Pierce Brendan Brosnan (born 16 May 1953 in Drogheda, Ireland) is an Irish actor, working since the late '70s/early '80s.
Born in County Louth, Ireland, Brosnan spent the first eleven years of his life in Navan, County Meath. Brosnan was an only child. His mother worked in London as a nurse to provide for him, seeing him only once or twice a year. His biological father abandoned the family when Brosnan was a baby, so he was raised by various relatives and at a boarding house. By the age of eleven, Brosnan moved out of Ireland to live with his mother and her new husband, first living in Scotland and then going on to live in London, where Brosnan would live until his late twenties (losing his natural Irish accent in the process). One of the first films his new step-father took him to see was Goldfinger, which left an indelible impression on him.
One of Brosnan's first film roles was as an IRA hitman in the film The Long Good Friday. Following this and several other small roles, including the film The Mirror Crack'd alongside Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson, and a small part in an episode of Hammer House of Horror, Brosnan moved to America to pursue a film career, eventually landing the lead role in Remington Steele. Throughout his tenure on Remington Steele, Brosnan was often thought of as the perfect actor for a very high-profile role...
He was offered the role twice, first in 1986 for The Living Daylights, which he had to turn down due to contractual obligations with Remington Steele's producers. He finally got to play Bond in GoldenEye, to great acclaim even before the film was released, and three films would follow. His first wife Cassandra Harris played Countess Lisl van Schlaf in For Your Eyes Only, saying even then that he'd be perfect as Bond. Sadly, she didn't live to see it happen, passing away in 1991.
Brosnan seems to particularly like playing flawed spies and thieves, but he's had plenty of other kinds of roles, not always with the suave sophistication he is noted for. Many sources have referred to him as a next generation Cary Grant, alongside George Clooney.
He has an honorary OBE for his contribution to the British Film Industry, however he's ineligible to receive the full OBE honour as he's not a citizen of the Commonwealth realms (despite having lived in UK for nearly twenty years, he never applied for citizenship there). Brosnan became an American citizen in 2004.
Works with pages on TV Tropes:
- The Long Good Friday (1980): Brosnan's first film role.
- The Mirror Crackd (1980, uncredited)
- Remington Steele (19821987): His first Star-Making Role.
- The Lawnmower Man (1992)
- Death Train (1993)
- Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
- James Bond: His second Star-Making Role.
- Mars Attacks! (1995)
- Dante's Peak (1997)
- The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)
- The Tailor of Panama (2001)
- The Simpsons (2001): Guest starred in "Treehouse of Horror XII"
- After the Sunset (2004)
- Seraphim Falls (2006)
- Mamma Mia! (2008)
- Thomas the Tank Engine (2008): Narrator for "The Great Discovery" note
- The Ghost Writer (2010)
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians (2010)
- Remember Me (2010)
- Salvation Boulevard (2011)
- The World's End (2013)
- The November Man (2014)
- Survivor (2015)
- No Escape (2015)
- The Foreigner (2017)
- Final Score (2018)
- Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020) as Erick Erickssong
- Black Adam (2022) as Doctor Fate
Tropes relating to Pierce Brosnan's work:
- Anti-Hero: James Bond. Brosnan also has a tendency to play loveable rogues.
- Chick Magnet:
- His characters tend to attract the ladies even when they don't intend to. It seems to draw from real life, too, as in this interview, a journalist asks Brosnan which gender approaches him the most among his fans, and his firm response is, "Oh women, definitely." Moreover, he and his first wife told TV Guide in an article that was published on June 9, 1984 that being a sex symbol can be very unpleasant at times because of the constant stream of unwanted attention.Pierce Brosnan: [Hollywood] is a pretty fast town and the women are terrible. Some actresses do this whole number, proposition me, right in front of my wife, and sometimes I am just so naïve that I don't get it until maybe 10 minutes later. I cannot believe the gall of these people.
