Sam Heughan Admits He Was Told He Wasn’t ‘Edgy Enough’ To Play James Bond After Rumors He’d Be Next 007

Although Sam Heughan didn't land the iconic role of James Bond, he later found his breakout role in the series 'Outlander'. Learn about his prior audition for 'Bond' here!

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Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser in 'Outlander' (
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Image Credit: Hopper Stone/Lionsgate/Everett Collection

It’s hard to imagine James Bond without Daniel Craig — but there were other contenders for the part just as there are for most movies. Now, one of them has spoken out about what it was like auditioning for the iconic role. Sam Heughan, 42, whose breakout role was in Starz’s series Outlander, revealed in his upcoming memoir Waypoints: My Scottish Journey (via Entertainment Weekly) that he didn’t get land the gig because he was not “edgy enough.” He wrote, “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.”

He also revealed what the audition process, which he described as “so hush-hush that nobody ever confirmed that [he] was being considered for the main role,” taught him. “Following that experience, I learned to appear naturally on that level when required. Even though I was essentially acting outside of the actual audition, it became just one more thing I was prepared to do in order to land a part,” he explained. “I considered it to be a challenge in some ways; a performance I could pretend was really me that I could switch on and off at will. It wasn’t a question of becoming a bad boy. I realized that the edge the Bond team sought could be achieved through self-confidence, which to be fair I was certainly lacking at the time.”

Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser in 'Outlander' (
Sam Heughan in ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ (Photo: Hopper Stone/Lionsgate/Everett Collection)

Of course, Sam had his big break and Daniel, 54, went on to bring James Bond to life in five Bond films. Daniel’s last film was 2021’s No Time to Die, and he previously announced he was retiring from the role and opening up the spot for a new actor. “I didn’t think that I was going to do another movie after Spectre. I genuinely thought that I was going to … just pack it in,” he told Reuters ahead of No Time To Die‘s Sept. 2021 premiere.

“But I’m so happy that I got the chance to come and do this one,” he continued, “And we tied up lots of loose ends. We’ve tried to tell one story with all my Bond movies. It’s like they’re all connected in some way and this one just sort of capped it off.”

Daniel Craig James Bond
(Photo: Francois Duhamel/Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection)

He reconfirmed his decision to pass 007 on during an Oct. 2021 appearance on Good Morning America. “To think back for a second of what was achieved and what these movies have meant to so many people it’s such a big deal. But it’s time to finish. It’s done,” he noted.

So, does Sam thing this may be his time to shine? Not quite. “Look, every British actor certainly has been talked about for the role. I would love to see a Scottish Bond,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “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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