He lives in Malibu;
she’s a die-hard
New Yorker. He’s the debonair 50 year-old Irish star of the Bond
she’s a redheaded, freckled 43 year-old American character actor who
shone as tormented women in films such as The Hours and Far
Heaven. Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore are very different
different kinds of actors— but when they joined to star in Laws of
riotous romance produced by Brosnan’s production company, Irish
realized they have one major thing in common: They’re both incredibly
to their families (Brosnan is married to Keely Shaye Smith and has five
children ranging in age from 3 to 20; Moore is married to director Bart
Freundlich and they have two children, Liv, 2, and Cal, 6). That bond
create the chemistry that makes this movie work—an old-fashioned
comedy about two diametrically opposed Manhattan divorce attorneys who
accidentally get married in a drunken stupor.
Pierce, how did you get Julianne involved in the film?
I wanted to do a romantic comedy, and I wanted to do it with Julianne
There were lots of beautiful ladies’ names on the list, but one day I
down and Julianne’s name was there. She’s one of America’s finest
just about everything she’s touched, whether it’s been in Vanya on
Street to Far from Heaven to Boogie Nights. She
extremely hard on her craft and, consequently, it’s paying off in
And she’d never done a romantic comedy.
MOORE: It was kind of a big surprise for me, frankly,
it’s not generally the kind of thing that I do. But you don’t want to
the same thing all the time. This was something I thought was really
and very funny and sweet.
Chemistry is obviously so important in a romantic comedy. When was the
first time you met and did it click right away?
The first night we met was in New York, and we went to have dinner at
Silvano. It’s kind of showbizzy and popular and there’s paparazzi
I was with about five friends, and we were in a big limousine because
were going out on the town, hopping around. And she just showed up in
cargo pedal-pusher pants, Birkenstocks, and T-shirt. I almost walked
past her. She said, “It’s me! Julianne!” I was immediately bewitched by
her. She has great warmth and a wonderful femininity and yet she’s just
gorgeous. That red hair, that smile.
I was working these really long hours on the movie Marie and Bruce in
So I showed up at Da Silvano sort of all dirty. He was looking
and had just come from Uptown. But we had actually met one time at a
party in LA when we were working the deal out. And he came by this
to say hello to me, which I thought was incredibly gracious. Not a lot
of actors do that. That’s really rare. But that’s the thing about
manners are impeccable.
What were you most surprised to learn about each other once you started
She loves to chat, that’s her way of relaxing. I, on the other hand,
a take, like to be calm and not talk. So she’d be blabbing away to me
I’d be getting ready for a five- or six-page scene. I’d just say, “Will
you be quiet, please? I’m trying to learn my lines here.” And she’d
keep talking. That’s her way of doing it.
[Laughs] I never stop. I think that was really hard for him. I talk all
the way up to “Action.” Sometimes I’ll keep doing it after action,
my thought and then I’ll start the scene, which drove him
nuts. There were times he would say, “Please, please just be quiet for
a minute, let me think! Just one second!” This is not unusual. This
to me on dramas, on everything. If you talk to other actors I’ve worked
with, they’ll say that, too. But I say, “C’mon, if Ralph Fiennes can
it, why can’t you [laughs]?”
What about Pierce, Julianne?
He’s just so accessible. I always had an image of him being so
He’s really incredibly sweet and normal and a real family man. He’s
talking about his wife, his children. That’s sort of what my
is, too, so it was nice. For some unknown reason my son calls him
the Hippo.” My daughter learned how to talk on the set of this movie,
she called him “The Hippo,” too.
Julianne had her whole family with her while we shot in Dublin. I,
did not, although, I had my son Sean on the film with me. He’s just
his second year at one of the finest acting academies in London and he
got a job on the movie as my stand-in. It was really so fun to see his
charming face across the stage. And to see how he acquitted himself so
grandly, running around to get the tea and take care of people.
You filmed in Dublin and New York. When you shot in Manhattan, did
turn you on to any great local spots?
She said, “Where do you stay?” And I said, “I usually stay at the Plaza
Athénée.” And she said, “Oh, fancy pants. You should be
I tried it for a while, but I went back up to the East Side. I’ve kind
of gotten used to it up there.
Julianne, what are you favorite things to do in the city?
On the West Side, we have a new water park, right on the river opposite
Horatio Street. It’s a kids’ playground, and in the summertime, they
the water on. It’s fantastic. Pastis is also one of our favorite places
to go for dinner. We take our kids early. They’re great with children.
You both play lawyers in the film. Did you do any research to play your
No, I don’t prepare. We’re very, very different in terms of how we
our work. I think he’s probably much more systematic and thorough. I’d
say I’m pretty instinctual and relaxed.
I sat in a couple days on divorce proceedings. I met one of New York’s
top divorce attorneys, Michael McCarthy. You really see the animal in
man and the way his mind works. Here he is, trying to take care of and
patch up sad lives. How do you do that every day of your life and not
cynical and jaded? But he wasn’t. He was still at the top of his game.
