Australian actor Eric Bana was baffled when the tabloids repeatedly claimed he was a contender for the James Bond role, because he denied the rumours two years ago (04).

The TROY star was frequently named as a possible successor to former 007 Pierce Brosnan over the past two years, until his Munich co-star Daniel Craig was confirmed in the role in October (05).

However, Bana insists he wasn't one of the actors 'rejected' for the role - because he never auditioned to be Bond in the first place and in fact encouraged Craig to accept the offer.

He says, "I was never in contention for Bond.

"My publicist put out a definite statement two years ago denying it and that was the thing that convinced everyone that I was actually doing James Bond!"