We met Pierce Brosnan

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Pierce Brosnan is a gentleman

Oct 30, 2010
The 57-year-old actor, who has fared better than most former James Bonds by continuing to have a solid career since dropping the 007 mantle, recognises he couldn't have played the character without the stature of Bond behind him."There is a certain maturity within me as a man in years and time, so I hope there is some progression and maturity and still some humour and grace," he says in his whimsical, melodious way of speaking. "You have to acknowledge that and let the circles grow. It is a mighty experience to grow old on screen and to see yourself age and change."

Interestingly fans of the 007 series have noted that Brosnan, who appeared in GoldenEye, The World is Not Enough, Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day, started out as the lightest Bond and finished the heaviest."Is that what they said?" he asks in mock disdain. "Don't they realise that is all a performance, that I put the weight on for the role? Oh dear," he whines, as if giving up. "They always find you in any which way."Since Brosnan was unceremoniously dumped from the franchise there is perhaps some divine justice in the fact that Bond 23, the third movie starring Daniel Craig, is struggling to be made. And that perhaps the second movie, Quantum of Solace wasn't very good. Brosnan has yet to see that film, or Casino Royale.

"I did try once," he recalls. "I was on a plane at 37,000 feet and I thought that was a safe distance for viewing it. I looked at it, it came on the TV and I thought okay... here we go 'Doo dih-dih doo, doo dih-dih doo ...' But it broke down. Then the young lady took care of it and I starting watching it and it broke down again. So I just thought I would leave it alone."A born romantic and a perennial gentleman, Brosnan has an old-fashioned feel about him too. When we met last February during the Berlin Film Festival it was Valentine's Day and he had called his wife, Keely, that morning. "I told her I loved her a million times over and I how miss her warm embrace. Flowers were sent and I bought her some trees, some bushes of gardenias."

The couple, who live in a Malibu mansion, have been together for 17 years, and have two sons, Dylan, 13, and Paris, 9. Brosnan also has a son, Sean, 26, from his 11-year marriage to the Sydney-born Harris, a one-time Bond girl (in For Your Eyes Only) who died from ovarian cancer in 1991. Brosnan stopped work to care for her during her illness and raised her two children, Charlotte, 38, and Christopher 37, whom he had adopted following their father's death.It comes as no surprise that Brosnan has a penchant for old-fashioned films like those by Polanski, dramatic films with a beginning, a middle and an end. "I was a fan of his work from his earliest pieces and first saw Rosemary's Baby when I was a teenager, when I was becoming an actor and I was interested in literature and drama and culture. The arts were very much part of my life. His movies left an indelible impression."When Brosnan and Polanski shot the film by the sea in northern Germany, Brosnan quickly realised his director wanted to steer away from any Blair impersonations, and make the character an amalgam of charming populist leaders. "Lang was groomed to be a politician for the people," says Brosnan, "but his arrogance and mild stupidity led him to make mistakes."

Rather than discussing politics over dinner, they spoke about their families, including their lost wives. "Roman spoke tenderly about Sharon [Tate], and how she'd been the light of his life, but once we started filming it was all about the work. Before we met I was largely unaware of his life. I picked up his biography and I started reading it but I put it down; I really wanted to meet the man on open ground without any literature or story or the embroidery of a life influencing me."Although Brosnan's Irish accent is now very much tainted by living more than half of his life in America, he still retains his Irish soul and his Irish sense of humour. Though that isn't why he no longer lives in England? "Oh no, I love England," he responds. "Jesus, I don't hold any of the sins of the fathers around my neck. England is a great place and London made me the actor I am today. That is where I trained. I trained at a drama school which was method-orientated, and I had great teachers, Christopher Fettes and Yat Malmgren, who were my mentors. These men were powerful men in my life as an actor and I carry their teachings and their words with me to this day."

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