James Bond: Sam Heughan said he wasn’t ‘pissed off’ enough to play 007

“I couldn’t see what bearing it would have on playing the part, but it was out of my hands and it was meant to be,” Heughan wrote in his forthcoming memoir.

Sam Heughan was an outlier when it came to James Bond casting.

As he reveals in his new memoir, the “Outlander” star auditioned for the role before Daniel Craig was cast in the 2006 film “Casino Royale.” Heughan told Entertainment Weekly that the process to play 007 was “quite an experience”, but ultimately the timing was not right.

“It was a stage in my life where I probably wasn’t ready for that,” Heughan said. “But I wonder what would have happened if I had had it.”

In his upcoming memoir “Waypoints: My Scottish Journey,” available Oct. 25, Heughan wrote that his audition was “shrouded in so much secrecy” that he “felt like a real-life agent,” reflecting the spy story itself.

“It was so quiet that no one ever confirmed I was considered for the lead role, but I knew it,” Heughan wrote, via EW. “Of course, it blew my mind to think that I could even be in the frame of such an iconic figure. I loved Timothy Dalton in ‘The Living Daylights’; he was darker than the other actors. But the true icon was another Scotsman, Sir Sean Connery, who had it all: the charm, the ruthlessness, the physical presence and the accent to match. “My name is Bond, James Bond.” I had to remember to relax and let them see what I could do with the character.

Heughan continued, “So I went to Bond headquarters and tried out for the casting director. Then I was invited to go upstairs, where producer Barbara Broccoli was waiting for me, like M, seated in a leather armchair facing a large table. A gold replica gun served as the centerpiece in front of her. The director of “Casino Royale”, Martin Campbell, was also present. We talked a bit about Scotland and Bond, read the scene once, and then I left. Everything happened so fast, the sweat under my leather jacket was just starting to form. It was all so cool and topped off by the fact that Barbara was charming and lovely. When I left, I half wondered if I was about to be tested with a car chase home.

Of note, producer Michael G. Wilson previously shared that every Bond must audition using a scene from “From Russia With Love,” the 1963 episode starring Sean Connery.

Still, Heughan lacked the “it” factor that Broccoli and the other Bond producers were looking for.

“When I found out the role had gone elsewhere, however, the feedback I received boiled down to me not being pissed off enough by nature,” Heughan wrote. “I’m always willing to take criticism so I can improve as an actor, but the suggestion seemed to be that I lacked that quality in my real character. I couldn’t see how that would affect playing the role, but it wasn’t up to me, and it was meant to be… It wasn’t about becoming a bad boy. I realized that the edge the Bond team was looking for could be achieved through self-confidence, which, to be fair, I certainly lacked at the time.

Now Heughan has reflected on the missed opportunity, telling EW he would “love to see a Scottish Bond again” after Connery because “every British actor has certainly been talked about for the role.” But Heughan could be out of the running for good.

“Maybe I’m too old now. I know they talked about making it younger,” Heughan said. “I feel like that’s where they’re going, but who knows what they have in mind.”

Heughan added: “But he’s a great character. He’s a dark character. ‘SAS: Red Notice’ that I did was really my homage to the Bond world. We worked closely with Andy McNab, who is a highly decorated British Special Forces operator. It’s all based on him, the character, so in a way it’s a more interesting role than Bond. It was an amazing experience studying him and learning more about his experiences. So, I feel like maybe I got my taste of this world.

As debates continue over who will play Bond next after Daniel Craig’s round ends, Idris Elba has denied rumors that he was on the shortlist. Regé-Jean Page, Jacob Elordi and Tom Hardy would also be suitors. However, the next Bond movie is at least two years away.

Source: https://www.indiewire.com/2022/10/james-bond-sam-heughan-wasnt-edgy-enough-007-1234775460/