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April 2004
Laws Of Attraction

By Julian Roman

Laws Of Attraction

I'm on a roll interviewing cool, personable movie stars. Pierce Brosnan is the man we all want to be. He's good-looking, tough, and about as down to earth as you can get. He must get inundated with Bond questions, but answered everything and was incredibly forthcoming. Laws of Attraction will showcase the romantic side of Pierce. He and Julianne Moore play divorce lawyers that fall in love. It's a short break from the action films, and then he's back to the way of the gun. Hopefully the producers of the Bond franchise can get their act together and bring him back for one last turn as 007, the most iconic film character of all time.

Nice moustache, is it personal or for a movie?

PB: It's for a movie I'm shooting. I'm on a plane back down to Mexico City tonight to Greg Kinnear and we're in the toilet tomorrow. Literally in the toilet, it's a black comedy called The Matador. It's an Irish Dreamtime production with these lads called The Fursts, the skateboarders we call them. He's a hit man having a nervous breakdown in Mexico City, a black comedy.

Are you the hit man?

PB: I'm the hit man. It's kind of like a James Bond who is completely out of control.

Woman fall before you, they swoon when they see your picture.

PB: Yes, it's a part of the job. That's what I have to do. (Laughs) I went to drama school for that. Now we're going to do an acting class, women swooning before you

Are you ever tired of women thinking you're a good-looking guy?

PB: Bring it on! I say long may it last. One's in the romance business, the movie business. I always saw myself as a character actor, believe it or not, then somebody said you're a leading man. Wow, I never saw myself as a leading man. I was younger then. Don't know how to answer that one really, but it's very flattering and like I said, long may it last. We're doing a movie about romance, about men, women, he for she, and she for him. Hopefully it touches the people and the ladies all think that Daniel is a great guy. Here's this guy wearing his heart on his sleeve, not ashamed to show that he cares for her. I kind of like that. I like the charm of it. I like the old-fashioned romance of it. For me it was Tracy and Hepburn.

What was it about Julianne Moore that made you want her for the role?

PB: I just think that she's an amazing actress and can turn her hand at anything. She's extremely beautiful and she has a great warmth and likeability, sensuality to her, femininity to her. She just does it without any fuss. Just gets on with the job. There's no kind of theatrics; she's very sincere as you see, funny, charming, down to earth. Did I know all of this going in? Not really, we had the text that was really good, strong, and we had a director in Peter Howitt who brought a lot of himself and his own heart to it. He's really like Daniel Rafferty. I sort of based Daniel Rafferty on him and whatever I do as an actor. And then one day her name was just there. I phoned the agents up and said Julianne Moore, she wants to do it, I said you're kidding me, really, simple as that. We had a dinner here in New York, liked each other, got on, said good luck, see you in Ireland.

Have you had an actress fall in love with you on the set and it becomes a problem?

PB: It's funny you should say that, but it happened. I don't say that in a grand way. It happened on a film. I'm not going to say which one

Please tell us

PB: I can't, but she declared her love. I said I'm a married man. We had kind of intimate scenes. I said this is lovely, but I love you, let's stop this and do this scene. My wife was coming down for lunch and I'm no good at lying. I'm not very good at hiding anything. We were doing a tricky scene, so I told her, this girl says she's in love with me. She said oh really, my late wife went over to this woman and was saying how wonderful I was. But said the director; he's the one that's going places. She did an about face and ran off to him! (Laughs)

Is she a working actress today?

PB: I don't think so. She's not famous. We don't know. I haven't heard from her in a long time.

Who's the director?

PB: (Laughs) Nice try, it did happen and it was funny. Anyway, it happens, a bit of a useless story because you don't get names.

You've done so many different genres over the years. Comedy to action, and obviously Bond; what is your favorite type of film? Would you rather do a romance, a hardcore drama, or strap on the guns and shoot bad guys?

PB: I like it all. I came into this game to play as many different characters as possible. I was taught, led to believe that I could play many different characters. The great actors have three roles. You're lucky if you have one role. I played similar pieces, but I'm glad you think I've done interesting work. There's a collage which I'm proud of. I've liked every job I've ever done. Whether it made money or didn't make money, I had the experience of making it, the process. Travel, education of people and cultures and landscapes, I like to do work that takes me far away.

The Nephew is a film I really liked. I know this is way back, but can you talk about that? Why Hill Harper, why that movie?

