Pierce Brosnan clearly was not ready to leave the James Bond franchise behind and for him and for his fans, it’s great news that he’s back in the spy movie game with The November Man. And as our The November Man review pointed out, he hasn’t lost a step and is, in fact, in top form.
We caught up with Brosnan for an exclusive chat about The November Man, his Bond years and what made this particular spy, Peter Deveraux, so compelling and a joyous surprise. And yes, he is excited that he will be back in The November Man 2!
Movie Fanatic: Was one of the appeals of The November Man that this spy had a rich history with all of those Peter Deveraux books from Bill Granger?
Pierce Brosnan: Bill Granger really created a beautiful tableaux of a man and his life -- someone’s who’s erudite and cultured and badass all rolled into one and somebody who is a dyed in the wool definition of an operative, and yet, somebody who has been manipulated and maligned by his superiors. He has an overview of the geopolitical landscape that he traverses. There’s a complexity to the man, yet he’s a working man. There’s no gadgets. He’s not Bond. Yet, he’s a Bond type character. And, there’s a good yarn in there. Beau (St. Clair, Brosnan’s partner), she’s the one who brings all the pieces together. We saw the potential and the possibilities because of who I’d been in another life. And when the life of James Bond moved off center stage, then there was a burning desire and void that needed to be filled and work still to be done. I felt unfulfilled from those days, so this was the material that she found and brought to me and I said, “Yes, let’s do it.”
Movie Fanatic: They’ve talked about how many years it took to bring this together and I think fate is a funny thing. One of the reasons it works so well is you are where you are in your life and you were available to be this particular spy. And Roger Donaldson (director) was also there too. And you two, from Dante’s Peak, have an unspoken thing going. What have you noticed about him as an artist since that first movie and The November Man?
Pierce Brosnan: He’s still as passionate. He’s a shooter. He loves making movies, as I do. My life is really happy and complete when I have a character to dream about and go to bed with the script and wake up and think, “I’ve solved that problem.” You’re in your hotel room and play out the scene and then you present your work and he puts the camera on you… he’s still the same consistent affable, hard working task master as well. He’s big into repetition, "Let’s do it again." There’s a respect for each other, so it was great fun to be with a mate in Belgrade and all the men and women there are such a fine race of people. I’ve been there before the war, during the war and now after the war. So, I knew the landscape. I had a great time.
Movie Fanatic: You mentioned working in Serbia and Belgrade, because you’ve worked there before, during and after their awful and violent struggle, what did you notice specifically about the people of that area that has stuck with you?
Pierce Brosnan: They’ve endured such an onslaught of misery, discontent and savagery to their well being. Their energy was good, positive and they’re getting by. The global economics have been crippling on them and they endure with a great dignity and the young people are forward thinking. When I was there during the war, there was stuff going off, which was mildly terrifying. But, now they seem very pastoral, quiet. The cities are old and crumbling, the infrastructure has remnants of beauty, but there’s no money for it to be remade and maintained. And yet, the people are so welcoming. I felt very at home. The Irish travel well anyway. We can get on with anyone [laughs]!