Northern Irish actor Liam Neeson once ruled himself out of the running to play movie superspy James Bond after receiving an ultimatum from his then-fiancee, Natasha Richardson.

The Taken star reveals he had been approached to possibly take over from Timothy Dalton as secret agent 007 during the mid-1990s, but he ended up withdrawing from negotiations.

He tells, "I was heavily courted, let's put it that way, and I'm sure some other actors were too.

"It was about 18 or 19 years ago and my wife-to-be said, 'If you play James Bond we're not getting married!' And I had to take that on board, because I did want to marry her."

The couple wed in 1994, but British actress Richardson tragically died following a skiing accident in 2009.

Neeson wasn't the only actor considered for the role of Bond during that time - Ralph Fiennes recently revealed he had also auditioned for the job, but lost out to Pierce Brosnan.