Pierce Brosnan will forever be remembered as James Bond, a gig he abandoned after "Die Another Day" (2002), but the 60-year-old veteran is doing some of the most interesting work of his career right now.
The dramedy "A Long Way Down," a Nick Hornby ("High Fidelity") novel adaptation opening Friday, stars Brosnan as one of four strangers who form a close bond after meeting on a roof during New Year's Eve where each intended to commit suicide.
amNewYork spoke with the actor about the film.
Why is Nick Hornby such an appealing, cinematic author?
He has a wonderful take on society and the way people tick, and a kind of caustic witty biting edge of characterization to situations. ? I was aware of his work, but I had never read any of his books to tell the truth. [I] just came in with a script and I really enjoyed it.
As someone who has been doing this for a pretty long time, what is it that sparks your interest about a script?
One always looks for the best, one always hopes for the best, as it all starts and ends with the writing. So to be an unexpected surprise, to create something which will have some longevity on the shelf, and to have a bloody great time doing it. I love what I do, I have nothing but gratitude for the space and time and the road I've come down as an actor. It is all a constant work in progress, and I am just as passionate now as I was when I was a 26 year old actor.
What are some of the ways you've grown and improved as an actor?
I think the work has matured as I have matured as a man. I have more confidence, you find more of your voice. You find you can play with a bit more bite and edge. You can also be more relaxed about it, and I don't know, it's hard to talk about it. I think [Anthony] Hopkins said it, that it takes 20 years to make an actor, and I think there's some truth in that.
The tone in this film is difficult. The premise is serious, and yet there is a lot that is obviously comic and lighter.
Well, you know from my characters perspective of that, through the prism of the audience, you see a man strap another to the roof of a car, and you see a man who should know better, try to get a ladder into an elevator, that creates sort of a comedic tone. So for me, when Toni Collette gives that beautiful line, "Are you going to be long?" as I stand there, on the edge of the precipice about to throw my body into space. That's funny. So once you get past the initial beast that these people want to commit suicide, then you're in this glorious tapestry of four lives that have somewhat surrendered to their own resilience of living life.