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Why Clint Eastwood turned down James Bond

Clint Eastwood has had many roles over the years but it turns out that despite Hollywood's best efforts he just isn't keen on playing James Bond

Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry

Clint Eastwood has become synonymous with some of the best Westerns over the years, starring in the likes of Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy, and helming the award-winning Unforgiven. But, you probably didn’t know that the legendary star wasn’t just seen as a gunslinger in Hollywood, but also as a potential 007.

In an interview with the LA Times’ Hero Complex blog (via Independent.ie), Eastwood explained how, back in the day, he was approached to play some huge franchise roles: Superman and James Bond. Regarding being approached to play the famous secret agent, the actor explained how he couldn’t envision himself as a James Bond actor, such as Sean Connery, who has portrayed the character in seven spy movies since 1962.

“I was also offered pretty good money to do James Bond if I would take on the role. This was after Sean Connery left,” Eastwood said. “My lawyer represented the Broccolis [who produce the Bond franchise], and he came and said, ‘They would love to have you.’ But to me, well, that was somebody else’s gig. That’s Sean’s deal. It didn’t feel right for me to be doing it.”

Eastwood clarified that he prefers more ‘gritty’ and down-to-earth characters. And if you have seen any Clint Eastwood movie over the years, such as Dirty Harry and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, you’d know that the star thrives in brutal stories and playing complex anti-heroes.

“I always liked characters that were more grounded in reality,” he explained. “Maybe they do super things or more-than-human things – like Dirty Harry, he has a knack for doing crazy things, or the western guys – but, still, they’re not caped crusaders.”

It would have been fascinating to see Eastwood as 007, but some things just aren’t meant to be.