Sam Neill as James Bond

in Actors Posts: 6,627
Interesting article in Empire magazine this month. They have a section called 'Best of Times/Worst of Times', where an actor is asked best/worst piece of Direction, location, costume and moment in their career. Sam Neill is this month. in the section best audition/worst audition, he puts his audition for Bond for TLD as worst, "one of the worst days of my life. I didn't want to be there, and I was so uncomfortable all day. There was nothing good about the day at all" He says his agent bullied him into doing it! I remember at the time that Neill would have been an interesting choice after seeing him in the superb Reilly-ace of Spies! But its just as well he didn't, if this was his attitude! Not ace at all!
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Comments

  • Posts: 6,432
    Maybe my memory is playing tricks, did Sam Neil audition also prior to Octopussy?
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,220
    Birdleson wrote: »
    His screen test, at least the short clip that I've seen, was pretty weak.

    Agreed, his audition didn't do much for me when I saw it.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    Neill's a great actor, but no Bond in my view. I also thought his audition was horrendous, but not as bad as Brolin's which was a disaster imho.
  • pachazopachazo Make Your Choice
    Posts: 7,314
    Oh, so he didn't even want to do it? Maybe that's why his screen test bombed? Either way, I don't think he was a good fit.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    I agree he's a great actor, but he wouldn't have suited Bond.
  • Posts: 6,432
    ...and we may never have had Event Horizon if that fateful day turned out differently.
  • Posts: 11,189
    He was quite self conscious in that audition.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    ...and we may never have had Event Horizon if that fateful day turned out differently.
    While, it wouldn't have been a great loss, I have to say I enjoyed Event Horizon. Neill was pretty frightening at the end. Disturbing film.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    edited May 2016 Posts: 40,220
    bondjames wrote: »
    ...and we may never have had Event Horizon if that fateful day turned out differently.
    While, it wouldn't have been a great loss, I have to say I enjoyed Event Horizon. Neill was pretty frightening at the end. Disturbing film.

    I had that movie recommended to me so many times, and on top of the great reviews, I thought there was an excellent space thriller/horror film I had been missing out on all these years. Finally watched it, and thought it was awful. As always, though, Neill was good in it. He's also fantastic in 'Peaky Blinders.'

    As others have said: great actor, but I don't think he would've made a great Bond.
  • Posts: 6,432
    bondjames wrote: »
    ...and we may never have had Event Horizon if that fateful day turned out differently.
    While, it wouldn't have been a great loss, I have to say I enjoyed Event Horizon. Neill was pretty frightening at the end. Disturbing film.

    Its a film I own, I do enjoy it despite ripping off several other movies. Its like Hellraiser in space...

  • Posts: 1,631
    I think Neill could have been an interesting choice. I think it's a bit hard to truly judge his screen test on just the little bit of it we've seen (assuming that there's not more out there that I've missed), but I would agree that his delivery of the "my friends call me James Bond" line was a bit awkward. Now, the guy who got the role at the time also was pretty laid back about the "Bond, James Bond" line, so I can't really use that to indict Neill as a bad fit for the role in general.

    If he didn't want to do it, that's perfectly fine. Not everybody wants to be James Bond. I wouldn't have taken him in the role over Timothy Dalton, but I might have over Brosnan. Either way, I think it worked out for the best. We might not have had him in Jurassic Park had he taken the role, which would have been a shame.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited May 2016 Posts: 17,640
    I think that Sam Neill was an interesting choice for Bond (as is Daniel Craig of course) though I admit I've not seen his screen test. I suppose that he certainly had the credibility in the spy genre with Reilly: Ace of Spies under his belt.

    Sidney_reilly_8.jpg
  • Posts: 11,189
    "....because I think you're a sexist, misogamist dinosaur
    "I find your attitude offensive, especially after ACTUALLY seeing dinosaurs"

    ;)
  • Posts: 9,671
    God Event horizon was horrible


    This explains my views on it
  • talos7talos7 New Orleans
    Posts: 7,730
    Great actor but not Bond.
  • Posts: 15,732
    I think he looked good in what little I saw of his screentest. Pity the Daylights DVD didn't have the whole thing. I do have a hard time picturing him as Bond in that film, though. Somehow, Daylights is one of the few Bonds I can't really picture any other actor in.
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    For those who haven't seen the screentest...

