Photo Credit: Phillip Massey/FilmMagic
Back in the early '90s, Mel Gibson was one of the hottest leading men on the planet. With Mad Max, three Lethal Weapon movies and a few romantic dramas under his belt, it seemed he could do anything. He even played Hamlet. But there's one role he just couldn't swing: James Bond.
According to a new interview with Bond writer Tom Mankiewicz, Gibson was gunning hard for the role of 007 at the height of his career. But Bond's producer since the '60s, the hilariously named Albert "Cubby" Broccoli, flat-out rejected him -- because he was short. Says the writer:
"Cubby first of all had a thing about tall people. Bond had to be tall. And so Mel Gibson was too short. Somebody at [film studio] United Artists said to me, 'Call him and tell him Mel Gibson would be great.' And Cubby said, 'I don't want to make a Mel Gibson movie, I want to make a James Bond movie.'"
At 5'8", Gibson is indeed a head shorter than the original Bond, Sean Connery. This blogger has provided a handy height chart, if you'd like to see how he measures up. However, it seems that Broccoli's objections may have had more to do with the fact that Gibson was already an established screen actor with a few memorable roles under his belt. To support that theory, you need look no further than current Bond Daniel Craig, who's a mere 5'10".
Then again, Craig reportedly had to wear platform shoes on the set to keep up the illusion of Bond's height. Says his Quantum of Solace co-star Gemma Arterton:
"When you put me in heels, I was taller than him and it didn’t look good on screen. The whole point of Bond is that he is masculine and hunky... Daniel had to wear special shoes with a lift in them and stacked heels for a few scenes. He took it very well. He thought it was funny."
Sounds like it's for the best that Craig is the first short Bond. Gibson, after all, isn't exactly known for his sense of humor.
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