Pierce Brosnan will never be the same - the same debonair international spy known as James Bond he played so iconically in the '90s. But no matter. Today, Brosnan is a full-time film actor who is busier than ever, juggling four new movies, five children and newfound visibility. "People think if they don't see you as James Bond, that's it, you're retired," he says. "That I'm still at the table is great."
In addition to the recent Percy Jackson & The Olympians, he plays an ex-British prime minister in The Ghost Writer, opening nationally this weekend. Coincidentally, Brosnan, who lost his first wife to cancer in 1991 and almost lost his son Sean, now 26, in a car accident in 2000, plays a grieving father in two other films. In Remember Me (opening March 12), he plays dad to Twilight star Robert Pattinson, and in The Greatest (April 2 in New York and L.A.), he's husband to Susan Sarandon. Recently, we spoke with him:
What is the smartest thing you've done in your career?
Come to America [in 1982 from Ireland]. America allowed me to have this career and to bring up a family and nurture them. It took many years, but I feel American. I am an American citizen.
What was the dumbest thing?
There were a few contracts I should have looked at more closely. I won't name names. I try not to accentuate the dumbness of life.
Both Remember Me and The Greatest deal with family tragedy. Did you mine your own life experience for those roles?
I play men who were broken by the death of a son. I know what it's like to deal with the death of a loved one, so yes, I called upon that. And I called upon the near loss of my son. ItÕs good to delve into that part of your life and show it.
Is it easier for men to grow older onscreen?
I don't know why society doesn't find women in their 50s and 60s sexy and adorable. Guys have gotten away with it for a long time! Long may it last.
Do you ever have James Bond dreams?
Thank God, I don't. That would be very sad: 'Excuse me, doctor, can I see you a moment? I keep on dreaming I'm in a penguin suit, suspended from a helicopter!'