In the years leading up to “Casino Royale,” Sam Heughan had appeared in a handful of plays and soap opera episodes. It would be almost a decade before he landed the lead role of Jamie Fraser in Starz’s “Outlander,” making his consideration to portray Bond even more impressive.
The now 42-year-old published his memoir, “Waypoints” in 2022, detailing his experience auditioning for Broccoli during a time when he was “shuttling between fruitless auditions in L.A. and London.” In an extract shared by EW, Heughan wrote:
“I went along to the Bond HQ and tried out for the casting director. Afterwards, I was invited to head up to the next floor, where producer Barbara Broccoli was waiting for me, like M, sitting in a leather chair across a large table. A replica gold revolver served as a centerpiece in front of her. The director of ‘Casino Royale,’ Martin Campbell, was also there. We spoke a little about Scotland and about Bond, read the scene once, then I left. It was all so quick, the sweat beneath my leather jacket just starting to form.”
37-year-old Craig would be chosen over the then 25-year-old Heughan. The producers ditched Cavill in the process, too. Heughan was told he wasn’t “edgy enough.” The actor struggled with that critique, considering it to be a comment on his personality rather than his acting skills. (To be fair, it kind of is.) But the decision also likely had to do with his age.