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Nope, James Bond isn't going anywhere, guys. Introduced to the big screen in 1962's Dr. No — and now gearing up for his 25th big screen adventure in 2019 — the character has had one of the most astounding lives in Hollywood history. Along the way, of course, he's been played by Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.
Brosnan debuted as 007 in 1995's GoldenEye, which turned into a phenomenal box office success. He followed two years later with Tomorrow Never Dies, which saw his Bond going up against media magnate Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce), who is actually manipulating a war between China and Britain, strictly because his empire will profit from it. Princess Diana died while the film was in production, the irony of the circumstances surrounding her death and the paparazzi being lost on no one involved. The film also stars Teri Hatcher as Carver's wife and Bond's former lover, Paris; and Michelle Yeoh as Chinese spy Wai Lin.
This year, Tomorrow Never Dies celebrates its 20th Anniversary, and we've gone into the archives to pull this exclusive interview with actor Pierce Brosnan conducted prior to its release.
FHM: How Has Life Changed For You Professionally And Personally Since GoldenEye?
Pierce Brosnan: "Bond’s success has given me great opportunity in many areas to do different kinds of work, like Dante’s Peak or the next project I’m going to do with Richard Attenborough, Grey Owl. On a professional level, it has opened many doors and allowed my own little company, Irish Dreamtime, to make a film in Ireland, raise $5.2 million to create our own project, The Nephew. Bond has busted open wide doors in many avenues of life, professionally and personally. It comes with a price; the price is you don’t have enough time to do all the things you want to do. The price is you have intrusions into your privacy at the hands of the media, not in a big way, but it is noticeable. So you have to deal with the short mindedness and narrow mindedness of certain people who do not investigate or do not pay attention or who just write lies."
"But I can’t complain. It’s been a great joy. It’s wonderful to see GoldenEye be a magnificent success and back up there in the landscape as it were, and to have a whole new generation grow up with the character."
FHM: How Is This Different From The Bonds We’ve Seen Before?
Pierce Brosnan: "In style and integrity, there’s more of a reality base to it. You still get all the ingredients of a Bond movie — you still have the women, the gadgets, the big stunts, the big action pieces, but there is more of a gritty look to it and more of a reality to it, which I like. Because they got too comic book. GoldenEye had a great look to it, but I think this is snappier and grittier."
FHM: The Irony Of The Storyline Is Pretty Obvious.
Pierce Brosnan: "Everybody was aware of that, but more poignantly and tragically so with the case of Princess Diana and Dodi’s death. I think with what the media have done to the lives of various people, the mangling of lives, the lies, the falsification of people’s lives, the movie’s timely. In a Bond movie to have someone as flamboyant and charismatic as Jonathan Pryce playing this Ted Turner/Rupert Murdoch type character trying to create World War III is a great hoot. Also, quite real in terms of his own personal agenda. He wants to get rich, he wants to rule his own empire, and ultimately of course, the world. He is enamored with power, but in a very doable fashion. It leaves a lot of room for humor, a lot of room for Bondesque drama and escapades. I think they hit on a very good theme this time out. It also answers the question that’s asked time and time again: Now that the Cold War is over, what is James Bond going to do? Well, we still have Mi6, Russia has some semblance of whatever they’ve got over there, countries still have secrets, whether it be chemical warfare or media warfare. So I think Bond is still relevant in world events as it were. He’s still viable as an action hero. It felt good working on such a story surrounding the media."
FHM: The Impression Is That The Real Emotional Moments Come From The Relationship Between Bond And Teri Hatcher's Paris Carver.
Pierce Brosnan: "I’d asked at the beginning that if he was going to get involved with someone, that it would be someone who was meaningful to the man and not some woman he picks up at the beginning of the story that he doesn’t know. Someone from his past. So they took that and used that. It came in the package of Teri Hatcher, who is very good in the movie. She is a woman that he really loved, but she just got too close and he left. He bailed out. Now he meets her in this story and she’s married to this guy, he still has something for her and her for him. We went to a place that I don’t know if Connery ever went to, because Sean did it his way and I’m doing it my way, just two completely different men with different styles of Bond. There’s an emotional chord there that has a certain resonance throughout the piece, which is good. I’m glad they put it in, and it’s something if we go again to a third one, I would like to see more of. Just more character."
"There’s no reason we couldn’t do a different genre type Bond. A thriller Bond, a scary Bond, a science fiction Bond, a horror Bond. It can be done. You put it in cold print and people say, “My God, what’s he talking about?” I know it can be done somehow."
FHM: Do You Think They Would Be Willing To Stray From The Formula?
Pierce Brosnan: "God no! They’d be terrified. Just saying it out loud and putting it in print they’d be like, “Lock him up! Put him in the jacket!” But why not? You have all the tools there: the character, the music, the women, the martinis, the gadgets, M, Q! — you take those people and put them in a setting which is different. It’s exciting to think about. You set the whole piece in London. You do a character piece, maybe M gets kidnapped, or something like that. Casino Royale would be wonderful. If there’s a next time around, there’s no reason not to go after some of the other directors, like the Tarantinos. Martin Scorsese said he would love to try and do one. Can you imagine that? Try saying that to [producer] Michael Wilson. There are many fine actors who said they would love to be in a Bond movie, like the Baldwin brothers. Whether or not this will come to fruition remains to be seen. Next time is a long time away."
FHM: How Many More Bonds Are You Contracted For?
Pierce Brosnan: "Two more after this. I hope I have the wherewithal and the intelligence to step out before I become a joke in the role. I think four films is enough to play a character. Another ten years from now, you’ll be saying, “OK Pierce, this is your seventh James Bond film, can you hear me, Pierce? Turn up the hearing aid.” I’d like to do two more and move on."
Which is precisely what he did, starring in 1999's The World Is Not Enough and 2002's Die Another Day.
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