The James Bond franchise has been one of the classics which introduced the titular character that many couldn’t help but fall in love with. His extraordinary capabilities and adventures kept fans engaged over the years. While several actors continued to make that character unique by adding their own charm, Daniel Craig’s 007 portrayal in No Time To Die was the last we saw. You would be surprised to know that there was someone who was offered the role before the actor.
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While Craig definitely did justice to the iconic role, Rupert Friend recently opened up about getting offered to be in the franchise which he declined.
Rupert Friend Was Offered to Play 007
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Rupert Friend is a well-acclaimed talent who is known for his role as the Grand Inquisitor in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series. The actor opened up about being offered to be the next James Bond before the franchise turned to Daniel Craig.
He was 22 at the time and was a fresh graduate having done three movies consecutively, The Libertine, Pride & Prejudice, and Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont.
In an interview with Variety, he shared,
“And I was told, ‘We’d love to talk to you about playing James Bond, but rebooting the series. We want to do him basically straight out of college.’”
What a pleasant surprise it would have been for him who was basically a newcomer in the acting industry. He got offered to play the protagonist in the James Bond franchise but he had different thoughts about the same. He further continued that he met the franchise producers, Barbara Broccoli, and her brother, Michael G. Wilson. He also met the casting director, Debbie McWilliams which meant that the franchise was interested in the actor.
Rupert Friend Politely Declined The Offer!
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The Star Wars actor shared in the interview that he obviously loved the movies.
“Obviously I’ve watched them growing up and just love all the actors and all the movies.”
He opened up about going through a screen test, which if he passed would make him 007 for “three pictures which you won’t read and you won’t know who the director is.”
It was indeed a great opportunity but the actor shared,
“I suddenly was like, ‘I just feel at this point in my life and career, I’m too young, I don’t have the experience, I don’t have the acting chops and I don’t have any of the hard knocks — emotionally, psychologically, physically — that a great Bond should have.'”
He knew that it was going to be overwhelming for him, which is why he declined the offer.
“So I’m gonna politely decline. That was probably a bit of an eyebrow raise for them.”
Despite passing on such a cash cow role, he was “grateful” that he let it go.
“I felt like the part was bigger than me as an actor or even as a person. That it would swallow me up and I might sink the franchise, or at least be the worst Bond that ever lived.”
His decision to pass on the franchise eventually went to Daniel Craig who played the role in five films from 2006-2021.
All the James Bond films are available on Netflix.