“I’ll never play him again, Peace”: James Bond Actor Turned Down $1 Million Offer to Return as 007 For Clint Eastwood

James Bond Actor Turned Down $1 Million Offer to Return as 007 For Clint Eastwood
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Becoming James Bond is a huge responsibility and a serious commitment. The lead actor is expected to reprise his role several times, but for George Lazenby, once is enough. There had been a lot of controversial stories surrounding Bond actors, but the 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service star seemed to be the most perilous.

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George Lazenby James Bond
George Lazenby as James Bond

Lazenby’s tenure as the famed British spy was short-lived following a landslide of drama that took place while filming the movie. From dealing with heated arguments to making ill-advised decisions, he had certainly a lot of reasons not to return to the franchise anymore.

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Why George Lazenby Refused A Second Shot At James Bond Franchise

The shooting for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was a challenging one, and it caused a massive falling out between director Peter Hunt and James Bond star George Lazenby. The actor was reportedly difficult to work with, had problems dealing with stress and boredom on the set, and messed around a lot with women.

In a 2015 interview via Daily Mail, Lazenby revealed that producer Harry Saltzman wanted him back in the franchise, but his manager convinced him to refuse the offer:

He was saying to me, ‘What do we have to do to get you to sign? How about $1 million to go anywhere in the world?’ But my manager, Ronan O’Rahilly, wasn’t keen. He said, ‘Don’t do it. There’s a guy called Clint Eastwood over in Italy making Westerns for $500,000 a time. You could do two of those instead.’

George Lazenby James Bond 2
George Lazenby

Even before the premiere of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Lazenby was so over his role and wanted to move on from being the image of James Bond. He also made controversial comments about his role (via Spyscape):

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Bond is a brute… I’ve already put him behind me. I will never play him again. Peace – that’s the message now.”

Aside from the $1 million offer to travel the world, there was also a promise of six more James Bond films on the table. Lazenby made sure to express that he was done with the 007 role and would show up in the most un-Bond fashion: he sported a beard and grew his hair long.

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George Lazenby Regretted Screwing James Bond Role

George Lazenby
George Lazenby

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was a raging box-office success, but it was not enough to pull Lazenby back to the franchise. When asked if he had regrets passing up on the opportunity to make one more Bond movie, he said:

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It was the late 60s – bell bottoms and long hair were in, and Bond had short hair and wore a suit. We thought Bond was over. We were wrong. Sometimes I wish I’d done one more just to shut the people up who think I failed.”

Fellow James Bond veteran Roger Moore revealed that Lazenby admitted he made a mistake. In his 2008 autobiography My Word Is Bond, Moore said:

George took some bad advice. I knew George then and have met him many times since. He admits he made a mistake.”

Lazenby said he learned from the experience and even tried to return to the Bond franchise, but the producers had already moved on. Even Albert Broccoli told him that they would get in touch only to show him the door.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is available on Amazon Prime.

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Sources: Daily Mail, Spyscape

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Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 2238

Ariane Cruz, Senior Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about the latest movies and series. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.