As the search for the next James Bond continues following Daniel Craig’s retirement from the role, actors are reminiscing about their own audition experiences. Sam Worthington, the Australian actor known for his blockbuster hits including Avatar and Terminator Salvation, was one of many who auditioned for the iconic role.
With his rugged good looks and commanding presence, many fans have long speculated about the possibility of Worthington playing the iconic role of James Bond. Yet, Sam Worthington was rejected for the role of James Bond due to his accent.
Challenges for Sam Worthington in Recreating Bond’s Charm
Sam Worthington is an Australian actor who rose to fame with his role in the blockbuster hit Avatar in 2009. He went on to star in multiple successful films including Terminator Salvation, Clash of the Titans, and Wrath of the Titans.
He has been praised for his ability to bring a sense of authenticity to his roles, making him a favorite among audiences and casting directors alike. But the role of James Bond was not something he thinks he was meant to play.
The James Bond franchise is a British film series based on the fictional character of James Bond, a secret agent working for MI6.The James Bond franchise is known for its sophisticated and charming lead character, and this aspect of the role is crucial for any actor auditioning for the part. For Sam Worthington, being charming and suave was a challenge that ultimately led to his rejection for the role of James Bond.
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Sam Worthington is known for his intense on-screen presence and physicality, but his rough, Australian accent and reserved demeanor made it difficult for him to exhibit the charm and confidence that is a hallmark of the Bond character.
It was during the screen test that Sam Worthington became acutely aware of his limitations in terms of charm and suaveness. The scene being tested was from the 1963 Bond film, From Russia With Love. The scene showcased Bond’s debonair demeanor as he approached a woman in bed with effortless charm.
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Worthington was tasked with recreating the scene with the same level of finesse that Sean Connery displayed in the original film. He said,
“So you [have to] walk in, and there’s the girl in the bed,” Worthington explained. “You charm her …And I couldn’t catch the Bond killer. I just couldn’t get the charm out of her, I couldn’t charm her. The suit didn’t fit the man.”
The Hurdle of Bond’s Accent
There was another factor in his rejection for the role along with the absence of charm. As a key aspect of the Bond character is his British heritage and background working for the British Secret Service, it is essential for the actor playing Bond to possess a British or British-adjacent accent. Worthington, who has British parents, believed that his background would allow him to successfully mimic the accent during his audition. However, his thick Australian accent proved to be a hindrance and prevented him from accurately portraying the Bond character’s accent. Inan interview Worthington said,
“I said, ‘If I do an Australian I’m gonna be the next George Lazenby,'” Worthington explained, referencing the Australian actor whose time with the franchise lasted for only one Bond. “He only did one and I didn’t want to be like that. So I tried British. It was awful.”
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Worthington went on to explain that his accent sounded less upper-class and more like
“D*ck Van Dyke from Mary Poppins.”
The disparity between Worthington’s Australian accent and the desired British accent was so pronounced that the director instructed him to simply recite the lines in his natural voice. Despite his best efforts, the audition was a total failure, and Worthington realized that his chances of being cast as Bond were now nonexistent.
However, this rejection did not mark the end of his successful career. Worthington remains a respected and in-demand actor in Hollywood, and will no doubt continue to make his mark in the entertainment industry.
Source: The Things