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Liam Neeson says late wife Natasha Richardson didn't want him to play James Bond

The actor was considered for the role in the early '90s.
Liam Neeson and his wife Natasha Richardson
Liam Neeson and his late wife, Natasha Richardson, married in 1994.Yui Mok / PA Images via Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Double-oh … no!

Liam Neeson was apparently considered for the role of James Bond in the early ‘90s, but his late wife, Natasha Richardson, quickly shot down that possibility.

“I know they were looking at various actors, and I apparently was among them,” Neeson, 69, said on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” Thursday. “However, my dear, departed wife did say to me … ‘Darling, if you’re offered James Bond and you’re going to play it, you’re not going to marry me.’”

In keeping with her wishes, the “Taken” star bowed out of the Bond race, and he and Richardson tied the knot in 1994. They remained married until 2009, when Richardson died at 45 of a head injury following a skiing accident.

Though he never ended up playing 007, Neeson says he often teased his wife about what could have been, going up to her after arguments and humming the iconic James Bond theme song while holding his hands in the shape of a gun.

The actor also shared another sweet anecdote about his wife in 2016, describing how Richardson surprised him with a performance of “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison on their wedding day.

"Behind my back, Natasha had been taking singing lessons to sing it to me," he told John Benjamin Hickey on Andy Cohen's "Radio Andy" SiriusXM show. "After the ceremony, we were all going in to start the night's festivities, she grabbed the microphone and she sang me this. She had learned it and I was like, 'Wow!’”

Neeson and Richardson met while co-starring in the 1993 Broadway revival of the Eugene O’Neill play “Anna Christie.”

Neeson recalled the on-stage chemistry he had with his late wife in a 2014 “60 Minutes” interview with Anderson Cooper.

“She and I were like Astaire and Rogers,” he said. “We had just this wonderful kind of dance, this free dance, on stage every night.”