The late “King of Pop” Michael Jackson once lobbied hard to play James Bond, celebrity agent Michael Ovitz said in his new memoir, admitting that he struggled to keep a straight face when the legendary singer begged for the role.
According to the United Kingdom publication Metro, Ovitz revealed that it was the late 1980s and Jackson was at the height of his popularity after his Thriller album when the singer told Ovitz during a meeting at his home that he wanted to headline an action movie.
Ovitz wrote that his business partner Ron Meyer was in on the meeting when they had to fight back the giggles, which was nearly impossible when Jackson’s hat tumbled into a bowl of guacamole after sharing his acting dream, the Metro reported.
“Then the blob (of guacamole) fell off, and Ron totally lost it,” Ovitz wrote, according to the publication. “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.”
Ovitz wrote that he was left with breaking it to the superstar singer that he was probably not the best fit for the role.
Ovitz wrote, according to the Metro, that he talked Jackson down by telling him that he was “thinly built” and “too sensitive” to be credible as the “brutal block of stone” the Bond character required.
Jackson, though, may have been just ahead of his time with A-list British actor Idris Elba creating buzz recently; it was rumored that he may be in line to replace Daniel Craig as the next James Bond, becoming the first black actor to take the iconic action film role.
Jackson, 50, died June 25, 2009, after suffering from cardiac arrest at his Los Angeles home caused by a fatal combination of drugs given to him by his personal doctor, according to History.com.
His 1982 Thriller album sold 50 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling studio album of all-time at that time and music videos spun from it was credited with making the MTV cable channel a household name, the website said.
Rumors about the Golden Globe-winning Elba taking over for Craig reached a fever-pitch in August when movie executive Barbara Broccoli reportedly told director Antoine Fuqua that “it is time” for the famous spy to be played by a black actor, according to the Daily Star.
Broccoli and her stepbrother Michael G. Wilson have led EON Productions since 1995, and have guided the 007 franchise to continued heights by tapping Craig as the first blond James Bond in 2005, per Variety.