James Bond Producers Told Sam Heughan He Wasn’t ‘Edgy’ Enough For 007 Role

James Bond producers apparently told Sam Heughan he wasn't 'edgy' enough for the role of 007. Find out more here...
Credit: MGM/Sony Pictures & Alamy

James Bond producers apparently told Sam Heughan he wasn’t ‘edgy’ enough for the role of 007. 

The Outlander star, 42, has recently released his memoir, titled ‘Waypoints: My Scottish Journey’, and in it, has revealed that he auditioned for the iconic role in Casino Royale.

Ultimately, he lost out to Daniel Craig, who went on to play the role of 007 five times.

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In his memoir, Heughan writes about the audition process and recalled how he felt.

He explained (via Variety): “[It was] so hush-hush that nobody ever confirmed that I was being considered for the main role, but I knew. 

“Of course, it blew my mind to think I might even be in the frame for such an iconic figure… I had to remind myself to relax and let them see what I could do with the character.”

Heughan added how he met director Martin Cambell and producer Barbara Broccoli at ‘Bond HQ’.

He wrote: “We spoke a little about Scotland and about Bond, read the scene once, then I left.

“It was all so quick, the sweat beneath my leather jacket just starting to form. It was all just so cool and crowned by the fact that Barbara was charming and delightful. 

“When I left, I half wondered whether I was about to be tested with a car chase home.”

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The SAS: Red Notice actor then noted the feedback he got once he found out he had lost out on the role of James Bond to Craig.

Heughan penned: “When I learned the role had gone elsewhere, however, the feedback I received boiled down to the fact that I wasn’t edgy enough by nature. 

“I’m always keen to take on criticism so I can improve as an actor, but the suggestion seemed to be that I lacked this quality in my real character. 

“I could not see what bearing that would have on playing the role, but it was out of my hands, and meant to be.”

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale.
Daniel Craig beat Sam Heughan to the role of James Bond in Casino Royale. Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Sony

He continued: “It wasn’t a question of becoming a bad boy, I realised that the edge the Bond team sought could be achieved through self-confidence, which to be fair I was certainly lacking at the time.”

Now that Craig has retired from the role, would Heughan be tempted to audition for the role once again?

Well, speaking to Entertainment Weekly, he seemed to dismiss the idea.

Heughan told the news outlet: “Look, every British actor certainly has been talked about for the role.

“I would love to see a Scottish Bond. Maybe I’m too old now. I know that they’ve been talking about making him younger. I feel like that’s where they’re gonna go, but who knows what’s in their mind.”

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Producers Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson have admitted that they are ideally looking to cast ‘in their 30s’, which would rule out Heughan as he is in his early 40s.

Although the actor was never cast in the role, he has admitted that James Bond has had an influence on his career, as his character in SAS: Red Notice was largely based on 007.

He told Entertainment Weekly: “He’s a dark character. SAS: Red Notice that I did was very much my homage to the Bond world. 

“We worked very 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.”

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a content editor at IGV who specialises in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.