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By Victoria Alexander (Jan./Feb. 1996)
..."With GoldenEye, Pierce Brosnan takes his rightful place in the pantheon of movie stardom. Through the grace of some unknown god, he was destined to play James Bond. Like a mythological Greek warrior, Brosnan's quest has been long, treacherous and the path scattered with rumored usurpers to the prize. Brosnan confidently steps forward and takes what always belonged to him after Roger Moore abdicated (or was pushed). Brosnan doesn't have Sean Connery's majestic bearing -- yet. But he does resurrect James Bond, liberating him from Moore's interpretation as a fleshy buffoon and Timothy Dalton's overworked, tired put-upon secret agent. Now, thankfully, we return to a stylized and demonized 007. This Bond is fearless, cruel, and an unrepentive lover of women. It also gives us the mandatory Bond special effects, outrageous stunts, pyrotechnics, plane/train/car wrecks, and wide scale killings....The film moves at a hyper-accelerated pace. It's the fastest, tightest, coolest Bond since Connery stopped playing baccarat. No one eats, sleeps, or gets sensitive.
Brosnan's lithe appearance on screen suggests an approachability, until the camera gets close. He's beautiful in a pensive, disturbing way. You don't expect someone so beautiful to have been tarnished by life in ugly little ways, but Brosnan looks like he's seen it all early on and it's damaged him. When conveyed subliminally and skillfully, this "unjustly punished beauty" is mesmerizing. It's as if we now realize James Bond came from a poverty-stricken, abusive, alcoholic home. He didn't overcome his background, he suppressed it. Brosnan telegraphs this backstory with his sensual face. You can actually watch him use his facial muscles to convey thoughts! This certain "thing" makes icons out of stars. Furthermore, while this Bond's confidence is the only sexual prowess we see (Connery's women always moaned "Oh, James" afterwards), Brosnan delivers on one of the toughest leading man minefields -- he knows how to kiss.
By Paul Majendie
LONDON (Reuter) / November 5, 1995 - James Bond is back on the screen after six years but the 1990s have caught up with him. Now the world's most famous spy has a woman boss who calls him a sexist dinosaur.
Irish actor Pierce Brosnan has taken over the role of the quintessential Englishman from Timothy Dalton. Gone are the bikini-clad women and Cold War villains. But 007 still drinks vodka martinis, drives an Aston Martin and shoots off the one-liners as he eliminates the bad guys.
"The shoes of Roger Moore and Sean Connery are very big shoes to fill," Brosnan admits in a new book published this week on the making of GoldenEye, the 17th Bond movie.
"I am current tenant of the most famous film role in the world and I love it."
The $50 million movie, filmed in 20 weeks on location in Britain, Monte Carlo, Puerto Rico and Russia, has its London premiere Nov. 21.
Bond has a "new man" image with classical British actress Judi Dench taking on the role of his boss M. "There is now a woman at the head of the British secret service and the film reflects that -- quite rightly in my view. In turn M would not employ bimbos around her but intelligent, successful girls," Dench said. She gets to tick off the suave Bond, telling him: "I think you are a sexist, misogynist dinosaur, a relic of the Cold War."
Desmond Llewelyn, who has played gadget manufacturer Q since From Russia with Love in 1963, confessed he is not exactly ideal for the role: "I can hardly put on a kettle, let alone set a video."
With the fall of the Berlin Wall, Bond filmmakers have no more Communist archvillains to fall back on. This time the baddies are Russian arms dealers. Beautiful women still abound. Dutch actress Famke Janssen gets to play the deadly Xania Onatopp who likes to squeeze her lovers to death with her thighs.
New Zealand director Martin Campbell is quick to reassure Bond traditionalists who may be worried that the secret agent has become a politically correct shadow of his former chauvinist self. "He is a superhero who has a panache and style like no other. But Bond can't help himself being a little sexist and he still has a great sense of humor."
By Robert Hofler
HOLLYWOOD (Reuters, October 31, 1995) - How do you reinvent James Bond, that '60s relic, for a 1990s audience? According to Pierce Brosnan, who plays 007 in GoldenEye, the first Bond picture in six years, it's definitely back to the future.
"He is a sexist," Brosnan says of the role. "That's where they went wrong before. They kind of defused Bond during Timothy Dalton's reign. Audiences want to see this guy bed many women.It's what turned people on to Bond in '63 and '64. Connery was just so arrogant and he went through women like there was no tomorrow. That's what turns the guys on and it's what turns the women on, whether they like it or not."
Surprisingly, while Brosnan may be a chip off the old Bond, his priapic spy doesn't light up before, during, or even after sex.
"The smoking issue is such a dangerous one," demurs the Irish-born actor. Which is to say, Bond can have sex with dozens of women and kill dozens of men, but he can't smoke a cigarette?!
