Irish actor and film producer Pierce Brendan Brosnan has had tremendous success in films, television, theater, and radio. He was born to an Irish-Catholic family on May 16, 1953.
Pierce Brosnan is the sixth actor to play James Bond, preceded by Timothy Dalton. Goldeneye was his first film in the franchise and was 42 when he got the part.
Grab a martini (shaken not stirred!) and uncover some facts about the actor and the action-packed spy classic.
Becoming James Bond
In 1986, Pierce Brosnan was the first choice to replace Roger Moore after his retirement. However, he wasn’t able to proceed due to his contract with the hit detective, comedy-drama, Remington Steele.
Timothy Dalton took over Moore and starred in only two Bond films, The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989). He didn’t reprise his role after the last film due to lawsuits and financial difficulties with the movie production.
Questions arose if a new Bond movie would return. Goldeneye’s screenplay was developed in 1993 and was completed in 1994 just in time for Pierce to assume the role.
By then, he was the new face of 007 and would lead the modern-day portrayal of the character.
In his interview with the New York Times, Pierce was asked how he played the iconic spy from the actors before him, to which he explained that he was not completely different from Connery. He would be a fool to tamper with what makes the character work, he added.
He also shared that his favorite ‘toy’ in the movie was the DB5 Aston Martin with machine guns, an ejector seat, and a secret compartment for Dom Perignon, revealing that he had a model of it as a boy.
A Dedication of Love
When the film premiered, the James Bond star dedicated his performance to his late wife, Cassandra Harris, who was also a former Bond girl. They met in 1980.
She died of cancer and was not able to see his dream of playing 007 come true. They have three children together—Charlotte, Sean, and Christopher Brosnan.
Goldeneye’s Origins and Plot
The title Goldeye is an homage to Ian Fleming, the creator of the James Bond novels, during his days as a British Naval Intelligence officer.
Goldeneye was a code name for an operation when surveilling Spain after the Spanish Civil War. It is also the name of the writer’s estate in Jamaica where he wrote all his famous books.
The movie was released in 1995 and was directed by Martin Campbell (Mask of Zorro, Casino Royale) with screenplays by Jeffrey Caine, Bruce Feirstein, and the story by Michael France.
This was the first Bond movie not produced by the legendary Albert R. Broccoli due to his ailing health at the time and was replaced by his daughter, Barbara Broccoli.
Izabella Scorupco (Natalya Simonova), Sean Bean (Alec Trevelyan), Famke Janssen (Xenia Onatopp), Judi Dench (M), and Alan Cumming (Boris Grishenko) were among some of the co-stars of Brosnan in the film.
Soundtrack by Tina Turner
12-time Grammy Award winner Tina Turner put her interpretation of the original soundtrack.
She explained that sometimes there are songs that don’t go well with the movie but her song was appropriate, matching the signature opening credits of Bond films.
The song named after the film’s title was written by Bono and the Edge of U2, with the track doing well in the UK Singles Chart and was included in Tina’s album, Wildest Dreams. The singer was always a fan of the franchise and even dreamt to be a Bond Girl.
Video Game Adaptation
Goldeneye made its debut as a first-person shooter game on August 25, 1997. Developed by Rare and Ultimate Play the Game, it was released by Nintendo for Nintendo 64 and Wii.
In 2010, the game was remade with another version released in 2011 called Goldeneye 007: Reloaded for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Nicole Scherzinger covered the song by Tina Turner for the 2010 version.
In Her Majesty’s Service
Aside from his achievements in film, television, and stage, Pierce Brosnan received the honorary OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) from the Queen for his services in drama and outstanding contributions to the British film industry in July 2003.
Britain’s then-foreign secretary, Jack Straw praised the actor for his portrayal of the secret agent, sharing that Brosnan added style and glamour to the image of Britain to other nations, including his work in environmentalism and charity.
“Who is the best James Bond actor?” will always be debatable, but Brosnan was more than able to fill in the shoes of his predecessors. No other actor in the history of the spy franchise had the part kept for him until he was ready—now that’s pretty impressive!