Burt Reynolds Regrets Turning Down 'James Bond' Role But What About 'Pretty Woman'?

Burt Reynolds
Getty Images

The 82-year-old actor has passed on some pretty iconic parts over the years.

Burt Reynolds has turned down quite a few iconic roles over the course of his career. 

On Thursday's Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, the 82-year-old actor was asked to explain why he chose to pass up some pretty epic parts. 

Cohen pointed out that in Reynolds' memoir, But Enough About Me, he said that he was up for the role of Michael Corleone in the 1972 movie The Godfather, but Marlon Brando threatened to leave the movie if they hired him. 

As for whether he was bummed to have not starred in that acclaimed film, Reynolds quipped, "No, I was flattered. I was flattered [Brando] was upset."

The two-time Golden Globe winner also turned down the part of James Bond because, according to his memoir, he thought that an American couldn't play the role. 

Reynolds admitted to host Cohen that he does regret not playing 007. 

But that's not all! The actor also said no to Richard Gere's role in the 1990 classic Pretty Woman. When asked why he decided to pass on the part, Reynolds joked, "Because I'm an idiot."

There's one role that he seems to have coveted over all the others, which was the role of Randle Patrick McMurphy in the 1975 movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The part ultimately went to Jack Nicholson and it won him an Oscar. 

"I didn't pass on that. I wanted it desperately. In fact, I tried to kill Jack, but it didn't work," Reynolds jokingly recalled. "You know you can't out drink Jack. You can't out smoke him either."

Cohen further pried as to why he did in actuality pass on the part, to which Reynolds replied, "Because I'm stupid. I should have done it."

In addition to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Reynolds also reportedly turned down Nicholson's other Oscar-winning role in the 1983 movie Terms of Endearment, as well as a part in Die Hard and the role of Han Solo in the original Star Wars.

"I don't like science fiction," he said of turning down the iconic part that would put Harrison Ford on the map. 

Reynolds has been back in the limelight this week while promoting his new movie, The Last Movie Star. While WWHL pressed him about his professional life, the actor was asked to answer some questions about his love life when he appeared on Thursday's Today show. 

Here's what he had to say about his Smokey and the Bandit co-star and former girlfriend, Sally Field