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Brosnan. Pierce Brosnan.

Pegged as the best Bond since Sean Connery, the former "Remington Steele" star takes a hard look at himself.
Paul Chutkow
From the Print Edition:
Pierce Brosnan, Nov/Dec 97

There is a hush on the set. Smoke and the smell of cordite billow through the dark, sinister interior of the enemy ship. Pierce Brosnan, clad in guerrilla black, a machine gun strapped to his arm, crouches in shadow, coiled at the ready.

"Action!"

Bond leaps forward, gun blazing, and running through a hail of gunfire he reaches the enemy rocket launcher. Coolly, expertly, he wheels it around, arms it, aims it and zeroes in for the kill.

"Cut! Good. Good."

Brosnan looks pleased. So does Roger Spottiswoode, the director of Tomorrow Never Dies, the 18th installment of the adventures of James Bond, of Her Majesty's Secret Service. They do two more takes, then Brosnan, his shirt soaked with sweat, comes over to say hello.

"Hard work, " I say.

Brosnan smiles. "It's an honest way to make a living."

In person and up close, Brosnan is just as handsome as he is on screen. The cool blue eyes, the strong jaw, the easy smile, the jet-black hair that tends to tumble down his forehead, Gable-style. But seeing him here on the big sound stage at Pinewood Studios, just west of

London, is still something of a shock. In Goldeneye, his Bond was light and lean, and you could see traces of that coltish charm he used to exude as detective Remington Steele, the TV role that first endeared him to American audiences. No longer. Brosnan has put on weight and muscle. He's a tall man, six foot two, and he now has the brawn and bearing, the rugged maleness, to look every inch as powerful and charismatic as Commander Bond.

Bond, of course, is a mammoth role to fill. Ian Fleming gave his hero a larger-than-life aura, and on screen Sean Connery imbued the role with a panache and wit as deadly as Bond's fabled Walther PPK. When Roger Moore took on the mantle for seven films, he played Bond in a lighter tone, at times bordering on self-parody. Timothy Dalton? George Whatshisname? Well, let's just say they added little to the Bond myth and mystique. Brosnan is a different story. His Goldeneye was made for $50 million and has grossed more than $350 million worldwide in theatrical sales alone; video and TV revenues are even higher. The budget this time is $75 million, but no one seems nervous. The consensus is that Brosnan has grown into the role, he truly is Bond now, with the mantle, the aura and the bankability. Indeed, all over the set you hear the same verdict: "Brosnan is the best Bond since Connery."


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