It’s easy to see that Neeson’s career didn’t tank after he turned down the role of the infamous spy, Bond, James Bond. In fact the only reason why he did so was pretty simple, his fiancee told him firmly that they would not be getting married if he decided to take the role. That’s it. That’s the whole reason that Neeson didn’t take a role that could have ended up defining the rest of his career. And to be honest it was probably the best reason in the world. It’s never been revealed just why Liam’s wife, Natasha Richardson, didn’t want him to take the role, but it could have been for a number of reasons that were never disclosed. Regardless of that Neeson didn’t take it because he very much wanted to marry Natasha, and did so obviously.
I think my estimation of this guy just jumped up a few notches. It was already established that he’s a great actor, but now it’s pretty obvious that he had his priorities in order back then too. He wasn’t the only person approached for the role of Bond to be honest, but he was also one of the few hopefuls that was being actively sought out. As it was mentioned above though refusing this role didn’t exactly doom him to a life spent in mediocrity. Neeson has taken on a long list of roles that have managed to catapult him to the type of fame he now enjoys, even if he’s had to take a few lesser and sometimes silly roles that weren’t quite up to his caliber. Come on, Darkman was a good film when it came out but when you really sit back and look at it now the idea was kind of silly.
But then you think of films like Schindler’s List that really propelled him into the spotlight, and Taken, and his role in Batman Begins and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and you begin to see that he made the right call. Despite the tragic loss of his wife in 2009 he made the right call when it counted. It makes you think of how many other actors would have gone ahead and done the role even if their significant other had stated that they didn’t want them to. For Neeson it was a no-brainer, he wanted to keep his wife to be happy and his career on track, and he managed to do both with just one right decision.
It’s touching isn’t it? Plus it seems like he might have made the right choice since after the Bond films a few of the actors that took the role were hardly known for anything except their stint as the famous spy. Sean Connery is perhaps one of the few men that went on to really become a success after Bond, as was Pierce Brosnan. Daniel Craig was already a well-known actor before his stint as Bond so his career didn’t suffer that much. But it’s a role that can increase a person’s career or mark it for the rest of their life, and Neeson likely did himself a favor by saying no.