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Pierce Brosnan on THE NOVEMBER MAN, Reuniting With Roger Donaldson, and Future Projects

Not too long ago, Pierce Brosnan was the face of the world’s greatest spy, James Bond. Much like those before him, Brosnan took the role in stride, often delivering – even in some of the secret agent’s most ridiculous adventures – some of the finest 007 work since Connery himself. Although he’s long since retired his crisp black tuxedo and shaken-not-stirred martini glass, Brosnan is back in the spy genre with his latest film, The November Man. “It’s a genre which really appeals to me,” said Brosnan. “I love these kind of movies as a kind of cinema-going geek myself. Those characters, you want to be like those characters when you go to the movies. You know, when you see a movie with a guy who’s really cool and the killing is slick and easy. I don’t know. There’s something intoxicating about it.”

So how did this all come about? “[Beau St. Clair] found the book, sent it to me.” Brosnan said. “I loved the title. I thought it was really punchy and kind of had an aura or mystique about it. The writing by Bill Grainger was complex, character driven. Then in came [Michael Finch Karl Gajdusek] and they just cleaved their way through it… Then one day it was [Roger Donaldson]. I said Roger’s name. ‘Roger should direct this.’ Roger said yes. And we were off to the races.”

“We sat down at the house in Malibu,” continued Brosnan. “And my wife made lunch. Roger, Beau, myself, we talked about it and said, ‘Let’s go. Let’s do it.’ That’s how it happened… We didn’t have the money to shoot in Berlin, [laughs] because the story takes place in Berlin. So we kind of obscured—Belgrade, Montenegro. It’s as simple as that, really. They embraced us. They let us come in, the government there. They gave us palaces, and hotels, and buildings. When you’ve got eight cars out in the street with camera mounts, live action, it’s kind of sketchy, but exhilarating.”

So what was it like working with his Dante’s Peak director again? “We just hit the ground running. And he’s the boss. I go on the set and he’s the man. He directs me. He likes to go many takes. I like to keep it down to two or three and move on. But he likes to go, so that’s OK, too.” Brosnan then added that he had a wonderful dynamic with his costars. “It was a joy. What can I say? It was just a great treat to have [Bill Smitrovich], [Olga Kurylenko], [Luke Bracey]… Luke was a great find. Beau and Roger really looked at many, many guys’ work. Then one day I was in Santa Monica dropping my boy off and they said, ‘Why don’t you come by the office? We’ve got to show you some guys for the part of Mason.’ There were three great guys and Luke was the dude. I sat there with headphones on and watched the laptop. They sat over there. I thought, ‘S**t, man. This is the moment of truth. Wow. I’m going to pick one of these actors to play opposite me in this spy genre movie which has the potential to hopefully do some business. And because of my legacy as Bond, blah, blah, blah, one of these guys is going to be the dude.’ And Luke was the man.”

As far as continuing his new found interest in the action genre, Brosnan stated “Well, we’re developing a piece called IT right now, which is a thriller. That’s got action in it. That’s as much as I know what I’m going to do. My son, Sean Brosnan, we’re going to do a movie called Last Man Out. Craig Ferguson came to us with a piece which I really liked. It’s a really violent, caustic little piece set in Belfast.” The actor went on to add, “It’s good. It’s down and dirty. Go to Belfast, do it there, not do it in Ireland. Sean, who’s my boy, he’s a writer/director/actor. We’re doing that after Christmas.”

The November Man is in theaters now. You can read our interviews with director Roger Donaldson and Olga Kurylenko too.

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