Star Wars star turned 007 down at age 22 (!) and for very good reason

Star Wars star turned 007 down at age 22

The search for a successor to Daniel Craig is in full swing. In 2020, Craig said goodbye to 007 in No Time to Die. James Bond now needs a new actor to breathe new life into the famous agent. Exactly 20 years ago, those responsible were at the same point: when casting for a new Bond, those responsible came across Rupert Friend, who was last seen as the villain Grand Inquisitor in the Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi.

At that time, the Bond owners around Barbara Broccoli almost tore the very young Friend. In a recent interview with Variety, the actor explained why he didn’t want to play the role that would have changed his life.

‘That probably irritated her’: Why Rupert turned down Friend Bond


Rupert Friend in Anatomy of a Scandal

In 2002 Pierce Brosnan delivered his last Bond Die Another Day. The Brit Rupert Friend was still attending drama school. At the age of 22, shortly after graduating in 2003 and his first film roles, he got the message: they wanted to talk to him about James Bond. The series should be restarted. This Bond version would have just left college. Friend met with the Broccolis and then-casting director Debbie McWilliams.

He should test recording graduate and if it went well he would do one Sign a contract for three films. Friend certainly wasn’t the only actor to go through this process, but he was in an advanced stage of the Bond casting process. Then he realized:

I felt I was too young at this point in my life and career. I don’t have the experience, I don’t have the acting skills and I haven’t been through the tough schools of life.

He would have lacked the emotional, psychological and physical qualities that a Bond needs – but, and this is also true, those responsible for Bond were not required at that point in time. Only Friend knew better. “So I politely declined. That probably irritated her.”

‘Would have ruined the franchise’: Rupert Friend had huge respect for Bond

Today he is grateful to have made this decision. He fears the Bond role has swallowed him up. And what’s more, he might have “destroyed the franchise” or would be “at least the worst Bond ever” become.

The Broccolis apparently came to a similar conclusion: Daniel Craig landed the role at 38, a much more mature stage of life than Rupert Friend would have impersonated. Today Friend feels ready for Bond: “Maybe now I have the scars and scrapes”, he says in the interview rather jokingly. In fact, at 41, he would be too old. Craig’s Bond successor is said to be a little younger again, around thirty years old. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is currently the favourite.

*. If you make a purchase through these links or sign up for a subscription, we will receive a commission. .