The man who thought he was too young to be Bond finally got a crack at the part.
Timothy Dalton was in the frame for the role after Sean Connery made his first disappearance from the part, but at the age of 22 he himself felt that he was too young for the role. Though originally heading for a career in the Air Force, Dalton’s life was changed forever when he saw a production of Macbeth and his life changed forever as he realised his true calling.
It took a year to undo the psychological damage that was caused by the oppressive teachers.
Born in Wales on 21st March 1946, Dalton studied at RADA then joined the Birmingham youth theatre on tour. He made a swift move into television and then to film, getting substantial parts such as Heathcliff in a version of “Wuthering Heights” but spent most of the 70’s concentrating on working in the theatre, his most beloved profession, nevertheless building up a strong track record in film.
His second stab at Bond came in 1986 and again he turned the role down being committed to other projects. However the producers persisted and when he was free from his other duties, Dalton finally accepted. He did his research, wanting to bring as much of Fleming’s original character from the novels to his on screen realisation. His Bond was the darkest and most real interpretation to date, though still with an edge of wry humour and he won acclaim from both critics and fans. Though he made only two Bond movies, he is well remembered and well liked in the role and it’s a shame that through no fault of his own, the films went on hiatus for six years.
You can’t relate to a superhero, to a superman, but you can identify with a real man who in times of crisis draws forth some extraordinary quality from within himself and triumphs but only after a struggle.
Dalton has kept his personal life as far from his career as possible. For a while, he was in a relationship with Vanessa Redgrave, before eventually having a son with Oskana Grigoreva and, still working on film, TV and stage to this day and looking remarkably youthful, he was most recently seen by millions as the evil president of the Time Lords in “Doctor Who”
I like taking material I think impossible because that provokes an extreme effort of imagination and commitment. But I could never say which of my parts had most satisfied me or which was my favourite. Even my failures are my blood, my sweat, my care, my love, part of me, and I can’t disown them.
Most extraordinary appearance
This has GOT to be as Prince Barin in “Flash Gordon” where, dressed in what looks like Lincoln Green and a moustache, he strides through the film, casually assassinating big rubber monsters, fighting on a revolving table of spikes and trading insults with Brian Blessed, mercifully without getting his eardrums burst!
PIERCE BROSNAN OBE
The charm of the Irish, a wicked smile and a Bond of steel.
Pierce Brosnan was born in Ireland in 1953 and was brought up by his mother after his father abandoned the family. He trained initially as an illustrator, but was seduced by acting and took a different path, one he found liberating. With immaculate comic timing and an offbeat desire to never take himself too seriously, contrasting with his sharp good looks, he moved into films and eventually landed the plum job of starring in the hit US TV show, “Remington Steele”
Acting allows me to explore new worlds, to discover characters by delving into their lives, and ultimately to become someone else entirely.
Cassandra Harris, his wife, had been cast in the Roger Moore film “For Your Eyes Only” and Brosnan met producer Cubby Broccoli on set, who immediately eyed him up as a potential replacement when Moore quit the role. However, by the time that chance came he was tied to the series, his contract for “Remington Steele” was binding and the producers would not let him loose to play the Bond so the role went instead to Timothy Dalton.
Tragically, Pierce lost his soulmate to cancer but four years later achieved one of her most fervent wishes, to finally play James Bond. Bursting onto the screen in “Goldeneye”, he was an immediate hit, bringing back the humour that had been absent from Dalton’s otherwise excellent interpretation but loosing none of the steel. He reinvigorated the franchise for the 90s and went on to star in three more films becoming in the eyes of the public, one of the most popular Bonds ever.
It never felt real to me. I never felt I had complete ownership over Bond. Because you’d have these stupid one-liners – which I loathed – and I always felt phony doing them.
Unlike some of his predecessors, Brosnan found it easy to avoid typecasting, having shrewdly taken on a diverse range of roles during his time in the franchise. He has gone on to success after success, winning plaudits from the critics and has used the financial security that playing Bond gave him to free him up to take on more interesting and challenging roles. Never giving less than 100% he is still acting and has also become an ambassador for UNICEF, makes promotional appearances for Greenpeace and is committed to the cause of raising awareness of Green issues as well as raising money for Cancer charities. He is now married to Keeley Shaye Smith.
We owe it to our children to be better stewards of the environment. The alternative? – a world without whales. It’s too terrible to imagine.
Most extraordinary appearance
Mars Attacks, Tim Burton’s hilarious homage to a set of fifties trading cards, which saw Brosnan having his head removed and falling in love with Sarah Jessica Parker…who has also had her head removed and grafted onto the body of a dog. Brosnan’s character shows admirable cool as they kiss.