Says the new, improved Bond: "But children are going to go see this film!"
From Boxoffice magazine (Nov. 1995)
At the time [1986, after losing Bond] Pierce Brosnan was bitter about his fate. But given the fact that both The Living Daylights and 1989's Licence to Kill were by Bond standards boxoffice flops, he now sings a different tune. "There but for the grace of God go I," says Brosnan, who blames the scripts for the films' failure, not replacement Bond Timothy Dalton. "Timothy is a really wonderful actor," says Brosnan. "I mean, when he puts it together, when he's in the right piece, he's good. I don't think he was served well by the story and by other variables at all...."
"I'm more mature than I was in 1986 as an actor and as a person. I mean, I'll watch Remington Steele and sometimes I cringe."
From Satellite Entertainment Guide (Nov. 1995)
...Through no fault of his own, Brosnan lost the Bond role back in 1986 by being "manipulated by very short, greedy little men," who wanted to capitalize on his new Bond fame by optioning another 22 episodes of his Remington Steele series after it had been cancelled.....
Director Martin Campbell feels that Brosnan is the right melding of Connery and Moore that's needed for the part, something that Timothy Dalton had trouble with.
"For me, Tim wasn't a good Bond. He's a terrific actor, but I just found him too angry and too aggressive about the whole thing. And it didn't have the humor, which is absolutely essential. Pierce brings a real humor and touch of class and sophistication to the role, as well as being very good at action. He brings a real depth to it too, although I'm always wary of saying things like 'depth' and 'Bond' in the same sentence...."
Brosnan, meanwhile, is getting used to a new kind of fame. "Kids on the street are already saying to me now, 'Hey, it's the new James Bond.' But I suppose one day they'll be calling me the old James Bond."
After 6 years in limbo, Agent 007 returns to the big screen
From Cinescape, September 1995
Everyone involved with the making of GoldenEye, the 17th film in the James Bond series, knows that it's do-or-die for Agent 007. After the unexpected failure of Timothy Dalton's 2 Bond films in the 1980s, another box office disappointment would mean the end of the franchise...
Bond's filmic overseers, recognizing that Dalton just never connected with audiences, didn't try to dissuade the actor from leaving [the role]. "I liked Tim as Bond, " Michael Wilson says, "but there was always the claim from some people that he wasn't right. Who knows why audiences didn't really go for him? As we were looking around to cast Bond for GoldenEye, we looked at younger people and different kinds of people who were available. You need a person who is experienced. Pierce is just the right age. He's handsome and dashing with a youthful sparkle in his eye, yet he has the proper maturity and weight to make Bond believeable....Some people have said that he is a cross between Sean Connery and Roger Moore, and I think that's a very good way of putting it, although I think he leans more toward Sean."
From The European Magazine July 7-13 1995.
As Agent 007 embarks on another movie mission, Stephanie Theobald finds Italian tailors setting the style for the English spy.
Martinis, Savile Row suits and a stiff upper lip no longer cut the mustard for James Bond number five. The producers of GoldenEye, the new Bond film, decided that Pierce Brosnan needed a little Euro-sophistication if his character was to survive in the 90s. The new-look Bond comes complete with a female boss, a Swiss watch, a German BMW and, most noticeably, an Italian suit.
"The time is up for English tailoring", smiles Umberto Angeloni, the managing director of Brioni, the Italian tailors who were commissioned to produce the new James Bond look."We learned many lessons in tailoring from Savile Row at the end of the last century, but now we have overtaken them. We have made advances in modern construction and in collars. We are also more efficient."
But far from seeing himself as a villain bombarding the quintessential British hero with nefarious foreign influences, Angeloni sees his 50-year-old company as a benevolent Miss Moneypenny. "We have saved James Bond from becoming a slapdash Indiana Jones figure - which is how he came across in the last 2 films. By crossing Brosnan in our classical style we have transformed him into a new Gary Cooper."
Cooper has also been dressed by Brioni, along with Clark Gable, John Wayne, Rock Hudson and Al Pacino.
The costume designer for GoldenEye, Lindy Hemming, says that Bond has deliberately been made more European than before. He may drive an Aston Martin DB5 at weekends in Monte Carlo, but for missions it is strictly the svelte new BMW Z3. But any old "Euro" accessory will not do, says Hemming: "Sean Connery wore a Rolex, but we thought they'd become a bit ordinairy now. Omega are more minimal - even though this one does shoot off a bomb".
Hemming chose Brioni as suitmakers to Bond because the image of the upper-class British gentleman is no longer prestigious enough unless it is being tempered by the sophistication inherent in certain objects from certain European countries - particularly Italy.
She says: "Even in the Connery days in the 1960's, Italian design was seen as cool. Now we seem to have come full circle, with Italians making suits to look as if they came from Savile Row - except with more modern fabrics and more efficient skills."
