Mark Strong reveals how he lost out on role as a Bond villain

Actor Mark Strong has told how a night out with James Bond star Daniel Craig before he landed the leading role may have ruined his own chances of starring in the famous franchise as a villain.

Strong, 58, who has starred in films like Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and more recently Cruella, will next be seen in the second series of Temple on Sky, as he returns to play rogue surgeon Daniel Milton.

New Bond film No Time To Die, released in September, is Craig’s final appearance in the role as 007, after 15 years as the spy with the licence to kill.

©Sky UK Limited
Mark Strong is back in Sky Max series Temple (©Sky UK Limited/PA)

Strong told the Radio Times: “I was up for a villain in one of the Pierce Brosnan films – I can’t remember which – and I had learnt my lines.

“And I was quite cocky about that. Because when I started out auditioning, you didn’t learn your lines, you just read them with the director.

“But the night before, I went out for a drink with Danny (Daniel Craig) – this was way before he was Bond. And unfortunately, I had a bit too much to drink.

“So I got to the audition the next day, thinking it would all just come back to me.

“But when I got in the room I dried. The more I couldn’t I remember the lines, the hotter I got, the more I started to sweat, and the worse it got.”

Brosnan starred in four Bond films from 1995 to 2002, among them GoldenEye and Die Another Day.

According to the Radio Times, after “three failed attempts” Strong was asked to sit down by producers.

The cover of the upcoming issue of Radio Times magazine (PA)
The cover of the upcoming issue of Radio Times magazine (PA)

He added: “I didn’t get the job. It was excruciating.”

But Strong heaped praise on Craig, 53, and how he handled his rise to fame after landing Bond.

“You have to have the mental capability for it, as we’re finding from all these reality shows like Love Island.

“You think you want fame; you get on these shows, you get noticed, and then the brutal eye of the world’s attention can be really detrimental.

“Fame isn’t joyous in the way that you think it is,” Strong said.

Other names joining Strong in the second series of Temple, which airs on Sky Max, include Line Of Duty’s Daniel Mays, Game Of Thrones star Carice van Houten and Rhys Ifans.

The full interview is in this week’s Radio Times magazine.