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Pierce Brosnan: 'It's a Harsh Time to Be an Actor'

Pierce Brosnan has played a dazzling array of roles since he captivated audiences as James Bond. But now he's making the biggest stretch of his career playing a half-man, half-horse character in Percy Jackson and the Oympians: The Lightning Thief, based on the popular teen novel.

Parade.com's Jeanne Wolf found out what it took for Brosnan to become a mythical creature as well as what it was like to share the screen with Robert Pattinson in his next film.

His mythological makeover.
"I visited a few horse farms before we filmed, but I'm not sure it helped much. The secret to making me a Centaur was CGI. They gave me -- well, how can I put it -- a horse's ass. I looked very buff and butch, I must say. While filming the computer effects, I was on stilts wearing blue tights with orange spots. Not very sexy. Which is not to say I don't look OK in blue tights. As you may remember, I had that scene when I had on a pair in Mamma Mia."

Exclusive Photos of Pierce Brosnan

Why he couldn't say no.
"I bought the book three or four years ago for my son, who's now 12, and then forgot about it. So we were there having dinner one night, and I said, 'They want me to be in this film called Percy Jackson and the Olympians. My son said, 'You got me the book but I never read it.' He checked it out and went, 'Oh, this is good. You've got to do it dad, you've got to do it.'"

Pierce Brosnan's Tough Goodbye to Bond

Co-starring with a hot vampire hunk.
"Remember Me with Robert Pattinson is a really beautifully written piece about a family coping with the death of one of their boys. I play Robert's father, and for me it's about the loss of a son, while from his perspective it's about the loss of a brother. It's nothing like Twilight but it packs an emotional punch. I think you'll see Mr. Pattinson giving a fantastic performance, which will prove he's really working hard on his acting."

Filming with Pattinson isn't easy.
"We filmed in New York and there always seemed to be a hundreds of screaming teenage girls around and I knew they weren't screaming for me. I know it's tough for Robert to cope with that kind of attention. I've been there and I sympathize with him, but I think he's handling it quite well. I think that, so far, he's got it under control."

Sharing the set with a controversial director.
"I play a British prime minister in Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer, which was filmed before he was detained in Switzerland. Roman is iconic in the world of filmmaking. His vocabulary is pure cinema. He knows the medium so well. But he carries so much baggage from his own life that you find him even more intriguing and captivating."

His hope for Polanski's future.
"There's a sadness to the whole situation. What happened years ago was wrong in every way. I just wish him the best and hope that he finds closure for this time in his life. We got on beautifully together although I can't say I know him that well even though I certainly knew his history. My heart goes out to his family, to his wife and his children. I hope this chapter can be closed quickly and that justice will be served with some dignity and compassion."

The unlikely place he got his start as an actor.
"Growing up in Ireland, the Catholic religion was central to my life. I was in the choir and I was also an altar boy. The sheer spectacle of the mass had a profound effect on my life. Actually, helping serve mass and singing were my first performances -- and, of course, I was in costume. I believe that's why I'm an actor! I suddenly figured it out!"

It's tougher than it used to be.
"It's just a pretty harsh time to be an actor, especially with all the reality shows that don't require much of a performance. It's really crazy. And the financing of movies, given the economy we're in, can be pretty brutal. But, it's always been fun for me to be an actor and I'm sure I'll keep on having fun."

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