Belfast Telegraph

Video: Peaky Blinders star Sam Neill's James Bond screen test - 'There was nothing good about the day at all'

By Claire Williamson

Northern Ireland born actor Sam Neill has described his audition for the role of James Bond as one of the worst days of his life.

The Jurassic Park star tried out for the role in The Living Daylights in 1980 - which was eventually taken by Timothy Dalton -after his success in playing a spy in 1983 mini-series Reilly, Ace of Spies.

Neill was born in Tyrone. His father, an Army officer was stationed in Northern Ireland at the time before relocating to New Zealand when he was seven-years-old.

Read more:

Sam Neill on what he's learned 

In an interview for the June edition of Empire magazine the 68-year-old revealed the some of his highlights and some of the slightly less favourable memories of his career.

On his James Bond audition he said: "It was one of the worst days of my life. I didn't want to be there, and I was so uncomfortable all day. There was nothing good about the day at all." 

He also spoke about his audition for the role made famous by Richard Gere alongside Julia Roberts in the 1990s classic Pretty Woman.

He said: "I thought I was pretty good, but obviously not good enough. It was fun to have a day opposite Julia Roberts. She was a gas, larger than life."

Most recently Neill starred alongside Cillian Murphy in the hit BBC show Peaky Blinders in which he spoke with a Belfast accent.

And despite hailing from Northern Ireland the Hollywood star previously confessed to having a little difficulty mastering an Ulster accent despite drawing help from Liam Neeson and Jimmy Nesbitt.

Read more:

How Omagh's Sam Neill had to ask Jimmy and Liam for help to do an Northern Ireland accent

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