Like a former Bond, Pierce Brosnan was talking to me from under a palm tree. “Under my beautiful palm trees on the north coast of Hawaii,” he explains with quiet appreciation, before asking me how everyone is “coming home.” He was in Ireland for the summer, shooting a movie in Belfast, and will soon be back to appear in the adaptation of Niall Williams’ best-selling book Four Letters of Love.
First, however, there are Black Adam, Brosnan’s first foray into the bright and brutal world of superheroes, and part of the DC Extended Universe. “Over the years, I used to watch these movies,” he said, “even though Sorcerer Supreme or The Avengers, and I was wondering who I would play in a superhero movie, or would I be offered any role. Then one day my agent called and said, ‘You’ve been offered the role of Doctor Fate.’ And I read it and I thought, “Why not?”
Black Adam stars Dwayne Johnson as an ancient Egyptian warrior who steps into the present and begins his slow journey from villain to hero. Brosnan explained: “Doctor Fate is one of the oldest characters in the DC comics world. “I think he goes back about 80 years. This is his first time on screen, so I’m honored and excited to be joining this cast, as well as working with Jaume Collet-Serra, and with Dwayne. “
His personality is, on balance, “a nice guy. I think he was partly inspired by the archeologist Howard Carter, so, you know, I did some research and read some comic books, and then started trying to imagine myself as a human. Men are shackled to this helmet, and there’s the curse of that. He is the gatekeeper to this powerful artifact that foretells the future, and has great power. I was thinking about who such people are in life today, and one of them is David Attenborough. I started thinking about Doctor Fate’s voice and character, and David’s voice resonated with me, and so the journey began. “
Immersed in the high-tech world of superhero movies, Brosnan is forced to wear one of his tight motion capture suits. “It was a challenge,” he said, laughing. “A mighty man has to stand in front of 200 people in a very tight motion picture suit.”
Not flattery? “Well, that depends on how you wear it, Paul, and having been so well versed in theatre, I gave the court press full coverage of it. And you know, I didn’t have to do any wiring work like Aldis Hodge did, but I had to wear a suit with a cap, and I skipped it. Grace under pressure and all that. “
Johnson, he said, is a man enjoying his moment. “I had never met him before, and we had a few days together here and there on film. He is very welcoming and charming. He’s on top of the world with his career and life, and he’s making the most of it.” The finished film, he said, is “big, bold; it was a great ride, and Dwayne was a great presence in it.”
I have nothing but gratitude to have been lucky, lucky, still making movies and enjoying the company of the actors – I don’t know what else to do
Brosnan will turn 70 next year, but looks busier than ever. Retirement, a person embraces it, is not a word to throw around himself.
“No. I think it was Michael Caine who told the actors not to retire, the phones would stop ringing. I’m 69 years old, and I have nothing but gratitude to have had the good fortune, the good fortune, to still make movies. and enjoy the companionship of the actors – I don’t know what else to do. And you know, there are four movies in Can right now. Black Adamyes Outlaws, Quick Charlie, The ultimate shooter.
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“I love my painting and my art, but I still love the world of actors and performance, and so you keep doing it.” Brosnan revived his passion for painting in the late 1980s, after his first wife, Cassandra Harris, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer that would eventually kill her. It has become a regular pastime and in 2018 a portrait he did of Bob Dylan sold for 1.2 million euros at a charity auction.
What strikes you when talking to Brosnan is his very Irish accent and appearance. This is remarkable when you think he was 11 years old when he left Navan for Scotland, where his mother had established herself. He spent his teenage years in London, and immigrated to America before he turned 30, but maintained a soft yet strong demeanor, and Brosnan has said, “My Irish personality has in all that I do.”
Brosnan was still a child when his father, Tom Brosnan, a Kerry carpenter, abandoned him and his mother. When he was 4, his mother, Mrs. May, moved to England to work as a nurse, and he was mainly raised by his grandparents.
From the De La Salle Brothers, young Brosnan received a solid upbringing passed on to education in 1950s and 1960s Ireland. “They were a nimble group of graduate students,” he recalls. “Oh, they are terrible. Not all, but the ones that have been heavily exposed.”
Upon moving to England, he was nicknamed “Irish” by most of his classmates, which made him feel like an outsider and perhaps explains his decision to refuse citizenship. After school, he studied commercial illustration at Saint Martin’s School of Art in London, but had always dreamed of working in films.
