Movies & TV

Michael Jackson Was Almost James Bond, But Guacamole Got in the Way

The King of Pop pitched himself as 007 to Hollywood agents in the 1980s.
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Michael Jackson really, really, really wanted to play James Bond and tried to convince Hollywood heavyweights to get him the role, according to celebrity agent Michael Ovitz's new memoir.

Jackson made his pitch to Ovitz and fellow agent Ron Meyer at the height of his powers in the 1980s. He was wearing his trademark black fedora at the time, though Ovitz says the King of Pop somehow managed to drop it in a large bowl of guacamole. Throughout his pitch for the role, a bit of guacamole slid slowly toward the rim of the hat.

"Then the blob fell off, and Ron totally lost it. I cracked up, too, and Michael stalked out. I found him and explained for 15 minutes that we hadn’t been laughing at him. Finally, Michael’s face cleared. 'OK, Ovitz. OK,' he said. 'But I want to play James Bond.' I am proud to report I didn’t laugh, this time."

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Ovitz eventually convinced Jackson that he wasn't quite the right fit for the part thought: "[You're] thinly built, you’re too sensitive, you won’t be credible as a brutal block of stone."

Absolutely correct. Jackson's not the only outsider who's had a tilt at playing Bond, though.

Mary Poppins chim-chim-cheroo-er Dick Van Dyke was dropped for his unconvincing English accent, historian and swingometer operator Peter Snow was rejected for being too tall, and Blue Peter presenter Peter Purves was in the frame to follow Sean Connery and got an audition, but missed out to George Lazenby. Strangest of all, Cubby Broccoli repeatedly asked Lord Lucan to screen-test, but according to Broccoli all he'd ever say was "Good heavens".

This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.ukMinor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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