PB: Because it was about getting on and respecting each other in life. Taking, black, white, the small community, it was about death, dying, deaths and entrances. It just had lots of layers to it, all taking place in Ireland. It was also our first production. Just at the end of the day, we have to get on, really support each other and love each other. It had a good message. It was about family. Being our first film, we wanted to make a film in Ireland. Beau Marie, who's my partner, he found it. I liked it. We went and made it for $6 million. The great Hill Harper, who gave his heart to that film. He was Chad, he lived being Chad. We had the fantastic Donal McCann. Thank you very much.

Not as deep a question, physically, what do you like the least about yourself? What would you change?

PB: I'm happy with myself. I don't feel I'm perfect. I'm just content with myself. I'm at a point in my life where I've gone through picking myself to bits. I wish I was this. I wish I was that. If I could do that, if only I was him. If only I had that.

Can you give us some examples?

PB: It's related to acting really. I wish I had his career. I remember being in Remington Steele and seeing Bruce Willis go out there and just do it. I thought he's making movies and I'm still here. I just remember that. I remember, ironically, in 1986, I remember going into the old La Scala in Malibu. Bruce was there with Demi, I had just been offered the Bond in 86 and he said to me, well done man, you got out, way to go. I said thanks Bruce; of course, two months later I was high and dry without any Bond in my life or even Remington Steele. The next thing I see him and he's off doing his feature films. I always wanted to do movies. I've stopped trying to pick myself. Hopefully, you reach a point in life where you leave yourself alone and make peace with your shortcomings, whatever they may be. Education is something for me. I left school at 15, 16, so I'm always feeling like I got to catch up, got to catch up, got to catch up. That's something that, you know, you find yourself in a meeting and you're like, oh boy, we're going into deep waters. I haven't read that piece of literature, that's a piece of information I should have known.

Will you play Bond again? Do Bond 21?

PB: I have no idea what's going to happen here. It's amy stock answer is, they know where to find me if they want me.

So you would do it?

PB: Oh yeah, my contract was for four movies. That was up in the last film. The producers invited me back and then, in the middle of negotiations, ironically, there seemed to be confusion. A paralysis had set in. We don't know how to continue; we don't know how to move forward. So, I'm not sure.

Have you ever spoken to Sean Connery about the role of James Bond?

PB: No, Sean and I really met for the first time at the past Oscars. It was only in passing; we didn't talk about Bond. He doesn't want to talk about Bond. Bond is a blessing and a curse. He created it. He is the "Bond". He is the one you're compared to and he's the one that you want to get into the ring with and take the belt from him. It's such an iconic character now. Whether I do another one, that will be it, if I don't, there'll be somebody else. One of the lads on the list, I was on that list years ago. It's just your time to move over, become another number.

But your stints as Bond are the most successful Bond films of all time. Every one of those movies has made so much money. People love you, they don't see that?

PB: I don't know what's going on. Someone's playing a game. It's very hard to find the truth within that town called Hollywood. Maybe there's some game-playing going on here that I don't know about. But, emotionally how I feel, I feel good. I did what I was employed to do. To play James Bond to the best of my abilities. To make some good money for myself and take care of my family, to make a lot of money for the studios and the producers, and hopefully, ultimately, above all else, make something for the public to say, yeah, Bond is back and Bond is good. I'm part of that legacy. I'm happy. I'm very happy. I have the greatest riches of travel, meetings with people, and now a company called Irish Dreamtime, making our fifth film.

Would you be unhappy if Hollywood remembered you as James Bond and not your other work?

PB: If it's going to be James Bond, then so be it. I have no control over it. I cannot invest energy or regret, remorse, in such a scenario. I'd be doing a disservice to myself. I'm absolutely bowled over that I got so far in this game and I'm still in the game. That I have enthusiasm and passion for it, a sense to get better. If I'm just known as James Bond, then so be it.

Back to this film, did you feel overpowered working with two strong women, Julianne Moore and France Fisher?

PB: I love strong women. I married strong women. I'm not scared of them. Both women are at the peak of their game. Julianne, she'd never done a film like this. I'd never done a film like this. There's a certain sense of risk, but also you have the text. You put your heart into it and I had confidence in the story, that it had meaning.

What's next for you now?

PB: This film, The Matador, there's really three films kind of back to back. Which I don't want to do again. Laws of Attraction, After the Sunset with Salma Hayak and Brett Rattner, and another Irish Dreamtime film, The Matador. Then it's rest, summer, paint, and recovery.

I love Salma Hayak, another strong woman.

PB: You and me both, she's cool. She's got a great sense of humor. These women know themselves. Male or female, when either gender knows themselves and are comfortable with themselves, mix in courage and kindness, it's a great combination. Especially being an actor, where you have to be as tough as old boots. Salma is the most beautiful woman. We had a great time together. People will be really pleased by her work in this. She just shines.

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