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Pierce Brosnan Interview 2
Beyond "Bond"
With Pierce Brosnan –
On Love, Acting & Turning 60

Beverly Cohn

Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brosnan, a Hollywood icon. Courtesy Photo
e's Remington Steele. He's Phileas Fogg. ("Around the World in 80 Days.") He's Dr. Lawrence Angelo ("The Lawnmower Man.") He's Stu Denmeyer ("Mrs. Doubtfire.") He's Ken Allen ("Love Affair.") He's Alex. ("The Mirror Has Two Faces.") He's Professor Donald Kessler (Mars Attacks!) He's Robinson Crusoe. He's Thomas Crown. ("The Thomas Crown Affair.") He is Andy Osnard. ("The Tailor of Panama.") He's Julian Noble. ("The Matador.") He's Sam. ("Mamma Mia!") He's Adam Lang. ("The Ghost Writer.") He's Dan Day. ("Salvation Boulevard.") He is the quintessential James Bond. ("GoldenEye," "Tomorrow Never Dies," "The World Is Not Enough," and "Die Another Day.") These are the characters created by the incredible Ireland born and bred Mr. Pierce Brosnan.

Although virtually unknown to American audiences, Danish actress Trine Dyrholm is one of Denmark's most honored actors receiving the coveted Bodil Award five times from the prestigious Danish Critic Association.

A most elegant Mr. Brosnan and his co-star Trine Dyrholm recently sat down with a select group of journalists to discuss their latest film in distribution – Academy Award-winning director Susanne Bier's "Love Is All You Need." The bilingual film, beautifully shot on location in Sorrento, Italy revolves around a middle-aged widower Philip (Brosnan) and Ida, (Dyrholm) a cancer-stricken woman who has been deserted by her husband who takes up with a much younger woman. The story is homage to finding love in the most unexpected places with amazing performances by these two stars.

Pierce Brosnan as James Bond
Pierce Brosnan was the quintessential James Bond. Courtesy photo

You were such a fabulous James Bond. Do you miss being that super hero?

Brosnan: No, No. That was my day in the sun, but it's another man's job now. I haven't anything but gratitude for being able to portray James Bond. What a dream to be part of that. But, like all dreams, they come to an end and you move on. I've been a working actor all my life and in some regards, it was just another job.


Speaking of another job, what was your experience like in "Love Is All You Need"?

Brosnan: Good segue. Oh this was a joy. I love Susanne Bier's movies. This was a film that stole my heart in many regards and little did I know that I would be working with Trine (Dyrholm.)

Pierce Brosnan with late wife Cassandra Harris
Pierce Brosnan with his late wife Cassandra Harris who died of after a four-year battle with ovarian cancer. Courtesy photo

You've been touched personally by the tragedy of cancer and have been an activist. Is that one of the reasons you wanted to do this film?

Brosnan: Oh, I would say yes. This is a script that touched my heart and the character (Philip) is so much me. I was acutely aware of the similarities of my life and this man's life so how could I not know something about losing a wife and being a single parent. How it went, was the piece found me at the right time in my life, middle age, celebrating that, as a man, as an actor, and then the story was so beguiling and beautiful. So, one sets forth with the best intentions to make a film that will touch people's hearts and also be entertaining.

Pierce Brosnan and Trine Dyrholm in a scene from the movie 'Love Is All You Need'
L-R: Pierce Brosnan as Philip and Denmark's Trine Dyrholm star in "Love Is All
You Need," a bilingual love story revolving around to lonely people.
Photo Courtesy Sony Pictures

Is love all you need?

Trine: Is love all we need? Oh definitely. I think we need love and love is many different things. I love the message in this film. It's not how many years you get, it's what you get out of those years.

Brosnan: Of course it 'tis. It's an essential part of our existence as human beings. Without it, where would we be? Love and only love - there's so little of it. You read about the news of the world and there seems to be just devastation and brutality in our societies with respect to each other's countries and religions.

Pierce Brosnan and Trine Dyrholm in a scene from 'Love Is All You Need'
Pierce Brosnan's Philip reaches out to Trine Dyrholm's Ida.
Photo Courtesy Sony Pictures

Because the material is so close to Pierce's own tragic experience, did you ever feel like you had to hold back anything during the shoot?