Thirty versions of the two suits worn by Brosnan were made for the film. Both are single-breasted, long in the body and with soft, sloping shoulders, in the modern tradition.
But while it takes an Italian to create a quintessential English gentleman, it takes a Frenchman to dress an Russian mass murderer with sex appeal. Bond's new female adversary, Xenia, played by Dutch-born Famke Janssen, has perfected aknack of killing men while she is having sex with them. Lindy Hemming believed that French designer Thierry Mugler would be perfect for Xenia's wardrobe since she is renowned for making clothes so glamorous that they become scary. As well as wearing a satin military bondage outfit, a vampish crushed black velvet evening dress and hand-stitched breeches and boots in the style of a Russian general, Janssen will be sporting a special Mugler black suit for a "particularly wicked scene".
From the Daily Herald (August 11, 1995)
MGM wanted to get a jump on the media this week, so it invited Chicago film critics to a 15-minute preview of the new James Bond adventure GoldenEye , scheduled to open Nov. 17.
If this footage stays in the final print, then GoldenEye will join a billion other action films to include the most overused, cliched line of dialogue in movie history. "Trust me," delivered by the new 007 Pierce Brosnan.
The movie also features another tired, brainless action segment where the hero outruns a hail of machine gun fire. But the amazing opener in which Bond makes a silent, graceful bungee jump off a dam easily compensates for these; so does Brosnan's performance.
10 years ago, when producer Cubby Broccoli wanted Brosnan to take 007's license to kill from Roger Moore (but couldn't because of tv commitments), the Irish-born actor hadn't been properly seasoned for the role. Audiences still identified him with his comic turn in the tv series Remington Steele. Plus, his subsequent dramatic career in movies proved uneventful. His projects mostly went nowhere (except home video) and his performances always seemed forced.
No more. In the GoldenEye footage, Brosnan displays that irresistable sense of world-weariness that defines the essence of James Bond. An older Brosnan comes into his own as a cynical, confident 007 who can toss off witticisms with direct cool. What's more, Brosnan plays the character straight, while everyone else seems to poke fun of the 007 formula, especially the new tough lady "M" (played by Dame Judi Dench), who openly calls 007 a "misogynistic dinosaur."
If anyone doubts that Brosnan hasn't bonded to his character, listen to the deadpan way he says his signature introduction, "Bond, James Bond."
from Cinefantastique magazine, October 1995 issue
Pierce Brosnan finally takes over as Commander James Bond after years of being touted as the best replacement to follow in the footsteps of Sean Connery and Roger Moore....
Brosnan: "Connery was always my favorite Bond, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel the pressure to measure up to him. I want GoldenEye to be great, and I want it to put the series back on the map. However, I can't compete with either Connery or Moore's style, I intend to create my own by keeping 007 direct, simple and as honest as possible....If we get it right and it's successful, I will be eternally known as James Bond. I believe fate has played a great part in this for me. When something happens in your life for a second time, it carries a certain significance. I couldn't have said no because it was unfinished business. Now I think I'm right for the role. I hadn't matured enough before. It feels good doing it, and it's colossal fun."
By Robert Hofler, July 11, 1995
Hollywood (Reuter) - What does the original James Bond think of Pierce Brosnan stepping into his 007 in the upcoming GoldenEye?
"I think Brosnan is a very good choice," says Sean Connery, "but he is very much at the mercy of how good the writing and the directing is." Connery, who stars as King Arthur in the current First Knight, says that his favorite Bond film remains From Russia With Love.
His critique: "It's a real story. It has interesting characters." According to Connery, the Bond movies lost their way with "all this space stuff." Connery has his own remedy for resuscitating the spy series: "I suggested that they get director Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction) and get an original script by him. That would have a different slant."
From The Hollywood Reporter, June 8, 1995
By George Christy
Pierce Brosnan soon finishes shooting the James Bond action thriller GoldenEye, and his friends report that Roger Moore, who pre-dated Pierce in the role, visited the set and reflected, "Both Sean Connery, who created the role, and I will be long forgotten after everyone sees how great Pierce is."
Highlights from the 4-page feature:
Robbie Coltrane, who plays a former KGB controller: "My favourite Bond baddie was Charles Gray and like him, I'll be playing down my handsome persona. It isn't true by the way that I've had to lose weight to play the heavy..."
Pierce Brosnan: "I think there's a healthy dose of sexism in the script. We aren't going to rock the boat. If we get the politically correct mob on our backs, who cares? Bond loves women and if any get in his way he blows them away. That's what it's all about..."
Izabella Scorupco, Bond girl: "Maud Adams was the best Bond girl in my opinion. And look out Sean Connery, I think Pierce will be the best Bond ever."
Famke Janssen, Bond girl: "I don't feel under any pressure as a Bond girl, because I never look at what was done before."
