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Wednesday, 20 November, 2002, 08:26 GMT
Brosnan finds his Bond
Pierce Brosnan
Brosnan as Bond saves the world yet again

On the day the 20th Bond movie Die Another Day hits cinemas, Pierce Brosnan talks about his love of the role.

It may be his fourth outing as the world's most famous secret agent but Pierce Brosnan shows no signs of taking the role for granted.

The Irish actor dons the trademark tuxedo and arms his Walther PPK pistol in the latest film Die Another Day.


There are many fine actors out there who can fill these shoes

Pierce Brosnan
The thrill of saving the world from the evil plans of a madman and always getting the girl has yet to wear off.

But Brosnan says the pleasure of Bond comes not from what the character does but from what the part means to so many fans.

"Once you sign on the dotted line to play this role you become an ambassador to a legacy which is so long-standing in our culture," he says.

Rank

"It is not only an acting role, it is a role that takes you in to many areas of society as an ambassador for a film which has such longevity.

Sean Connery: The original and best?
"It is like no other role an actor will do."

Certainly, no other film role allows fans endlessly to rate and rank their favourite performers quite like the 20-strong, 40-year-old Bond franchise.

The original Bond Sean Connery most often tops the "favourite 007" polls but Brosnan is firmly placed in the number two spot.

'Expectations'

"I certainly know the road now. It's a fair well travelled road for me playing Bond but it doesn't mean I'm blasé about it because you have huge responsibility every time that you do it.

The actor will be back for a fifth outing
"You have expectations, and expectations from an audience. You can't take it for granted or underestimate this role or feel you can walk through it."

The new film, says Brosnan, has given him another chance at filling the tuxedo of a character who, on paper at least, seems two dimensional but is given substance by the weight of mythology surrounding the action hero.

"It's such a daunting part to take on and it takes time to become Bond, to find your Bond, to find your place in the history books of this character.

"When I did Goldeneye I played it safe and I tried to do the best I could."

Brosnan says he has been helped by his working relationship with the Bond writers and producers.

"They know my strengths and weaknesses and play to them in the films.

'Ferociously passionate'

"The writers and I sit and talk before and after the filming - they listen to my ramblings and half ideas - and Lee [Tamahori, the director] was a great man to have.

Pierce Brosnan
The role has made Brosnan a superstar
"He was ferociously passionate about what he wanted to do. He wanted to make it gritty and real.

"That has always been the task for me - to believe in this fantastical world."

While not betraying the essentials of Bond, Brosnan has helped develop the character and give it more depth.

While Bond is lambasted as a "misogynistic dinosaur" by M in Goldeneye, Brosnan has worked on updating the character so that it feels more relevant to modern audiences.

Replacement

He has signed on for a fifth film and clearly has a few more years of action before retiring from the role.

But he says he has not given much thought to who should replace him.

"It won't be my problem. I'm sure there will be somebody there at some point."

He did, however, mention one name - an actor who has appeared in the last three Bond films.

"I've heard myself say Colin Salmon - he's fantastic. But there are many fine actors out there who can fill these shoes for sure."

Salmon plays MI5 agent Robinson and if cast he would make for a ground-breaking Bond because he would be the first black actor to take the part.

And it would be a difficult job to take over from Brosnan, who has presided over the most successful series of Bond movies since the franchise began.



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