|FHM (Sept 1999)
PIERCE BROSNAN: The Bond actor on the art of painting, fluffers, and lamping a mouthy Italian car thief.
Byline: Grub Smith.
FHM: In your new movie, The Thomas Crown Affair, you have a raunchy nude scene with Rene Russo. Is that your arse on screen, or did you select a tasty set of “stunt cheeks” from a line-up of actors?
PB: Hey, that’s my arse. It’s a good arse. I thought I’d show it before I turned 50, you know – while it’s still hanging in there.
FHM: Did you check it in the mirror beforehand?
PB: Oh, shit, of course I did! I didn’t need to shave it, though, because luckily it’s not a hairy arse.
FHM: The movie is all about an art robbery in a posh museum. Were the paintings genuine?
PB: No. The originals are insured for over a hundred million dollars, so it would have cut into the budget slightly if we’d lost one. We had fakes done. Mind you, they weren’t cheap either. I wanted to keep all of them after the movie, but the studio sent me a bill for $850,000, so now I’ve only got four.
FHM: Your own hobby is painting, so presumably you’ve sketched a few “candids” of the missus with her kit off?
PB: Yeah, I have drawn my wife, Keely, naked. And in that situation, who needs an easel – you know what I mean?
FHM: Do you sing in the shower?
PB: I might knock out a verse of The Mountains of Mourne, which is an old rebel song, but I leave singing in public to the professionals. It was my 46th birthday recently and Van Morrison turned up. As the evening wore on, he picked up a guitar and did Brown Eyed Girl and Have I Told You Lately? What can I say, it was the dog’s bollocks.
FHM: I understand you’ve laid off booze recently...
PB: Drinking is a wonderful way to live your life, but you have to moderate it or else it’ll creep up and bite the arse off you. Before you know it, you’ll be putting your hand up in a room somewhere.
FHM: Have you ever been so horribly wasted that you’ve woken up in a dumpster?
PB: The last time I really lost it was in Hong Kong. A bunch of us were at a fancy dinner party and we were taking these girls out afterwards. I said, “I’ve got my driver outside and he can take us to a club,” but when we left my driver wasn’t there, which was embarrassing. When we got to the club we discovered that this group of Italians had taken my car. I asked one why he’d done it and he said, “Eey, eet was a joke.” I told him, “No, it’s not a fucking joke, I’m here with my friends.” He said, “Eey, fuck off.” So I said, “Stand up, I’m going to clock you one.” He stood up and wallop, bingo, I smacked him. He smacked me back, and soon enough we were rolling around on the floor. But I have to say I don’t like fighting as a rule – it was my mate Ben’s fault, he’d been egging me on.
FHM: Do you ever want to whack a paparazzo?
PB: A lot of those guys just press your button and it's a very dangerous situation, because they want you to hit them. They can make money from that, so they're really aggressive. Sadly, you even worry when you're walking bollock naked from the bathroom to the bedroom that there could be some guy with a zoom lens on a roof a mile away. And I don't want my old chap appearing in the papers. Which isn't to say that on a good day, if the conditions are warm, it's not a very fine example.
FHM: So nice, I believe, that it's been on stage...
PB: Yes, that was in a play about a rugby team. I did it in Westcliff-on-Sea, and they were knocking the back wall of the theatre down at the time, so it was extra chilly. There we were, eleven guys, waiting to go on stage naked, and all the lads were bashing the old bishops trying to get a semi -- a nice, lazy way to make it look bigger before going on stage. Sadly, we didn't have any fluffers in those days.
FHM: Did you try that Chippendale's trick, where they tie a rubber band around the base to keep the blood in it?
PB: They do that? Well, that technology did not exist in my day, or the lads would have definitely popped down to the stationers. We did it the old fashioned way.
FHM: Did you get any good reviews?
PB: Ha, ha! Reasonable, as I remember.
FHM: As part of your healthy lifestyle, you sometimes only eat fruit in the mornings. Does this cause any “trouser trumpet” anxieties?
PB: The old flatulence problem is one I try to keep under wraps. I’m not as extrovert with the farts as some people. The real difficulty is when you’re in bed with a lovely leading lady …
FHM: What’s your technique? Do you let it out in sections, or “roll and lift” under the duvet?
PB: You just have to ease yourself out of the sack and stand in the corner. Try not to embarrass yourself or anyone else.
FHM: Your Porsche has the numberplate “ICYCALM”. Does that make people want to cut you up?
PB: If they did, I wouldn’t react. That’s the point – it means, “don’t lose your cool, chill out.”
FHM: Be honest, do you feel a bit of a wanker polishing it on a Sunday morning?
PB: Ha ha! Not really. I’ve had it for fifteen years now. It used to be on my Corvette.
FHM: What do you think of Austin Powers?
PB: Brilliant. Rave on. I love it. In fact, I was nearly in The Spy Who Shagged Me. The plan was that Mike Myers would open a door every now and then, see me, then smack it shut. Sadly, our schedules clashed.
FHM: The Franklin Mint apparently do a commemorative plate for every Bond movie. Have you got any on the sideboard at home?
PB: I don’t, but I should have. I’ve begun to pocket all the little props on the latest Bond movie because the collectables market is so big nowadays. I’ll stick them in the attic for a few years and they could be worth a fortune.
FHM: What’s the next Bond movie about?
PB: It’s set in the Caspian Sea, it’s got a big oil corporation in it, and Bobbie Carlyle is the baddie.
FHM: Does he give you a Begbie-style “glassing”?
PB: No, but he’s the best villain yet.
FHM: Bond is brilliant with gadgets, but which are you: handyman or klutz?
PB: I hate gadgets. I can’t fix my car, I can’t log on to the Internet, I can’t even play video games.
FHM: When Russian people watch Bond movies, do you think they sit there rooting for SMERSH?
PB: I haven’t filmed in Russia so I couldn’t honestly tell you. But I have met a few heavy Russian émigré types in the States – you know, the ones who carry a piece and probably have Mafia connections – and they told me they love the villains. They think they’re cool.
FHM: Do you have a gun?
PB: I’ve got a Ithaca pump-action shotgun. I don’t particularly like weapons, but I’ve got a wife and kids, so if someone breaks into my house I want to make a noise.
FHM: When you first met Cubby Broccoli, did you have a sly giggle at his ridiculous name?
PB: That name is something to conjure with, but he was a gracious man and he was very good to me. Hats off to him, that’s what I say.
FHM: Have you ever worked for anyone else named after a vegetable?
FHM: Is it true that your GoldenEye co-star Sean Bean is a dwarf?
PB: No! He’s not a dwarf, do not fucking say that! No he’s not a short man. Don’t even go there.
FHM: Lastly, you used to be a fire-eater. What’s the secret?
PB: Don’t swallow.
FHM: No, I said fire-eater.
PB: Ha ha! Actually, the last time I did it was on The Muppets Show. In rehearsal, I took a glug of paraffin from a vodka glass and blew a big flame, but the prop man said he had some stuff that was even better. It didn’t taste too bad so I agreed, but the stuff was like nitrogen and it sucked right back into my mouth. It burnt my tongue so badly that I sounded like Sean Connery for the rest of the afternoon. You know, "Schplendid, Misch Piggy."
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