For many, many moviegoers Pierce Brosnan will always be James Bond––and for some he’ll always be Remington Steele, but in either case, the image of a smooth operator, master of stealth and man of action is one he’ll always carry with him. In his latest film, which finds him teaming up with Emma Thompson and director Joel Hopkins, Brosnan is yet again involved in a caper, but this time around instead of a super spy he’s an everyman thrust into action when he can think of no other way to recoup his stolen life savings than to steal a diamond from the man responsible. Instead of gadgets and the MI6 at his back, he has his only ex-wife and some neighborly pals to help him out.
Needless to say, The Love Punch finds Brosnan, Thompson and company having quite a lot of fun, and fans too can rejoice in this easy romp that harkens back to both classic comedies like The Pink Panther, and the granddaddy of all heist films To Catch A Thief.
In a recent phone interview Brosnan spoke about the project, finally working with his longtime friend Emma Thompson, longevity in the film business and what’s next in store for him.
Call to the caper
The Love Punch writer-director Joel Hopkins has been quite open about writing the film specifically with Brosnan and Thompson in mind. Brosnan opened up about how he got involved and what drew him to the project.
“Emma and I are old friends, we’ve known each other for many years,” Brosnan said. “We’ve always wanted to work together and Joel Hopkins is somebody that came to my company Irish Dreamtime with ideas, and it sprung from that relationship.”
In addition to the prospect of working with his long time friend, Brosnan also found himself drawn to the project based on it’s simplicity of concept.
“All the ingredients for this were very favorable, to do some kind of screwball romantic comedy...I just thought it was a delightfully rendered piece, and I loved the idea of Emma and I playing these characters. I thought it had some kind of cultural resonance for it’s time, and I love the idea of love enduring for these two people who go through so much that they find each other again,” he explained.
“And I really loved the idea of the south of France,” he added.
Fortunately, Brosnan and the rest of the cast and crew were able to enjoy plenty of time in France, where the bulk of the film was shot.
“We started off in Nice and then we went into Paris, it was just a joyous summer,” Brosnan said. “I’ve literally just come back from the same place, I’m doing another film there, so Paris is becoming a place that I’m very familiar with now. I do enjoy the people and the culture and the whole landscape there.”
Behind the scenes
The Love Punch is a film that enjoys an incredible ensemble cast that includes Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie alongside Brosnan and Thompson, a fact that Brosnan said made the whole experience fun.
“I adore Emma, she’s such a brilliant actress and has the finest touch of comedic timing, and then you throw in Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie, it was kind of just a match made in heaven. It was giggles all the way and very fine evenings of wine and great cuisine,” he said.
Like so many classic comedies, The Love Punch gives that core cast room to play, many of the laughs are found in the conversation and action between Brosnan, Thompson, Spall and Imrie.
“They [only] come around, so often movies like this, it’s somewhat old fashioned,” Brosnan said. “I think that’s what Joel was going for, was a slightly retro type of filmmaking. It has a charm and an innocence to it, it wears its heart on its sleeve.”
And speaking of the wit and physical comedy in play, Brosnan said that the scenes that found the four of them sporting wetsuits were not among the most fun moments. Quite on the contrary they were:
“Miserable, miserable! It was summertime and it was very hot and then you compound it by sitting in a very small vehicle, I think we all lost pounds,” Brosnan recalled. “It was not the most pleasant of experiences, but it certainly pays off for the laughs, to see us all do such capers.”
In the time that has elapsed since making The Love Punch, Brosnan has worked on seven additional films, one of which––A Long Way Down––features another exceptionally strong ensemble cast, Brosnan spoke about the pleasures that come from working with groups comprised of great artists.
“There’s nothing like working with the best actors possible, and if you have a piece of material like, Long Way Down or Love Punch, which allows you to play, then it’s just a joy to go to work,” Brosnan said.
“You’re with people who know what they are doing and have a great sense of themselves and a great sense of humor about themselves. They have the emotional value of thought, presence of mind and creativity. It’s just the greatest, it’s the greatest feeling ever.”
In addition to A Long Way Down and The Love Punch, Brosnan also has a comedy, How to Make Love Like an Englishman, an action flick, November Man, and a thriller, The Coup, slated to come out later this year. That’s the kind of productivity that most young actors can only hope for decades into their careers. Brosnan spoke about how he selects projects and why it suits him just fine to stay so busy.
“Luckily the work comes my way, and I say it lightly, but...you actually cannot be too lackadaisical about work, it’s a different market now than 20 years ago. The movie business is very hard, a very hard game, you have to be tough as old boots to play it, but I have a certain body of work that I think is relevant and I love to act,” he said.
“It’s my passion, my joy and how I make my living. That’s what one strives for exactly right. It’s hard work, nothing comes from nothing, it’s about doing.”