Pierce Brosnan gives us his recipe for success
The Bond actor on dressing for the part, committing wholeheartedly and finding your inner confidence
Pierce Brosnan’s home is just as magnificent as you’d hope. Located in Malibu and built in a quasi-Thai style, it’s a sprawling estate that fronts directly onto the beach. Pierce welcomed me from the balcony on the second floor of the house, where his painting studio is located.
“Come on in,” he gestured in his inimitable baritone, his accent now a mix of Irish, English and Scottish.
Once inside, and confronted with a 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean, we were perfectly positioned to discuss art, self-doubt and the power of dressing well — not to mention his own curious recipe for success.
Always be kind...
It take nothing to be kind and to be gracious and polite. On set or off set. I like people. I’m comfortable in my own skin. I enjoy enormously the job that has gratified me with this lifestyle, and the abundance of good fortune that I’ve had as an actor.
My consistency with that has fragility to it at times, just because sometimes life gets a bit heavy for both hands. That’s some of the makeup of who I am. I’m not always charming — I can be bristly and prickly. Sometimes you get out of the wrong side of bed. I think it comes from the joy of doing what I do, as a man, as an artist and as an actor, being in the company of great people who know their job. It makes life very rewarding.
Have a second string to your bow...
I left school very early in my life, with very little credit of academia, with just a folder of paintings and drawings, and some dreams of being a painter. I knew I wasn’t going to be a chef, a plumber or a cameraman for the BBC. But to be a painter, to be an artist had a romantic notion. And then, when I did become a commercial artist, I found acting.
As a painter, I’d like to classify myself as a colourist. I just enjoy the vibrancy of great colours. I love trying to create something that is beautiful. Art for me has become more of a focal point in my life.
I’ve had a studio here at my house for a number of years. I quietly work on pieces, and I’m inching my way towards having an exhibit at the end of this year.
Paris is definitely a destination we’re looking at. I’m just about to bring all my works together, which is about 150 pieces, and see what it looks like. And scare myself with it, probably — I’ll think “what the heck am I doing,” putting my neck on the line.
Dress for the part...
My personal style is simple: clothes that are comfortable. But I like being well turned out. I like facing the day in clothes that make me feel competent, secure. I like to cut a silhouette in the greyness of the day that makes you feel good about yourself. Having been an actor all my life, it’s almost like dress-up or costume. You dress up for the occasion.
When you commit, commit...
My son Dylan has just begun modelling. I try to teach him how to weather the waters of people’s egos and making a living. This is just fun for both of my boys. Dylan is 21 and Paris is 17.
Both of them really enjoy modelling. It’s joyful. I tell them: don’t take it too seriously. But once you commit, you commit wholeheartedly to the endeavour of doing the photo shoot or the runway, to being professional and showing up on time. I tell them it’s important to be gracious, to be kind, to be good-natured, to work hard, to support the people around you.
Forge confidence from self doubt...
Nobody gave me my self confidence, I had to find it myself. It comes out of a lack of confidence, at times. It comes out of an insecurity of not being good enough, not having enough education, not knowing the right answer or not being able to articulate my feelings.
That’s constant work. I see some fellows and they’re so widely confident on set, on the stage and off the stage. And
with me, that’s not always the case. Pick any of my films. I look at them once and I never go back.
My boys have always criticised me for not watching a James Bond movie with them. I don’t know why, but I can’t watch them with the family. It’s torturous. The confidence, the self-assuredness — this comes from a wanton desire to be that person, to create that image, and from a love of the movies, and of the mystique of movie stars.
I wanted to be a movie star, and I became one.
This interview first appeared in our March issue, click here to subscribe and get your copy sent to your door today…