Pierce Brosnan: ‘It’s a capricious old game, the world of being an actor’ | Film

Pierce Brosnan can make idle chatter about vaping sound like Shakespearean verse. I ask him about his stance on vaping mostly as a lark, mentioning that he played a constantly vaporizing drug baron in last year’s offbeat thriller Urge, and still he manages a typically flowery, grandiloquent response.

“It’s nauseating, a disgusting habit, completely ridiculous,” Brosnan tells me on the phone. “Young men and women sitting in their cars, with this billowing titanic bulge of fake smoke spilling out of their mouth. I guess it’s of the time. It’ll go down in the history books as one of the crazier things people have done. You can vape yourself to sleep now, I’ve read.”

And better still, he uses that role for a seamless pivot to a trenchant insight about the current state of his working life: “I’m at a point in my career where I can move around the map and have a great time doing it. I can pull off the occasional unexpected surprise, and all along, enjoy the work.”

It’s difficult not to be charmed by Pierce Brosnan. Charm is pretty much his trademark shtick, and it’s what carried him over five seasons of small-screen detective comedy Remington Steele. His role as a rakish thief turned gumshoe earned him a decade-long stint as James Bond, which has kept him an in-demand actor with work that’s as steady as it is varied, from an Abba musical (Mamma Mia!) to a Roman Polanski thriller (The Ghost Writer). Although it’s his role as Bond that seems to be the only topic that leaves him at a loss for words. “I have no thoughts on who should follow Daniel [Craig],” he says, two decades of constant questioning leading to an apparent exhaustion with the subject. “I really have no idea. I’m as excited as the next man to see who they’ll select.”

In his new role, he’s shifting into grimmer mode than usual, playing a government official with violent roots in the…

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