Cassandra Harris: These women are horrible. They try to use me to become friendly with Pierce. Or else, they just cut me dead, and only want to speak to him. Sometimes I feel like bursting into tears.
- Brosnan inadvertently turned his Mamma Mia! co-star Meryl Streep into one of his avid fangirls because she impulsively ripped his shirt off while they were filming a scene even though it was not part of the script! Even a consummate professional like Streep couldn't keep her hands off Pierce's Carpet of Virility.
- His characters tend to attract the ladies even when they don't intend to. It seems to draw from real life, too, as in this interview, a journalist asks Brosnan which gender approaches him the most among his fans, and his firm response is, "Oh women, definitely." Moreover, he and his first wife told TV Guide in an article that was published on June 9, 1984 that being a sex symbol can be very unpleasant at times because of the constant stream of unwanted attention.
- Composite Character: Brosnan's Bond combined attributes of his predecessors.Darren Mooney: I think Brosnan worked well as something of a 'consolidated' James Bond, offering a take on the character that seemed to draw on all four of his official predecessors in one way or another. He had Sean Connerys elegance and sophistication, Lazenbys emotional vulnerability, Moores warmth and humour and Daltons ruthlessness.
- Cool Old Guy: He was 60 years old during the filming of The November Man, and he's still convincing as an action hero.
- Disappeared Dad: His character in Remington Steele is an orphan and an arc in the show implied that his mentor in the art of being a con man may or may not have been his father all along; and his first movie as James Bond, GoldenEye, was the first one to mention that Bond's parents died in a climbing accident when he was a child. Brosnan's own father up and left the family when Brosnan was just a baby. They didn't meet until Remington Steele came to Ireland for a shoot. Incidentally, Brosnan is just the opposite of this, not only being there for his own biological children but adopting and raising his late wife's children as well.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Numerous heterosexual male journalists who have interviewed Brosnan have acknowledged that he is very handsome in their articles.
- Fake Brit: To the point of typecasting, even before he played James Bond.
- Happily Married: Both of his marriages have been such. His first marriage to Australian actress Cassandra Harris lasted for 11 years until her 1991 death from cancer and his second to American journalist Keely Shaye Smith, who he's been married to for nearly 20.
- I Am Not Spock: Even before he was cast as James Bond, he was highly identified with the character of Remington Steele.
- Nice Guy: He appears to a devoted, overall nice guy in real life.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: While Brosnan's accent is noticeably an English-Irish hybrid, he has a tendency to pronounce the letter 'R' the Irish way (i.e. 'Orr' instead of 'Are'). This is noticeable in Remington Steele, where Brosnan says RKO as 'Orr-Kay-Oh'. He was thankful that John Cleese had been promoted from R to Q for Die Another Day, as he was fearful of this trope.
- Outliving One's Offspring: An especially tragic example; in 2013, Pierce lost his only daughter Charlotte to the same type of ovarian cancer that had killed his first wife Cassandra 22 years earlier.
- Screwed by the Network: Brosnan first got offered the Bond role in 1986 with The Living Daylights. He did a screen test and a lot of promotional materials for the film, as well as a gunbarrel sequence but ultimately he had to give up the role when NBC, looking to capitalise on his new-found success, renewed Remington Steele for a fifth season. Rather than let NBC ride on EON's coattails, they simply refused to let Brosnan be Bond. Fortunately, it worked out for the best, as Timothy Dalton won the part (EON had been trying to get him since 1968) and Brosnan eventually got the part for GoldenEye.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Before the reboot of the James Bond movies, being this trope was essential to play the iconic spy. Of all the actors who have portrayed 007, Brosnan looks the most like the character as Ian Fleming described him (black hair that falls into a comma over the right eye, cold blue eyes). People magazine chose the actor as "The Sexiest Man Alive◊" in 2001.
- Villain Protagonist: Brosnan also has a tendency to play not-so-lovable rogues. Notably, in The Tailor of Panama, he got to play something of an Anti-Bond, as Osnard is Bond taken Up to Eleven.