Sean Connery. George Lazenby. Roger Moore. Timothy Dalton. Pierce Brosnan. Daniel Craig. Those are the six men who have played James Bond. Now, mentally rank them in your head from best to worst. Done? Good. I can’t speak for you, but I can tell you a majority of people seem to put Connery and Craig at the top, Brosnan and Moore in the middle and Dalton and Lazenby on the bottom, except, apparently, Pierce Brosnan himself, who has no love whatsoever for what he did with the character.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Brosnan admitted to having very serious insecurities about his own ability to handle the character, and despite being proud of the honor and appreciative of all the opportunities it gave to him, he apparently won’t even watch his Bond movies with his own children. It’s just too depressing.
"I have no desire to watch myself as James Bond. ‘Cause it’s just never good enough. It’s a horrible feeling."
Objectively, some of the Brosnan movies aren’t very good, particularly his last two efforts, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day, but I really don’t think he’s the problem. He’s a nice enough balance between what Sean Connery did and what Roger Moore did with the character, and while it’s certainly not as good as what Connery or Craig did, it’s pleasant enough. Let me rephrase. He’s good enough at playing Bond that the better written ones he starred in are a damn good time to watch, specifically Goldeneye.
For Brosnan, however, that balance between Moore and Connery is apparently a huge problem and a primary reason why he can’t be pleased with his work.
"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."
The Bond flicks have never been known for their documentary-like realism, but there is some logic in these comments. The Connery movies are a bit more down to Earth. The violence is a little more intense, and the writers put him into situations that a spy could conceivably find himself in. Sure, women are still murdered with gold, but it’s not outlandish. Moore, on the other hand, went a little more over the top. He was less physical, and his version of the character did outlandish things like go to outer space. Personally, I have no problem with Brosnan bringing balance to those two extremes, but I suppose I could see why he feels like it was a bit in no man’s land.
You can re-live the greatness of Goldeneye by either popping out your N64 and playing one of the greatest video games ever, or you can watch the badass trailer below featuring a much younger Ned Stark…