Singer and 1970s-era sex symbol Tom Jones said in an interview with the UK's Radio Times that was once up for the role of James Bond, but got passed over because he was “too well known.” The 71-year-old Welsh singer, who had U.S. hits with “What's New Pussycat,” “She’s a Lady” and “Kiss,” said that despite his successful run as a pop singer, he’d have liked to have had a shot at acting.
“The only thing I regret is that I'd like to have had a pop at acting when I was younger,” Jones told the Radio Times. “My name was up for James Bond at one time, but [producer] Cubby Broccoli apparently said I was too well known for people to believe it.”
The role of the fabled Agent 007 was established by Academy Award winner Sean Connery in “Dr. No” from 1962. Connery played the lead role in the half dozen James Bond films that followed (excepting “On Her Majesty's Secret Service” from 1969), after which Roger Moore nabbed the part.
Ironically, it might have been Jones’ presence on the small screen, more than the radio, that made him too popular in the eyes of “Bond” series producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli. From 1969 to 1971, the singer hosted his own variety show, “This is Tom Jones,” which got him nominated for a Golden Globe Award.
Jones was involved peripherally, at least, with one Bond film, singing the main title track for the 1965 film “Thunderball.” He also realized his dream of acting in 1996, when he played himself in the Tim Burton science fiction spoof “Mars Attacks!” These days, he can be seen on UK TV in a new drama “King of the Teds.”
And if you’re wondering whether Jones’ acting is as keyed-up as his singing on songs like “It’s Not Unusual,” the answer is an unequivocal “yes.”
“I have a tendency to overact,” he said to the Radio Times. “It's a Welsh thing.”