Desmond Llewelyn: "Pierce Brosnan has been the bane of my life in Ireland. Ever since Roger Moore gave up playing Bond, all the Irish have ever asked me is, 'You must know Pierce. What's he like?' Things calmed down a bit when Timothy Dalton took over but when he gave up the questions started again. Now I can finally tell everyone I've met him. Does he get a good report? I'll let you know at the end of shooting."
From Film Review (April 1995)
"The way I see James Bond is as a man with a passion to get the job done," says Pierce Brosnan with more than a hint of masked amusement when it comes to his attitude on political correctness. "This film is not supposed to be a cure for cancer; it's supposed to be a fantasy, you know -- entertainment, action, fabulous special effects, romance... Sufficient to say, Bond will be sophisticated and charming as always. I reckon I'll play him somewhere between Connery and Moore and I intend to enjoy doing it because I've waited for a long time for this role."
Brosnan, 41, tall, dark and perhaps too handsome for his own professional good, had to drop out of playing Bond in The Living Daylights in 1986 because of his Remington Steele contract which occupied him for 7 years.
"We'd already done the wardrobe fittings and I even had a stunt double lined up for Daylights," says Brosnan. "When I wasn't freed to take the role, I had to bite the bullet and move on. Now I'm back. Some of the fitting measurements may be bigger, but there's a lot more depth of character. Okay, there'll always be the fear that faces you when you step into the shoes of a role like this, but now I've got the bit between my teeth and it's going to work."
...Glen will still be best remembered for his Bond films. With Martin Campbell in the director's chair for the 17th movie, GoldenEye, John Glen is philosophical and wishes the film well.
"I think it's a wonderful title," he remarks. "I tested Pierce Brosnan and I always thought he was the perfect replacement for Roger Moore, that's why we originally chose him! I shot his tests over 3 days and they were fantastic; screen tests like you've never seen with special effects and everything. We chose some of the famous scenes from previous Bond movies and Pierce performed very well. He's got a very nice rich voice, a nice twinkle and I think he'll do very well, I certainly wish him all the luck in the world."
According to Glen, the $120 million action blockbuster True Lies illustrated the fundamental problem with recent Bond films. "I loved it, I think it gives you some idea of how efficient we were with our budgets of around $32 million. When you have someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger you can command a huge American market which Bonds always had to struggle to do, because they're not considered to be domestic films but foreign films and they never make any huge money."
By Maggie Fox
LONDON, June 8, 1994 (Reuters) - Pierce Brosnan, a steely-eyed Irish actor who has played a string of action roles, is the latest James Bond.
The producers of the immensely successful Bond movies said Wednesday they had cast the 41-year-old star as agent 007 for the 17th Bond film, GoldenEye. True to form, it will feature Russians, an evil megalomaniac and plenty of beautiful women.
"It's set in today's Russia," New Zealand-born director Martin Campbell told a news conference. "It's the Russia of arms dealing, the Mafia."
Brosnan takes on the Bond mantle from actors such as Sean Connery, Roger Moore and most recently Timothy Dalton, who have evolved the suave 007 over the past 32 years.
The films have made $1 billion worldwide since Connery became a superstar with Dr No in 1962.
U.S. producer Cubby Broccoli has exhausted the original scripts based on the novels by ex-spy Ian Fleming; GoldenEye is still being written by Michael France and Jeffrey Caine.
It will be set in Moscow or St. Petersburg, but filming will also take place in the Caribbean, Mexico and Monte Carlo -- providing ample opportunity for actors to wear evening dress and chase through casinos.
Campbell said it was due out in the summer of 1995 and will be distributed by MGM/UA and United International Pictures.
He was reticent about the villain, but said he would be called Trevelyan, a British arms dealer. "The great thing about this one is that he's not trying to take over the world," Campbell said. "He is someone that Bond knows; so there is a certain amount of psychological baggage that I think makes him more interesting."
Brosnan said his Bond would keep many of the most popular characteristics of the spy, who preferred his martinis shaken, not stirred and who could emerge from a wet-suit with immaculate dinner jacket uncreased.
"He will still have his license to kill, his lethal side."
Campbell reassured fans that long-standing Bond pillars "M," "Q" and loyal secretary Moneypenny would star in the film. He said he hoped the original Q, Desmond Llewellyn, would play the quirky inventor who supplies Bond with his handy gadgets.
Fleming described Bond as blue-eyed, tall and black-haired with a complexion tanned by foreign climates.
Brosnan was first offered the role in 1986 but was forced to decline because of contract obligations to television series Remington Steele. Timothy Dalton won the role instead but only made 2 films.
"It's taken me 8 years to get here but here I am," said Brosnan, sporting a decidedly un-Bondlike beard, long hair and black shirt. But he reassured purists the beard would be removed for filming.
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