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Sam Heughan is among several actors favoured to take over from Daniel Craig in the role of British spy James Bond, after the current star’s final 007 reprisal in ‘No Time to Die’. The ‘Outlander’ star joins a roster of other shortlisted celebrities including James Norton (of ITV’s Grantchester), Richard Madden (of HBO’s Game of Thrones) and Tom Hardy (of BBC’s Peaky Blinders). Scottish-born Sam has admitted his ambitions to take up the mantle – but in an unearthed interview called for major changes to the 58-year-old film franchise.
Sam revealed his hopes to become the “Martini, shaken-not-stirred” sipping spy, while promoting another film where he played a secret agent.
He discussed the possibility of taking the reins and that his name had regularly appeared in connection with James Bond on the Today show two years ago.
As of today (July 9), Sam is considered the third likeliest to replace Daniel Craig, according to Paddy Power, falling just short of James Norton and Richard Madden.
But while teasing action-comedy flick ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’, which starred Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon, similarities were drawn between the two roles.
US host Kathie Lee Gifford said: “I mean when you signed on – you had to audition – you said for this you’re a Scottish guy auditioning for a British role.”
Sam was in South Africa when he read the initial script and claimed to have found himself “laughing out loud” at how “funny” it was.
The presenter continued to add that it “must have been fun to do something so different from ‘Outlander’”, where he played Jamie Fraser.
Sam replied: “You’re absolutely right, you know it’s about doing different roles and this was a great opportunity to lose the kilt and the ginger wig.
“It was nice to put something else in, a little homage to James Bond as well, it was a lot of fun.”
Seizing an opportunity to grill him on any ties to the 007 role, co-host Hoda Kotb added: “Speaking of James Bond, we hear rumours, we can’t confirm, we don’t know if they are true.
“But your name keeps popping up in that little circle of James Bond… you talk about roles that you would be iconic.”
Sam added: “I don’t know, I mean, it’s part of our British heritage isn’t it? I think any man that’s seen in a tuxedo is instantly talked about for James Bond.
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“But it’s a great role and I think Daniel Craig’s done a great job.”
While he appeared to lather praise upon the current 007 actor, Sam went on to snipe: “But come on man! I think it’s time we had a Scottish Bond.”
Katie joked: “I think it’s time. If the public could vote, I think you might win.”
In the novels books penned by Ian Fleming, which inspired the films, James Bond initially didn’t have a known heritage – later known to have grown-up an orphan.
But according to Visit Scotland, after Glaswegian star Sean Connery took on the role for ‘Dr No’ in 1962 – along with six other reprisals – Mr Fleming made a disclosure about the fictional spy.
They claim the writer “gave Bond Scottish Heritage” because he was “so impressed” by Sean’s portrayal.
This manifested in the novel ‘You Only Live Twice’ where the character attends a private school in Edinburgh and later it was revealed his father came from Glencoe, as shown in 2012 blockbuster ‘Skyfall’.
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