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Brosnan on Bond

The actor discusses his continuing role as 007.

By Steve Biodrowski     November 16, 1999
Source: Los Angeles Press Day for The World Is Not Enough

Q: DID YOU EVER PICTURE YOURSELF AS BOND?

PB: As Bond? No, I didn't. I read, and have read, that it was my life ambition to play this role, and I dreamt of playing this rolewhich is complete untruth. I grew up watching the Bond movies, and they certainly sparked my interest in cinema at the age of ten when I saw GOLDFINGER. But I never wanted to be Bond or dreamt about being Bond. It wasn't until I was doing REMINGTON STEELE that these kind of mutterings and whitterings were going on about me being Bond, because my late wife had done a Bond movie and because we knew the Broccoli family. You already know the history of that from '86. But I guess he and I were just meant to meet on the stage: destiny, destiny, destiny, I guess. There was no getting away from it. And um, I enjoy playing the role enormously.

IS DOING A BOND FILM DIFFERENT FROM MAKING ANOTHER KIND OF MOVIE?

It's basically the same. It's just...it was easier this time around than the second time around and the first time, because it was the third time around. You've kind of figured out a little bit what you're doing, and you have more confidence and relaxation about it. You don't push as hard, or you know when to push and when to pull back on it. But the principles are the same: dealing with some kind of truthfulness and theatricality.

ARE YOU A BIT MORE DARING NOW WITH THE STUNTS?

Well...yes and no. I've done a lot in all three of them, to various degrees. There are certain things you just can't doyou're not trained for it, and they won't allow you to do it, because of the insurance.

YOU MENTIONED ON A TALK SHOW THAT YOU HAD BEEN INJURED ON THE FILM.

It was actually the last film. I got whacked in the face. Actually, it happened again, on the top of my lip, but there were no stitches. It was driving the boat through the restaurant doorthe door hit me in the face. That was it; there were no bones broken. That was me, sitting in the seat [of the boat]. I didn't do the barrel role, obviously. It was a kick in the pants. It was amazing. I mean, this boat is so snug fitting. You just got to put your foot down and you got to goit sits low in the water, so the nose is up and you can't see where you're going. You just toodle along with the nose up. It was just one of those wonderful things I could do.

IS THAT ONE OF THE FUN PARTS OF DOING A MOVIE?

Certainly a Bond movie, because you're able to enter this world that you've known about and is part of your own kind of screen mythology and screen education from childhood, and you're playing the character. It's a guy thing, I suppose; it's playing The Man.

HOW WILL JAMES BOND OF THE NEXT MILLENNIUM COMPARE TO PAST BONDS?

Oh, I couldn't be so presumptuous to answer that question. I don't know. Time will tell.

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE VANITY FAIR LAYOUT?

I thought it was wonderful. It was a great piece of publicity.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE BOND GIRL?

Well, the first one, I guess. Shirley [Eaton in GOLDFINGER] I saw when I was ten-and-a-half years of age. She left a permanent impression on my psyche, I must say.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW BOND THEME SONG?

I love it. I think she does a great job. I think it's on the money. It's back to the Shirley Bassey. It's as good as Shirley Bassey; it's as good as GOLDFINGER. Miss Manson has a great set of pipes on her, and she delivers the song, and they went right for a kind of Bond theme. I couldn't be happier.

WHO BRINGS THE HUMOR TO THE SCRIPTS? IS IT YOU?

No, Bruce Fierstein is a funny guy. Anyone who could write REAL MEN DON'T EAT QUICHE is a funny guy. So Bruce is there; there's the direction and myself, so there's collaboration.

DO YOU FEEL THAT BECAUSE OF BOND PEOPLE PUT YOU IN A BOX?

Oh yes, they do, but I don't feel the box around me. I just can't allow that box to be there. You have to make peace with that box and say, 'Don't sweat it. Just go with the flow.' Otherwise, you turn negative on yourself and you get bitter about it, and the jig's up.

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