Clint Eastwood

“The public won’t accept it”: Unlike Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds Regretted Turning Down James Bond Fearing Career Ending Backlash for the Role

James Bond is a role that has a considerable number of stars associated with it who either helmed the part or were considered for it. A prominent name among those is the late actor Burt Reynolds who was also approached for the role of 007. The late actor was one of the most notable choices for the part after Sean Connery quit the franchise. Even though the White Lightning star quickly denied the offer, he continued to regret his decision later.

Burt Reynolds
Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds is one of the most popular names in the history of American movies and television shows. He has not only proven himself to be one of the most successful stars at the box office but also established himself as a prominent s*x symbol. While he has been a part of many popular projects, the late actor is also famous for turning down franchises like Star Wars and James Bond.

Why did Burt Reynolds say no to James Bond?

James Bond
All the portrayals of James Bond yet

James Bond is known for popularizing several actors who turned into household names. It all started after Sean Connery played the role for the first time and had a huge contribution to making 007 a pop culture icon. But soon the actor was tired of playing that role for consecutive six movies. He finally quit the role after returning for the seventh and last James Bond movie in his career.

Following his exit, many names like Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds emerged as his successors. In his memoir titled But Enough About Me (via USA Today)the late Reynolds admitted that turning down James Bond is not a decision, he is very proud of. Initially, the Deliverance fame didn’t think it was a good idea to play a British role being an American along with the fact that he had to succeed someone like the late Sean Connery- “the public won’t accept it.”

But Burt Reynolds didn’t like the decision later in his life- “It was a stupid thing to say. I could’ve done it and I could’ve done it well”. However, it must be noted that except for the Australian Goerge Lazenby, every other James Bond actor has been a British individual. He also spoke about the other 007s where he called Roger Moore’s portrayal his favorite.

“Daniel Craig’s a good actor, but I just find him a little too serious. Ironically, the guy who had the least amount of success in it was the best: Roger Moore. He had been ordering that martini before the picture was ever made.”

Interestingly, Burt Reynolds’ case is the exact opposite of Clint Eastwood’s who considered it perfect to deny the Tuxedo-clad spy.

Clint Eastwood was almost cast as James Bond

Clint Eastwood in a scene from Dirty Harry
Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry

Similar to Burt Reynolds, Clint Eastwood was also thought of as a potential name for the role after Sean Connery exited the role. However, Eastwood didn’t think he was the perfect choice for the part. According to the Dirty Harry fame in a conversation with the LA Times (via Express), he always had an affinity with characters who had a more grounded approach.

“I was also offered pretty good money to do James Bond if I would take on the role. This was after Sean Connery left. My lawyer represented the Broccolis and he came and said, ‘They would love to have you.’ But to me, well, that was somebody else’s gig. That’s Sean’s deal. It didn’t feel right for me to be doing it… I always liked characters that were more grounded in reality.”

Additionally, Eastwood was not British which is one of the elements integral to the character. The “Man with No Name” star admitted as well that the portrayal needed to be true to its culture. So after he denied the role, Burt Reynolds’ Roger Moore was brought on board and continued his run for seven movies.

Currently, after Daniel Craig’s exit from the iconic role, we are yet to get our next James Bond. There are a wide number of speculation regarding the upcoming actor who will helm the role, but we are yet to get an official name for the part.

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