He fell in love with acting while attending seminars at the Oval House in Lambeth, and later studied at the Drama Center. His first real break came when Tennessee Williams invited him to one of his plays in London, Red devil battery sign. His first movie was Long Good Fridaya classic about gangsters in London.
“I remember I worked in theatre, I was in the West End doing Filumenaa stage show, with Franco Zeffirelli, when I got a call about Long Good Friday. They said, ‘Show up at the Tooting Bec swimming pool. You are the IRA’s #1 killer. ‘ So that’s what I did, Daragh O’Malley and myself – he’s killer number 2. I think we’re really interchangeable. “
In his brief but powerful film debut, Brosnan caught the eye as the dark and ferocious terrorist foe of East End mobster Harold, who pays the price for messing with the IRA. I saw the movie recently and told Brosnan he was convincing.
“Well, you’re gone,” he said, “fresh and ready to devote himself to the art of acting. Do you know the last scene in the movie where Bob Hoskins gets in the car and the boyos catch him? Ah, I remember very well the night we filmed that scene. We had to work around five o’clock in the afternoon, down to the Savoy Hotel. John Mackenzie is the director, Phil Méheux is the director of photography, and that’s the scene with the car.
“I really, really wanted to drive the car because I thought it would look great, I thought I would be like Steve McQueen, and Mackenzie said, ‘You’re ahead,’ and I thought, ‘What? he said, ‘Get down there.’ I had to hide under the passenger seat. Phil Méheux is behind the camera. Bob Hoskins wasn’t there, he was just a blank tape on camera, and so John Mackenzie drove down the Strand around 4am, and he talked to me through the footage and he said, ‘ Lie down, lie down, stay, and just get up now, and you go. Those are the movies for you. I didn’t know it would become such an iconic movie. “
In the early 1980s, Brosnan was a busy actor, and in 1982 he moved to California after starring in the television show Remington Steele, a gentle caper starring Stephanie Zimbalist as a woman of privacy who hires a male proxy to be taken seriously. It ran for five seasons and became a charting hit, but even then, people were still talking about Brosnan as the next Bond.
Brosnan first met legendary producer Cubby Broccoli on the set of the 1981 Bond movie For eyes only, in which Harris appeared. “If he can act,” Broccoli is said to have said, “he is my man.” For various reasons, Brosnan’s opportunity didn’t come until the mid-1990s. Did he have any qualms about accepting the role of Bond when he was finally offered, given the changing experience? What kind of life will it be?
“Oh no,” he said. “It feels like it’s my destiny. You know Remington Steele It was a great blessing in my life, to come to America in 1982, because, I mean, I love theater, but I’ve always wanted to make movies. And Remington had its lifespan and then the Bond concept was born, and of course, my late wife, Cassie, was a Bond woman, and we met after that, and we always joked about it. I’m Bond, and then lo and behold, I was offered and, you know, well documented that I couldn’t do it – I couldn’t get out of my contract with Remington Steele.
“So for six years it didn’t work. Heart [Timothy Dalton] is a great Bond, and, you know, if Tim had a director like me in Martin Campbell, there wouldn’t be me! I think everything has its own destiny and destiny, and I was ready for it when it came into my life. I’m a little older, I’ll be a few more years old. It was a glorious opportunity and it remains the gift that keeps on giving, allowing me to start my own company, Irish DreamTime, and produce movies, and still stay at my desk. “
Although his main home is in Hawaii, Brosnan loves going to Ireland.
“There was a time when I went backwards and forwards a lot, and then it stopped for a while. But like I said, I just got up to Belfast. We had the best time there, making The ultimate shooter with Terry Loane and now we’re down to Connemara to perform Four letters of love. I really look forward to that. So my wife, Keely and I will be back, and hopefully we’ll go see Kerry, because there’s a whole side of my family there that I haven’t met for one reason or another. “
Is that his parent?
“That’s right, Tom Brosnan, so I’m going to try to go to Kerry to see some of the people there fill the great void of life. That would be a nice pilgrimage. “
Black Adam is released on Friday
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-features/pierce-brosnan-it-takes-a-mighty-man-to-stand-in-front-of-200-people-in-a-motion-capture-suit-which-is-very-tight-42062262.html Pierce Brosnan: ‘It takes a mighty man to stand in front of 200 people in a very tight motion picture suit’