‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ star recalls disastrous James Bond audition

Sam Worthington as Jake Sully in 'Avatar'
via 20th Century Studios

James Cameron clearly sees something others don’t in Sam Worthington. After Avatar became the highest-grossing movie of all time he went on to appear in a bunch of middling action movies, though he’s back on top after returning to Pandora in the smash-hit Avatar: The Way of Water.

Worthington will reprise the role in the three upcoming Avatar movies, with Jake Sully clearly determined to bring the fight to the human invaders and lead the Na’vi to victory. But, if a mid-2000s audition had gone better, he could have had a very different career. In an interview on the Fitzy & Whippa podcast, Worthington explains that he auditioned to play James Bond in Casino Royale, though it didn’t exactly go to plan:

“I did go for Bond. I went and did the audition with Martin Campbell, who ended up directing Casino Royale. You walk in, there’s the girl in the bed, you charm her. I could get the killer of Bond down. I just couldn’t get the charm. I couldn’t charm her. The suit didn’t fit, man. I tried to do a British accent. I did say to them I wanted to wear the white tuxedo like Roger Moore. I wanted to bring back kung fu chops, and they looked at me like I was crazy.”

A kung fu-chopping Roger Moore-esque Bond is precisely the opposite of Casino Royale‘s back-to-basics brutal and blunt spy so we’re not surprised Worthington failed the audition. Even so, it’s interesting to imagine what the world might be like if Campbell had chosen him, likely meaning Worthington would be too tied up with Bond to take on Avatar.

Perhaps his and Daniel Craig’s roles might have been reversed and we’d have seen a very different kind of Jake Sully wreaking havoc on Pandora?

But, let’s face it, Worthington’s everyman qualities make him perfect for Avatar and Craig brought a sense of danger and unpredictability to Bond, so both men ended up in the right place.

Avatar: The Way of Water is still in theaters.