Trine: It is quite close to me as well. You see, I have close friends who experienced cancer so I think a lot of people are touched by this and, of course, when you share something as actors, you always play together with respect. I just try to portray this lady as good as I could do. It is not a movie about cancer, but it's also about that and I like the way it is in the movie, but not about it.

wedding scene from the film 'Love Is All You Need'
The two families gather for the wedding. Photo Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

As a woman, did you feel disrespected when the character of your husband shows up for your daughter's wedding with his new girlfriend?

Trine: But I love stuff like that in movies. That's where the drama is – when people are doing all the wrong things and make all the wrong decisions. That's interesting to look at on the screen. Of course, this is a woman's worst nightmare that you could think of – to be at your own daughter's wedding with your man who brings his young, beautiful woman. It's a good set up for the whole drama.

We were told that when people found out you were in Sorrento, traffic stopped, and is making movies like just another day in the office?

Brosnan: Well, that wasn't the case. I don't think we stopped traffic. Sorrento is a very civilized town and a society of people, which is quite old in heritage, so we were left alone. It's the tourists who can be a bit excitable. But, no, making movies is not just another day in the office. They're so hard to make – it's so hard to raise the money and then to do the job to the best of your ability and give a 100% every day because there's a lot of money involved. You give of your time, so I never take it lightly.

Trine, how did you feel when you found out you would be playing opposite one of Hollywood's movie icons?

Trine: Well, I had to meet him and we were sitting like this at a round table and reading the script and he was so generous and suddenly took my arm and looked into my eyes and said some of the lines, inviting me in and showing me that we were together in this. It really helped me a lot and I relaxed completely and I realized what a wonderful man he is and how generous he is.

Pierce, how did you feel when you found out you would be working with one of Denmark's most famous actresses?

Brosnan: I had seen Trine's work and it was a powerful experience to see the way she conducts herself as an actress and the presence she has as a human being on screen and what she gives to her roles. So it was nerve racking for me and also knowing I was going into an arena of actors who were very much an ensemble. These men and women had known each other and had grown up together and it was a wonderful warm embrace, so you just revel in that. But, I was terrified. It's always terrifying. It's a constant constructing and destroying.

What are your goals as an actor?

Brosnan: I think I've done 69 films so you just keep going. You keep going and hopefully you'll find work that is meaningful.

Of the 69 films that you've done, is there one character that lingered with you after the shoot?

Pierce Brosnan as Julian Noble in 'The Matador'
The character of Julian Noble lingered a while after the completion of "The Matador." Courtesy photo

Brosnan: I think "The Matador" was one of those. My wife was concerned when I got back from Mexico City because I still had one of those chains around my neck. That said, my kind of acting is not like the Daniel Day-Lewis school of acting where he goes so deeply into a character. I think to maintain my own sanity, and that's not to say that Daniel is otherwise, but we have a different style of acting. They do live with you. I mean you have a resonance.

How did you like working in Mexico City?

I loved my days in Mexico City. I just love the Mexican way of life. The food. The people and hope to go back there and work again. I worked there many times with "Remington Steel."

Did you always want to be an actor and was there a pivotal moment when you knew that's what you wanted to do?

Brosnan: I was a commercial artist and loved movies and went all the time. One day I was hanging my coat up at work and one of the photographers invited me to a theatre club and I went along with him. Once I discovered that I had some bit of talent for it and could be effective on the stage, I wanted it 100%. I was 18 years of age and that was it.

Having been born in Ireland will you be going back for "The Gathering," the call for all Irish people to return to Ireland to participate in many sub sets such as for pilots, actors, golfers, actors, red heads, etc.?

Brosnan: I was just there a few weeks ago and have been hearing about "The Gathering." I might do that because I'll be in Belgrade on a job, so it's only a hop-and-a-skip across the water, so to speak.

Pierce Brosnan in a scene from 'Love Is All You Need'
Brosnan on turning 60: "I have nothing but gratitude
for coming down the road so far..."Photo Courtesy of
Sony Pictures Classics

What's the name of the film you'll be working on?

Brosnan: This is a movie that my company "Irish DreamTime" is making. It's called "The November Man" from the Bill Granger books. It's a spy movie and Roger Donaldson is directing and that's what we're going to do. It's a cold war story and my character is a man who has been living a quiet life, but then is brought back into the game. We start filming May 20th.

How do you feel about turning 60?

