The Coolest Actors Ever

#3 on The Hottest Men Over 40

#55 on The Greatest British Actors of All Time

#9 on The Top Casting Choices for the Next James Bond Actor

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