James Purefoy says he “pulled away” from 007 role as he calls James Bond “the job I didn’t get”

The Sex Education actor opened about the role that got away.

James Purefoy

Following delay after delay, No Time to Die is yet to have its theatrical release, and we’re still no closer to knowing who might replace Daniel Craig as the next James Bond, but we do know many actors have missed out on the role in the past.


Sex Education and Altered Carbon actor James Purefoy is one such actor. Purefoy came close to taking on the Bond mantle twice, with the job ultimately going to Pierce Brosnan the first time and to Daniel Craig the last.

In a new interview, Purefoy opened up about why he might have lost out on the job and how it has “plagued [his] life.”


“There have been jobs, Bond being one of them, where you get very close to getting something and then you start pulling away because the ramifications of what would happen if you got it become a little troubling,” he told The Independent. “The closer I got to Bond, the more I wasn’t really sure.”

And apparently, current Bond Daniel Craig had similar reservations before taking on the challenge.

“From what I gather, [Craig] turned it down two or three times because of a similar thing – being uncomfortable with being locked into a massive corporate world where you’re gonna spend more time publicising the movie and wearing watches and suits and having to go to photoshoots and publicity drives… and you end up having to deal with a lot of stuff that you’d just really rather not deal with because it’s not your job.

“It’s not what you do. What you do is exist as somebody else between action and cut. That’s the purest and most interesting part of the job.”

He does wish the cat hadn’t got out of the bag, however, adding, “it has plagued my life – the job that I didn’t get.”

No Time to Die is scheduled for theatrical release on Friday 2nd April 2021. Looking for inspiration on what to watch next? Check out our TV Guide