Trine: That's just another day at the office. (laughter)

Brosnan: Cut 'em down to size, woman. (laughter) 60 is definitely significant. It has a ring to it and I have nothing but gratitude for coming down the road so far and still having a career and long may it last, that's all I can say.

With every physical move do you find an accompanying sound? (laughter)

Brosnan: There are a few oos and ouches along the way. You become conscious of the body and the balance of the body but you try to live a healthy life and try to keep up grace under pressure.

Pierce Brosnan with his wife Keely Shaye Smith
Pierce Brosnan with his wife Keely Shaye Smith.
Courtesy photo

How will you celebrate your birthday?

Brosnan: Well last year, my wife Keely and I had just finished our house so we had a huge house-warming party and 59th birthday party. So this time, I think we're just going to go up to northern California for a quiet weekend and I'll ask her if she would marry me again. (A group awww.) That's a good one, right? I've already worked that one on her. So, it's just going to be the two of us, that's it.

Have you told her of your plan yet or are we going to break that story?

Brosnan: Oh I did, so you're not going to break that story. I already told Keely the other day.

You're really a romantic guy.

Brosnan: Of course I'm romantic guy. I'm an Irishman. We know about romance. (laughter).

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Let Bev know what you think about her traveling adventure.

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Thanks so much for those lovely tourism photos, especially of Ireland. I certainly enjoyed all the places you suggested, and am working towards my next vacation. Don’t forget Cuba. That’s an exciting place.

Rosalie, Los Angeles

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Enjoyed your article on Mira Sorvino. Such an interesting background – family, education, career and now human rights activist. I'm not a gossip mag fan so getting more meaty news about movie celebrities from you gives me hope that there are some inteligent life forms in Hollywood.

Peter Paul, Pasadena, CA

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Thank you, Bev. This reminded me to go see the movie, "An Education," which I had already almost forgotten about, having seen the preview a few weeks ago. I enjoy this actress quite a bit--she has a uniqueness about her and she pulls me in. I enjoyed this.

Sandeee, Seattle, WA

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Thank you Beverly,I really enjoyed reading about your intimate conversation with Forest, of whom I am a great admirer. I look forward to seeing the film "Our Family Wedding."

Yoka, Westlake Village, CA

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Thank you for the sending me the beautiful article you wrote about Ireland. We will use your recomendations for hotels in the Southern part. We plan to also go to Dublin and some other Northern cities so I will get some recommendations for these from others. After reading your article, I am getting more excited about going. I think we will be in Ireland for 8 days altogether.

Leah Mendelsohn, Santa Monica, CA

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Very much enjoyed Ms. Cohn's article about Munich, especially the visuals. Though it has been 25 years since my last visit, the piece brought back countless pleasant memories of the city and the people!! Many thanks.

Lawrence, Los Angeles

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Marianplatz and that general area is truly one of the best Christmas celebrations in the world. Between that and Oktoberfest (which I can only imagine) Munich is one of the greatest cities in the world for major annual events.

Christopher Dale, New York, NY

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Hi Bev, you have done some wonderful pieces on some great celebs...Great work. The travel articles are just wonderful too.

Scott Mueller, Huntington Beach, CA

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Your great Zurich article makes me want to go there for the holidays! I love the photos, too, especially the ones of you in the sleigh, the view over the houses and the zoo!

Anna Marie, Santa Monica, CA

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Lovely article! As a European, and having been to Zurich (albeit in summer) I can vouch for this lovely city. Great pictures, too!

Helene Robins, Santa Monica, CA

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Hi Bev,

Nice review, nice seeing you, nice website interface "...Talk to Bev" - Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Richard D. Kaye, Marina del Rey, CA

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Hi Bev,

Your interview with John Cusack is very interesting. I always wondered why these actors/actresses always get top billing when really, if you think about it, the real work come from the animators, writers and tech whizzes who spend far more hours on the movie than those actors. I know, I know, it's the all about marketing. The names of these actors are what bring in the big bucks. Still, I think these actors are way overpaid for the "little" that they do.

I remember that once upon a time, the early animation classics never mentioned the voices behind the characters. I think it was only later when Walt Disney tapped into the voices of known celebrities like Walter Matthau in the Jungle Book or Zsa Zsa Gabor in The Rescuers that the voices became a marketing magnet.

Keep up the good work. I enjoy your interviews as you peer into the lives of the Hollywood celebrities.

Peter Paul of South Pasadena, CA

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