Was Pierce Brosnan A Failure As James Bond? He Thinks So

By April 14, 2014

Growing up, Pierce Brosnan was “my” James Bond. GoldenEye was the first Bond film I saw on the big screen (and how awesome was that video game, right?), and I thought he was pretty damn slick. As I came of age and went through the Bond back catalog, I was captivated by Sean Connery’s persona and laughed at the later-era Roger Moore’s more comedic antics (Dalton and Lazenby never really made much of an impression in my youth), and until Daniel Craig came around, there was still something about Pierce Brosnan’s take on the character that stayed with me. Maybe it’s true that you never forget your first time. But years later, how does Brosnan himself think he did at portraying the world’s most famous super spy? In a recent interview with The Telegraph, Brosnan opened up about the iconic role and how he feels he holds up in the pantheon of actors who have played him over the years:

I felt I was caught in a time warp between Roger and Sean. It was a very hard one to grasp the meaning of, for me. The violence was never real, the brute force of the man was never palpable. It was quite tame, and the characterisation didn’t have a follow-through of reality, it was surface. But then that might have had to do with my own insecurities in playing him as well. I have no desire to watch myself as James Bond. ‘Cause it’s just never good enough. It’s a horrible feeling.

I’m in the process of chronologically making my way through all of the Bond films with my wife, checking out one per month until the sequel to Skyfall hits theaters in 2015. We just finished Thunderball, but a lot of the older Connery films – yes, even (gasp!) Goldfinger – simply aren’t as great as I remember from my childhood. We obviously haven’t reached the Brosnan era for a rewatch yet, but I’ll be really interested to see how he holds up as Bond after going through the whole history of the franchise.

I recognize that the films he starred in were, as he says, caught in a time warp as far as tone is concerned, but I’m inclined to think that the actor is being a little hard on himself with his statements here. Am I crazy? Is Brosnan a terrible James Bond? I want to know what you guys think.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.
  • Chris Clow

    He’s too hard on himself! I can certainly see his point, but it’s all about what kind of Bond is necessary for the times. Post-Cold War and pre-9/11, Brosnan was a great fit. Part of why Die Another Day may have been a relative failure was because a different Bond was needed by that point. For his first three turns, though? He fit the tenor for what was required of a character like Bond just fine..