Legendary actor Burt Reynolds (Boogie Nights, Smokey and the Bandit) is currently out and about promoting his new memoir, But Enough About Me, and when he spoke with Good Morning America he expressed regret for passing on two roles: British super-spy James Bond and Han Solo.
In 1968, Sean Connery quit the role of James Bond and was replaced with Australian model-turned-actor George Lazenby. He starred in one Bond film, 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and then foolishly decided to pass on returning to the role because producer's weren't interested in his input. So, in 1970, Bond producers went looking for a new Bond and made an offer to Burt Reynolds, who at the time was relatively unknown. Shockingly, Reynolds passed on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“I think I could have done it well,” Reynolds said. “In my stupidity, I said, ‘An American can’t play James Bond, it has to be an Englishman – Bond, James Bond. Nah, I can’t do it.’ Oops. Yeah, I could have done it.”
Five years after turning down Bond, Reynolds was offered the chance to captain the Millennium Falcon in George Lucas' Star Wars, but came up with a poor excuse for passing on it as well. “I was busy,” said Reynolds, “but I wasn’t so busy I couldn’t have done it.”
Listen to his comments, starting at the 3 minute mark, in the video below.
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