  • edited June 2016 Posts: 1,661
    Sam Neill is this month. in the section best audition/worst audition, he puts his audition for Bond for TLD as worst, "one of the worst days of my life. I didn't want to be there, and I was so uncomfortable all day. There was nothing good about the day at all"

    Surprising comments. Hard to imagine many actors would view a Bond audition like that. I guess James Bond wasn't his kinda thing. The first shot of Timothy Dalton in TLD is so iconic, so perfect, I can't imagine anyone else playing the role!

  • Posts: 14,763
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    bondjames wrote: »
    ...and we may never have had Event Horizon if that fateful day turned out differently.
    While, it wouldn't have been a great loss, I have to say I enjoyed Event Horizon. Neill was pretty frightening at the end. Disturbing film.

    I had that movie recommended to me so many times, and on top of the great reviews, I thought there was an excellent space thriller/horror film I had been missing out on all these years. Finally watched it, and thought it was awful. As always, though, Neill was good in it. He's also fantastic in 'Peaky Blinders.'

    As others have said: great actor, but I don't think he would've made a great Bond.

    I cannot see him as Bond, personally, but I wondered if he couldn't have been able to pull it. Not if his heart was not into it though.

    Question: what did he hate so much about the audition?
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 7,972
    Seems I'm in the minority, but I always thought Neill would have been a great Bond.

    Obviously though, with comments like that, I'm glad he didn't end up with the role. Bond should never be an actor's burden.
  • LeonardPineLeonardPine The Bar on the Beach
    Posts: 3,985
    I always thought he would make a great James Bond, and then i saw his audition..... :-S
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    I've never been fond of the idea of him as Bond, to be honest. But, seeing the audition was fun. James Brolin was really bad, though, whose audition is also seen. I'd love to see Brosnan audition for The Living Daylights, though. I've only seen photos of it and they were from OHMSS, from what I've seen.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    bondjames wrote: »
    Neill's a great actor, but no Bond in my view. I also thought his audition was horrendous, but not as bad as Brolin's which was a disaster imho.

    I thought they were equally bad.
    I'd love to see Brosnan audition for The Living Daylights, though..

    Was probably just as bad, so what the duck happened, EON?
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    Was probably just as bad, so what the duck happened, EON?
    Yes, I agree, it was probably so badly good they're still planning to release it on its own in the right time...
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    What the luck?
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    What the luck?
    Yes, yes. Life is stranger than fiction.
  • MooseWithFleasMooseWithFleas Philadelphia
    Posts: 3,327
    People criticize his screen test, but as far as screen tests go (they can be pretty rough), I thought Sam's was solid. Dalton is a better performer and Brosnan has more charisma, so I can't say 'I'd prefer Sam', but I think he would have done alright.
  • In that screen-test, Neill is holding the gun a bit, well, effeminately perhaps (which might be what you mean by "too frail," Birdleson), but other than that in just those ten seconds he has real, visceral presence and delivers the lines better than most screen-tests I've seen. I'm happy with Dalton, of course, but Neill is a terrific performer himself and could have brought a real dark edge to the role. Some of his early roles in horror films like Possession (and later In the Mouth of Madness) come to mind. With direction, Neill could have been a helluva James Bond. In some alternate universe, fans are enjoying him right now in The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill. But here in ours of course we get to enjoy what they don't. ;)
  • edited November 2016 Posts: 1,009
    I watched Sam Neill as Bond not on those spy films from the 80s, but on The Omen 3. His Damien had that extremely cruel charm and cockyness (and he pays dearly for it) the two kids lacked... And I thought: "No wonder he was considered as Bond!"
  • Major_BoothroydMajor_Boothroyd Republic of Isthmus
    Posts: 2,721
    As a fellow countryman - I like the idea of Sam Neil as Bond - but in reality I couldn't see him fit the role comfortably - but I'd prefer him over James Brolin...what WERE they thinking? That was craziness. Good call on omen 3 - Neil was especially good in that. I never watched Reily Ace of Spies - but I can see why he 'looked the part'. But Sam Neil is also quite an earnest person. That kind of 'Everyman' feel to him rather than the lady killer superspy.
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