Categories: Movie News

Exclusive: Mel Gibson on turning down James Bond

Yesterday, I posted an excerpt from a recent interview I did with Mel Gibson for his new movie, Bandit, where he optimistically discussed the status of Lethal Weapon 5. The full transcript of the interview will be up tomorrow, but here’s another tease. Everyone knows that at one point, Mel Gibson was offered the role of James Bond, and in my interview, the actor himself explained why he turned it down.

This came about when discussing his new film Bandit, in which Josh Duhamel plays notorious Canadian bank robber Gilbert Galvan Jr. I noted to Gibson that I thought Duhamel was incredible in the movie, but that it’s very different from the usual, more lightweight, romantic roles he gets. Gibson noted that sometimes if someone excels in a genre, they get pigeon-holed, with him fondly remembering Sean Connery and how he couldn’t escape James Bond until he did The Untouchables in 1987. It was here that Gibson remembered being offered 007 himself back in the early eighties.

“I got offered the James Bond movies when I was like twenty-six, which is like forty years ago, okay? And they said, hey, we want you to be the next James Bond. And I thought about it; I was in Australia, I was working with Peter Weir. And I did think about it, and I sort of turned it down – for that reason. Because I thought, look what happened to poor Sean, he got stuck there for like three decades.”

As soon as Gibson mentioned Weir (one of my all-time favorite directors), I had to ask him if the movie he was working on was Gallipoli. Gibson answered that it was their next film, The Year of Living Dangerously, that they were working on. I told him that, to me, those are both pretty much masterpieces, to which he replied:

“Yeah, that was Peter. He’s one of those rare talents….”

Much more to come from Gibson tomorrow, as well as interviews with the entire Bandit cast, including Duhamel, Elisha Cuthbert and more. Bandit hits theatres and VOD tomorrow!

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Chris Bumbray