You want a suave, dashing and debonair movie star?
Pierce Brosnan can sit in a room under bright camera lights amid temperatures hovering around the 80-degree mark and not break a sweat. In a suit.
The Irish actor, 61, was at the Soho Beach House (which had some A/C issues) early afternoon Tuesday to talk up his new movie, The November Man. He plays Peter Devereaux, a retired CIA agent man who goes on a mission of vengeance after a personal tragedy. Chief among his archenemies — there are a lot — is his protégé, trained assassin David Mason, played by hunk Luke Bracey.
Despite his age, Devereaux is still agile, cunning and slick — wiring cars to blow up, breaking into a home and then settling down for a glass of scotch, improvising whatever weapons he can find to take out the bad guy — and always a few steps ahead.
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Shades of 007? Why, yes, now that you ask.
“After my days of James Bond there seemed to be some kind of unfinished business and fertile ground to step onto and play this character,” says Brosnan, who was replaced by Daniel Craig in the iconic spy franchise. “It was fun. I was protected. I had my stunt double that I used in the Bond movies [ Mark Mottram]. We saved the world four times together. He brought over his merry gang of lads — gun guys, drivers, fighters — and we hit the ground running.”
Also aboard: Olga Kurylenko, who was a Bond girl opposite Craig in Quantum of Solace.
Brosnan is more than OK with the casting choice, as he also wears a producer hat on The November Man (the title refers to Devereaux’s nickname, because after he passes through everything dies).
“Olga has never been better,” Brosnan says of the Ukrainian beauty. “I saw her work. I knew she just had this great heart and humanity to her. She owns it. And her being a Bond girl was a lovely play on theatricality for the audience and for people who are fans of the genre. Those are just some of the other joys of being a producer: having control over your own material.”
Another joy was reteaming with director and “good mate” Roger Donaldson; the two worked together on 1997’s Dante’s Peak. “He really brought his A-game to the table on this one.”
True movie star that he is, Brosnan would rather extol the virtues of the cast and crew than talk about himself. When he is complimented on his deft ability in the cutting-edge action scenes, he defers.
“Yes, it’s a good ride; comes out of the trap real fast and keeps moving along. The story has a complexity to it, but you also get to tie up all the ends as well,” he says, quickly adding: “Hats off to writers Carl Gajdusek and Mike Finch there. Those boyos did me proud.”
Brosnan also firmly believes he helped discovered a star on the rise in Bracey, who has had small roles in such movies as Monte Carlo and GI Joe Retaliation.
“He’s a wonderful young actor who has strength, commitment and physical ability,” Brosnan says. “He was the one I wanted right away. You know in that moment he was chosen that you were helping set a career in motion.”
Speaking of a career in motion: Later in the afternoon, Brosnan visited the Museum and Library of the 2506 Assault Brigade and was made an honorary member of the CIA-sponsored group of Cuban exiles that carried out the Bay of Pigs invasion.
“These are wonderful men,” Brosnan says. “It’s a pretty big honor.”
Another honor: being awarded the key to the city by Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado.
“This happened to me only once before — in my hometown in Ireland.”
The interview is over, and the air is thick and toasty. Brosnan gamely poses for a photo and then flashes that smile. You may remember it from the old Remington Steele days.
Nope, still not a bead of sweat.