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GOOD BYE, MR BOND?;

Category: Film Rumor News
Article Date: March 23, 2004 | Publication: The Mirror | Author: JOHN HISCOCK IN LOS ANGELES
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NO REGRETS: Brosnan says he will always be James Bond because it is a role for life; EARLY DAYS: Pierce with Cassie and their children; FAMILY MAN: With Keely, Sean & Dylan

HE is known to millions as James Bond. For four highly successful outings, Pierce Brosnan has played the suave superspy to critical and commercial success.

But in a remarkable admission, the star has revealed he has yet to be contacted by producers and does not know if they want him back.

And in a candid interview, he feels the makers of the films are "in paralysis" over what to do.

Brosnan, who is acknowledged by Bond fans to be the most successful actor to portray the secret agent since Sean Connery, said: "They know where to find me if they want me.

"The producers, Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson, asked me back when we finished the last James Bond film but I think now there is a certain sense of paralysis and they're not quite sure how to proceed.

"I would love to do a fifth James Bond but if not, I won't be out of work."

The news follows rumours that Brosnan will not be used for the 21st film in the series, due for release in autumn 2005.

Following the success of the last Bond movie Die Another Day, the producers moved fast to tempt their star back into 007's shoes.

But a couple of years down the line and attitudes have changed.

At the age of 50 there are worries Brosnan will not attract younger fans.

Names such as Jude Law, Orlando Bloom, Ewan McGregor and the current favourite, Australian X-Men actor Hugh Jackman have been floated as sexier, cooler alternatives.

The current incumbent is no wiser than anyone else when it comes to the future of the spy.

Brosnan said: "You know going in that your time will come to bow out, walk off and say goodbye. If that time is now, then it's been a glorious ride.

"But I will always be James Bond because that is a role you live with for life."

There is no certainty he will not play cinema's most famous spy for one last time.

After all it was he who rejuvenated a franchise which looked doomed a decade ago.

His four Bond films GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day have all been huge successes and Brosnan's all-action Bond appealed to a new audience of cinemagoers.

In return the Bond role has been good to Navan-born Brosnan, both professionally and financially.

It is a role he believed he was destined to play from the age of 10 when he saw Bond girl Shirley Eaton on screen in Goldfinger.

He said: "There she was, her lovely bottom and every bit of her covered in gold, and that's how it all began.

"As a young Catholic lad it stuck in my memory and I wanted to be an actor then."

He was originally offered the Bond role in 1986 when Roger Moore gave it up but at that time he was committed to playing TV detective Remington Steele.

He was offered in the role again in 1995, as the successor to Timothy Dalton, and this time he was free to take it.

The Bond 21 project has been thrown into turmoil by the recent death of Barbara Broccoli and it is not certain now whether the chosen director, Martin Campbell, will be available.

But a decision on who will play 007 will have to be made soon as - despite the lack of a script or start date - the as-yet-untitled Bond film, is due to be released on November 18 next year and cinema owners around the world have already marked the date.

If Brosnan is no longer wanted, he has plenty of ideas for who could follow in his footsteps. "I think Colin Salmon would be a great James Bond. Clive Owen is a very fine actor, Hugh Jackman, Gerard Butler, there are men out there and there will be another Bond, whether I do the next one or not," he said.

"Bond has been in the limelight for so many years he will carry on."

It will be much the same story for Brosnan if he is over-looked, or chooses to step down from his most famous role.

Critics and Bond fans alike agree Roger Moore's last appearance in the role at the age of 58 was farcical and Brosnan has made it known he does not intend to end his tenure in the same way.

He had driven in from his home in Malibu to meet me at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles.

He was his usual affable self, casually dressed in a black shirt and blue jeans, although he looked very different because of a wispy moustache he has grown for his next film, Matador, which he is producing and in which he plays a hitman on assignment in Mexico City. He has the appealing quality of seeming to not quite believe his good fortune and, he says, he gives thanks every day for his life.

Off-screen, the only thing he has in common with Bond are good looks. While Bond beds his women and moves on, Brosnan is happy to be a one-woman man.

His first wife Cassandra Harris died of cancer in 1991 and he married TV journalist Kelly Shaye Smith in August 2001 in Ballintubber Abbey, Co Mayo.

They have two sons, seven-year-old Dylan Thomas and three-year-old Paris Beckett.

Brosnan has a 20-year-old son Sean from his marriage to Harris and is the adoptive father of Cassandra's two grown-up children from her previous marriage to Dermot Harris, a British film producer who died of a heart attack in 1986.

Most of the time Brosnan has a mischievous twinkle in his eye and he likes to joke, but he becomes serious when he talks of his family life. "The little boys are great," he says. "I'm just relishing their company on a day-to-day basis. I'm a lucky man to have it all over again at the age of 50 and have a career and love again. It is blissful.

"I'm kind of old-fashioned and a traditionalist and brought up Catholic-Irish, so I believe in marriage.

"I had a great marriage which sadly had its own ending and I was lucky enough to find love and marriage again, so I am a strong believer in it. I love being a married man. It gives me great balance and security.

"It's great to be in love and to have a partner who supports me and whom I support. Being a father is a great satisfaction.

"It's a huge responsibility, even more so now than it was when I was in my 20s and 30s because then I was so full of myself and the ego of trying to be successful.

"Then suddenly you look around and you are successful and that gives you the luxury to spend more time with your children."

Marriage and divorce features prominently in his latest film, the romantic comedy Laws Of Attraction.

Brosnan and Julianne Moore play divorce lawyers who are pitted against each other in a high-profile case but find themselves married to each other after a wild night at a romantic Irish country festival.

Brosnan produced the project, which was filmed mainly on location in Ireland.

He has no intention of sitting around just waiting for Bond to come calling.

The production company he founded, Irish DreamTime, has so far produced three films and is developing several more which he is set to star in.

He is also establishing a reputation as a talented painter and takes his easel and paints with him whenever he goes on location.

Brosnan said: "My life has changed but I still remain the same. I'm still the same man and I still have the same passions and dreams and desires for acting."

Nowadays he exudes an image of cool sophistication, causing his older children to nickname him Gentlemen's Relish, after an expensive pate he favours.

But, he now admits, he achieved his suave veneer by watching old films.

He said: "I came to America 23 years ago a foreigner and I got lucky and landed the role of Remington Steele. The director wanted it to be like an old film so I watched old Cary Grant movies and the next thing I know I'm Mr Sophistication.

"I always thought of myself as a peasant, but I created something for myself.

"I like clothes and I like the good things of life and I've been blessed with the good fortune to be able to afford some of them. I don't know if it would have happened if I hadn't had Bond in my life. It's allowed me to participate in causes that are close to my heart, it's allowed me to provide for my family in a very fine way.

"I am always surprised I have got this far."

Unlike most who say "goodbye Mr Bond" the future looks decidedly rosy for Brosnan.

Copyright 2004 MGN Ltd.

 


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