| EDITORíS NOTE: The following interview
originally appeared in the April 1, 2010 edition of the Santa Monica Mirror
and the edited version is being reprinted as a courtesy of that publication.
Pierce Brosnan as the grieving father in "The
Photo Credit: Paladin
007 Is Definitely a 10+
By Beverly Cohn
hen Pierce Brosnan walked into the room, dressed in chic jeans, black
shirt, and blazer, it was although he had a klieg light shining on him.
His presence, both warm, powerful, and dazzling, coupled with his radiant
Irish smile, filled the room with excitement that would permeate the
ensuing interview regarding his latest film, The Greatest, written and
directed by Shana Feste in which he co-stars with Susan Sarandon, Carey
Mulligan and Johnny Simmons. The story is about the loss of a child
and the impact on the family. Brosnan is no stranger to grief having
lost his first wife Cassandra Harris to ovarian cancer and a near-death
experience with his son.
Q: As a parent you almost had the experience depicted
in the film. Did you draw on your personal experience?
Brosnan: One dark night, I experienced the near death
of my son, as I watched him being airlifted out in the canyons of Malibu
and found myself in a chapel praying for his life. So, when the script
came to me I read it and then threw it under the bed because as good
as it was, and as touching as it was, I felt that I didnt want
to go there. But, luckily Beau St. Clair (producer and partner in
Brosnans Irish DreamTime) was tenacious and a few weeks later
I looked at it again and said alright, lets go, lets
do this. The Greatest is Pierce acting out a role, pretending
to be this man Allen Brewer.
Q: Was this the most emotionally demanding character
youve ever worked on?
Brosnan: I havent done anything quite this emotional.
The breakdown for him is very poignant so you use what you have in your
life experiences repertoire, including the pain.
Q: Was there any healing for you in doing this film?
Brosnan: I dont know if there was healing
per se, but certainly the exploration was fascinating. Acting is constantly
about constructing and destroying and thats why its such
a psychologically damaging to experience to some actors who go beyond
the pale. I like to stick to light entertainment really (laughing).
Pierce Brosnan with Carey Mulligan who plays
girlfriend of his late son. Photo Credit: Paladin
Q: What would like the audience to take home with them?
Brosnan: I thought if we got this right, it could be
an enduring piece of drama for people who have experienced such tragedy
in their lives. It could be entertaining and uplifting and meaningful.
Its just as great to cry, as it is to laugh.
Q: There were a lot of intensely emotional scenes in
the film. After shooting one of them, how did you re-center?
Brosnan: Just sat down and had a cup of tea. Ive
been doing this for many years now, but this kind of work is certainly
going back to the beginning of my career where your emotions are much
closer to the surface, but as you get older, you have ways of dissembling
and protecting yourself. Its takes courage to go out there and
Q: What was one of the most difficult scenes for you?
Brosnan: That scene in the hospital bed, which was my
first scene on the very first day of shooting. I turned to my producers
and said, What the heck are you doing to me girls? Cant
we push this to the end? But we couldnt because of schedule
and timing, we had to shoot that particular scene that day.
Q: Do you think one can ever master acting?
Brosnan: No, I dont think so. Your life is constantly
in flux your emotions, your center of living, and understanding
of life is constantly changing, and should be, if you want to be exhilarated
by it and present in life.
Q: How would you describe you current career path?
Brosnan: Its all about the work. You reach the
mid-life of your life and you look back and think this is what I do
and luckily what I do I still love. How do you stay at the table and
try to find new roles, including character parts. And, youre always
dealing with the ego of letting go.
Q: Have you given new guidelines to your agents?
Brosnan: Yes. Ive told them not to look for the
big starring roles. If they come in great, but lets look for character
work. Lets look for supporting roles. Lets be adventurous
across the board in finding the best, most challenging work.
Q: Do you need to stay in touch with your roots in Ireland?
Brosnan: My heart and soul are Irish. I come from so
places from the life Ive lived, but the overall place I come from
is America. Its the longest place Ive lived in. But ultimately
its about the work and finding the best work I possibly can.
Q: When you look back at your Remington Steele
days, do you look back fondly?
Brosnan: Indeed. Remington was a major gift in my life.
Hop on a plane to borrow two grand from a bank manager in south London
and hop on a plane to come to America to find an agent and the third
day youre here you get a car from Rent-a-Wreck and drive across
Laurel Canyon to CBS who is looking for Remington Steele and you end
up being Remington Steele. I mean you gotta tip your hat to someone.
In that case, I tip it to my late wife who said we must go to America;
otherwise I would have just stayed and just played it safe. So Remington
is hugely significant, but every part of your career is significant.
Q: You achieved the Hollywood dream. Is it still possible
for other actors to achieve that in view of how Hollywood has changed?
Brosnan: If you watch Dancing With The Stars
or American Idol, then you know its quite possible. You
see people with great gifts fall from heaven.
Q: When you were a child do you go to the movies and
did you connect with one particular film?
Brosnan: I went to the Lyric and The Palace in Navan,
County Meath. There was one film called The Defiant Ones with
Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis which was fascinating. Being a young
Irish lad of nine, I didnt quite understand the complexities of
the story. The image of this black man and white man being shackled
together stayed with me a long time.
Q: How do you account for your remarkable career? Is
it luck? Timing? Destiny? Or, are you just incredibly gifted?
Brosnan: Destiny. Its fate. Its just meant
Q: I have one final question to ask you. Are you still
practicing fire eating?
Brosnan: No Im not. My last performance of that
was on the Muppets in 1995, which Im sure you can pull up on Google.
But, no, Ive grown up. Im a much more serious kind of actor