Michael Jackson as James Bond? Not to say that it could have happened, or that it got anywhere near happening for real, but the iconic pop star at least wanted it to happen at one point. This, according to big time Hollywood agent Michael Ovitz, who reveals the bizarre but apparently true tale in his new book, Who is Michael Ovitz?
The story goes that Michael Jackson was determined to get a shot at playing the role in the 1980s. So, he called an impromptu meeting with Michael Ovitz and they met at his home in Los Angeles. Ovitz and his associate Ron Meyer arrived at Jackson’s home and they were both shocked to find out that the man behind such hits as Thriller and Billie Jean wanted to take up the mantle of 007. After dropping his hat in a pot of guacamole, Jackson put his hat back on and the encounter continued thusly.
“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.”
Based on the timeline, this would likely have been around the time that Roger Moore was getting ready to hang it up and before Timothy Dalton was officially announced as Bond. To say the very least, going with Michael Jackson would have been taking the franchise in a very different direction. Even at the base level, no American actor has ever played the role (in a canon Bond movie) and being British is certainly a minimum qualification. Unless you’re George Lazenby, who was Australian and played the part just once. Especially at that time. Michael Ovitz managed to talk Jackson out of it, as he explained to the star.
“[you’re] thinly built, you’re too sensitive, you won’t be credible as a brutal block of stone.”
It’s not terribly uncommon for music stars to want to make the transition into movie stars. And Michael Jackson is as big as they ever come. So it makes sense to some degree, but James Bond is certainly a strange place to start. Were it not for some of the other bizarre stories about Jackson, this might be more difficult to believe.
The icon also tried to petition George Lucas to let him play the role of Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Ultimately, Michael Jackson did have several roles in Hollywood, including a part in The Wiz and the infamous Captain EO. Jackson also had a pretty memorable cameo in Men in Black II, as he was revealed to be an alien who was trying to convince Zedd that he could be “Agent M.” If you feel like digging in a little deeper, you can head on over to WhoisMichaelOvitz.com to pick up a copy of the book.