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Edinburgh Festival 99 Thursday, 19 August, 1999, 11:34 GMT 12:34 UK
Brosnan crowns film festival
Pierce Brosnan with his Thomas Crown Affair co-star Rene Russo
Edinburgh's Film Festival was treated to a touch of true-life Hollywood glamour when Pierce Brosnan arrived for the European premiere of his new film The Thomas Crown Affair.

Brosnan, who co-produces and plays the lead role in the remake of the 1968 Steve McQueen classic, was accompanied by his co-star Rene Russo as he arrived at the city's Odeon cinema.

Edinburgh Festival 1999
Before going in for the screening, they both posed briefly for photographers and waved at an excited crowd of about 500 onlookers and star-struck fans.

Star-spotters were then further rewarded when Robert Carlyle and Robbie Coltrane, who both appear in the new James Bond film The World is Not Enough, also turned up to view the film.

But it was the appearance of 46-year-old Brosnan, in a casual dark suit and open-necked shirt, that was met with the most enthusiastic applause.

Robbie Coltrane was another celebrity attraction at the showing
No doubt the actor, best known for his role as James Bond, is hoping that his new venture will be just as favourably received.

Brosnan's Thomas Crown Affair is an update of the 1968 McQueen original which also starred Faye Dunaway.

It tells the story of a self-made billionaire who has everything money can buy and has run out of challenges.

To him life is a game, so he decides to steal a Monet painting from the Metropolitan Museum just for thrills.

Speaking about the character, Brosnan said: "He is a powerful man for whom winning is not enough. He craves the stimulation of a good gambit - the more dangerous the better."

And perilous his situation duly becomes as his pilfering brings him into contact with insurance investigator Catherine Banning who turns out to be more than his match.

Rene Russo, who takes on Faye Dunaway's role as Banning, summed-up the character saying: "Catherine has the instincts of a bounty hunter and the determination of a dedicated cop."

She continued: "She is accustomed to being able to outwit, outmanoeuvre and outlast any white collar criminal she encounters.

"But in Crown she makes the big mistake of thinking she can get close enough for the capture without falling for him."

Steve McQueen as the original Thomas Crown
Indeed, the 1990s version is more of a romance than the original and Brosnan said his main reason for wanting to do the remake was his admiration for McQueen.

"Steve McQueen was one of these guys whose work I always admired - he was probably one of the reasons why I became an actor," he said.

He went on: "My producing partner, Beau St Clair, and I were talking about remakes and the Thomas Crown Affair came up.

"We had a look at it and thought, 'Hmm, good idea. Let's see if the studio buys it'. They said yes and two years later we were in production."

The film, which also stars Denis Leary and sees Faye Dunaway in a cameo role as a psychiatrist, is the third film Brosnan has produced.

The others were The Beautiful Game earlier this year and The Nephew in 1998, in which he also acted.

The Thomas Crown Affair opens throughout the UK on 20 August.

The BBC's David Sillito reports: "Different from the frame-by-frame approach of some other re-makes"
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