James Bond: Outlander Sam Heughan on replacing Daniel Craig as 007 ‘Don’t want to jinx it’

Outlander’s Sam Heughan reveals who he’s named after

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Criminal terrorists have hijacked the Eurostar train in a tunnel underneath the Channel. An elite British special agent must save the day. So far, so Bond. Heughan has swapped the whimsy of kilts and time-traveling romance for a hardbitten action thriller that serves as a perfect audition for heading off on Her Majesty’s Secret Service. And he is ready to speak openly about the idea of taking over after Craig steps aside at the end of Bond 25.

In a recent interview, Heughan had previously talked about his “incredible” audition to replace Pierce Brosnan in the role many years earlier.

He said: “I met Barbara Broccoli and Martin Campbell. I did a scene and they had the gun from The Man with the Golden Gun on the table and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is incredible’. It was surreal. He’s a character we’ve all grown up with.”

But now he has spoken up about his hopes to take the role on his second attempt and delved into his fascination with the character.

In new interview this week with Esquire, he said: “Somebody asked me earlier, ‘Is James Bond a psychopath?’

“There are a lot of high functioning, ‘good’ psychopaths, as we call them, in the military, but also lawyers, doctors, surgeons – people that have to be in these high-stress situations that need to be logical, and not allow their emotions to take them over.

“It might be a learned behaviour, or it might be something they’ve been born with, but in a stressful situation they can turn down their empathy, they can turn up their logical thinking, or whatever it is.”

He added: “If they need to be charming, like maybe James Bond, you know, he could be more charming.

“It’s very much about them being able to just manipulate their emotions and turn them on and turn them off.”

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Heughan plays another emotionally detached action hero, Tom Buckingham, in SAS Red Notice, which is based on the Andy McNabb novel of the same name.

The character has echoes of Bond in Skyfall, with dead parents and an ancestral home. He is also exactly the man you would want to send in when everything has gone to hell.

Heughan is also a strapping 6’3, so don’t just send him into the Channel Tunnel, get him strapped into that tuxedo and give the man a martini already.

The Scottish actor has clear thoughts on whether that is about to happen.

Heughan said: “I think any actor would never say they’re not interested. Of course, you’d be interested…. he’s (Bond) a great character, and would certainly be a fascinating character study and place to kick off.”

Uk bookies have just slashed odds on Heughan being the next James Bond, with one betting agency halving the actor’s odds overnight.

But has Heughan spoken to the Bond producers? They clearly know and like him since he was called in before, many years before. And his stature has since risen considerably thanks to Outlander. So, has he had another audition this time around? 

Heughan –  like the other front-runners including James Norton, Idris Elba and new favourite, Bridgerton’s Regé-Jean Page – is remaining a little coy.

He said: “I mean, it is all rumours, and sometimes you think, should I, should we even talk about it? Because you don’t want to jinx it.

“I’m sure the people, whoever runs [Bond] – you know, Barbara Broccoli and Eon and all that – they must be sick of it; people sort of throwing their hat into the ring.”

Even so, Heughan is right at the top of the list of actors in teh running, with the latest odds of 3/1. Just two stars are ahead of him.

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