You won't see Pierce Brosnan singing in his new film, “Love is All You Need” — but not by his choice.
“I did say to [director] Susanne [Bier], ‘Look, maybe a nice song here,'" he says, before breaking out into song. "'Lemon tree, very pretty!' I thought, ‘What do you think Susanne?’ She smacked me down. No singing. The world is safe away from my singing.”
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Brosnan’s self-deprecating humor and confidence (“I’d sing again in a heartbeat — I don’t give a damn what they say,” he tells us) is evident off-screen. But on screen, in his new film, he’s much more subdued, as a vineyard owner who’s become jaded by love. Could the actor relate?
“No, not to the extent of this character, not really, but there are many emblems within this film which I could identify with — being a father, being a widower, being a single parent, having it up to the back teeth with women and love, bumping into the furniture, standing up [and] falling down — just the usual trials of being human.”
The plot follows Brosnan’s character, Philip, as he travels to Italy for his son’s wedding. A chance pre-wedding meeting with the mother-of-the-bride (played by Danish actress Trine Dyrholm) sets into motion a change in heart for Philip.
orIf you read that and can’t help but be reminded of another film of Brosnan’s, you’re not alone.
“Oh, the ‘Mama Mia’ of it all is certainly there, and I don’t think Susanne or anyone concerned finds any fault with that comparison,” he says, “because if one could be half as great a hit as such a film that brought so much joy to people’s lives — I believe this one has the qualities to do that. I think they’re both on the shelf, as bookends.”
Playing the romantic lead is nothing new for the actor, who oozed sex appeal as James Bond — except here, there were no spy tools to play around with. Brosnan doesn’t hesitate discussing the 007 series, which he handed over to Daniel Craig, saying he hopes to be remembered “as a believable Bond, as a good Bond, as an entertaining Bond.”
“All I ever wanted was to be able to stand there and carry the film and create an audience, [or] bring back an audience that may have fallen by the wayside,” he says. “When I stepped into those shoes it’d been dormant for about six years so it was quite an undertaking, it was quite daunting, and so you felt like you were in a time capsule. You felt like you were in a period piece in some respect, caught between Roger [Moore] and Sean [Connery]. They were always present in my life, especially Sean because he was the one that I first saw and that captivated me as a young man.”
Brosnan isn’t bitter about ending his role — far from it, in fact.
“I have nothing but gratitude for that time and space and place and it has allowed me to go on and make my own movies — ‘Thomas Crown,’ ‘The Matador,’ ‘Evelyn,’ ‘The Greatest’ — to create a company, to make a career.”
Life after Bond
The former Bond has indeed seen Daniel Craig in action, and he’s got nothing but love for his successor, whom he ranks as second only behind Connery as the best Bond the franchise has ever seen.
“I think Connery is definitely — he’s the man,” Brosnan says. “I think Daniel is there now, without question. … I saw ‘Skyfall’ because I was in London last year making a movie and everywhere I looked there was Daniel so I thought, ‘I have to go see this film.’”