The best advice he gave me was about playing to the crowd, playing to
judge, playing to the clients, and having that sense of drama. But this
is a light piece. My character is rather disheveled. He’s kind of
like an unmade bed.
I have a hard time believing you could ever look like an unmade bed.
Probably not enough, but I did my best. I’ve been blessed with some
of good Irish genes.
It’s very difficult to make him look bad. Let me tell you, it really
He would walk on set and he was supposed to be rumpled, and I’m like,
not rumpled! You gotta work harder at that, dude.”
Were your spouses jealous at all of your sexy costars?
Oh, we don’t talk about it. But she just wants the best for me. She
me to work with the best actors, whether it’s Halle Berry in a Bond
or Rene Russo in a thriller. I play these romantic leading-role guys,
we figure I may as well do it as long as it lasts. What can I say—my
is very supportive. I’m the luckiest guy alive.
Nobody’s husband likes it. Nobody’s husband likes when you’re doing
romantic with some guy in a movie. No matter how many times you say to
them, “I’m just acting, it’s not a big deal, it doesn’t matter, I don’t
care,” they just don’t love it. But Bart really liked Pierce, and I
think he felt threatened or anything like that. But if it were up to
I would make only "girl movies."
Pierce, are you going to do the next Bond?
This one is probably it. I don’t know what’s happening with it. I’ve
my four; I’ve done my contract. If they want to go again, they know
to find me.
Is it true you met Bill Clinton and asked him to make a cameo in the
Uh, no. We have mutual friends and we’ve always tried to get together.
We met at a Rolling Stones concert and talked about golf. Bond is
a circus, like the rumors about Britney Spears. Can you imagine Britney
and myself? I don’t think so. Bless her cotton socks, I do love her,
I think I would be howled out of the theater.
You met Sean Connery for the first time at the Oscars.
I met Sean for the first time at the New Line party. He was ordering a
good whiskey, and I was standing beside him but he didn’t see me. The
said, “What are you having, sir?” And I said, “I’ll have what he’s
I thought it was a rather good line, if I do say so myself. We kind of
greeted each other and it was documented. Sean is someone I’ve got the
greatest admiration for. He’s certainly a hero. But I never wanted to
James Bond and never thought of being James Bond when I became an actor.
But Goldfinger was the first film you ever saw.
In ’64, my mother and father took me to the pictures, as we call it in
Ireland, and it was Goldfinger. The next weekend I saw Lawrence
of Arabia. It really was the seed of my love affair with the
The Bond movies were always captivating, but the ones I really wanted
be like were Clint Eastwood, Warren Beatty, and Steve McQueen—the cool
At one point when I was a kid, we lived in Alaska, and there was only
movie theater in town. And every single weekend the movie changed. So
sister and I would see Escape from Witch Mountain, then the
weekend it’d be One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. But at
point, I was not interested in movies. I was just going because it was
Saturday afternoon and that’s what you did. I was a big reader. I came
to acting because of the stories. I read a lot of Louisa May Alcott; I
read all of Pearl Buck when I was a kid. I liked to read by author,
Edith Wharton and Faulkner. I’d choose one and read everything.
I wanted to be up there in those movies and tell those stories about
falling in love. When I saw a movie that touched my heart, broke my
elevated my spirits, and made me feel good about myself—that was always
so powerful to me. I thought that was such an incredible gift.
You’re a very romantic guy.
He’s like Cary Grant.
I am a romantic guy. I love romantic films. There aren’t enough of
This is about two grown-ups. There’s not enough films about grown- ups.
When I did The Thomas Crown Affair, they said, “Do you want to
for a younger woman?” It’s nuts. This is about a man in his forties and
he meets a woman in her forties and they fall in love. And it’s sexy
it’s hot. I’m definitely older than Ms. Moore, but I think we fit; we
look good together. That’s where the chemistry comes from, hopefully.
It’s a very old-fashioned plot. It’s really classic romantic- comedy
And it’s rare that you encounter that these days. It is kind of
of an old movie, which is what I liked about it. I like any kind of
movie. For the most part, in our lives, we’re doing things like
out if we’re gonna marry some guy. That happens more often than
about how you’re going to get out of a ship that overturned. So
me, anything that involves a kind of relationship, whether it’s a
one or a family one, those are always much more interesting for me to
because it’s truer.
Is Laws a dream role?
There are no dream roles. I’m not one of those people who says “I’m
to do this, I’m dying to do that.” I’ve never operated my career that
My feeling is that you just sort of work and that things present
And you know what you’re excited about when you see it. This came out
thin air. Things kind of happen like that to me. I don’t want to plan
I’m at a very happy place in my life and my career, which is a bit
Sometimes it’s not good to be too happy! You’ve got to keep a little
going because it’s such an old game. You have to be as tough as old
to be an actor.