Why David Bowie turned down the role of a villain in a James Bond movie: history and facts
Bright, innovative, charismatic... He gave us not only classic hits, but also a cult image! His alone. Ziggy Stardust - legendary alien rock star, for what it's worth? He has always been the brilliant embodiment of all things eccentric and sensational. In his lifetime. David Bowie demonstrated a penchant for various forms of art. Although he was primarily a singer, Bowie also maintained a reputation as an actor, a fashion icon and a kind of technological innovator (the rock star's experimental venture, BowieNet, was the prologue to the eventual emergence of social media). But let's go back to that first aspect - his acting work.
If you've ever seen the movies "Labyrinth" (1986) or "The Prestige (2006), you have witnessed the fantastic ability of the "Ziggy Stardust" singer to illuminate the screen with profound ease and stoicism. Naturally, in his time, David caught the attention of some big directors with big ideas for their projects, and they didn't hesitate to try in turn to involve him in their cinematic life, confident that he would be more suited to the realization of their ideas than anyone else. And one day Bowie was offered The role of the James Bond villain. This happened when "A View to a Kill" (1985) was just getting started with preparations for filming. But the artist refused to participate in the exciting process and to become part of the iconic franchise. And here's why.
The first reason, or reluctance to "get bored"
Movies about Agent James Bond have long been cult films. There is hardly a person who has never seen at least one picture of this franchise. A sharp plot, well-chosen actors - and even the music is exciting! And how many boys, being impressed by the viewing, imagined themselves in the place of a legendary agent... Needless to say, if some of the most famous people dreamed of becoming part of it. It is known that before his death, the late theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and astrophysicist Stephen Hawking stated that he dreamed of playing a Bond villain in the perpetual Agent 007 franchise! Why, then, did David Bowie, who seemed to show a lively enthusiasm for everything to do with art and film in particular, not share the same aspiration?
Well, his original reasoning was simple: he said it would "boring.". In particular, in his interview the singer stressed:
"I didn't want to spend five months watching my understudy fall off a cliff!"
There may be some truth to that. Unless you're someone like Jackie Chan or Tom Cruise--actors who have been known to perform their own stunts on their own--you really have to be bored. Many of the action scenes in movies that so captivate audiences are performed by trained professionals, which, by and large, has long been no secret. It would seem that David Bowie had better things to do than to watch someone else "have fun" on the set instead of him. However, it later turned out that his reason for turning down "A View to a Kill" might have been a little more personal…
The True Reason for Rejection, or What Roger Moore Has to Do With It
According to some reports, Bowie refused to star in the film because of his potential partner Roger Moore. Why? Let's start with the backstory. In 1976, David and his family briefly moved to Switzerland. Weary of the press, scandals, and rock 'n' roll lifestyle, the artist decided a fresh start in a new country was just what he needed in the midst of the impending chaos in his life. However, the personal space he had longed for became a bit compromised after Roger Moore, who was also living in Switzerland at the time, learned of the arrival of his new rock star neighbor and countryman. Moore had already starred in several Bond films, so show business was no stranger to him.
On the first day, he simply went to Bowie's house to greet his new friend, which at first seemed a cordial enough gesture. However, permanent presence Moore in David's house began to get depressed, and Bowie began to view the actor as an unwelcome guest... As journalist and biographer Dylan Jones writes:
"After two weeks of Moore showing up at 5:25 p.m. - literally every day - David could be found under the kitchen table pretending he wasn't home..."
The idea of spending several months on the set of A View to a Kill under the constant onslaught of banal and unbearable conversations apparently seemed more excruciating than actually jumping off a cliff, so Bowie decided to stick with away from the project.