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A Good Yarn
by Joan Brasher
Copyright Christianity Today International
The best James Bond since Sean Connery stopped playing the role, Pierce Brosnan, 50, relishes his role as 007, but also appreciates the occasional change of pace. So he jumped at the chance to play Daniel Rafferty in Laws of Attraction, a romantic comedy which opens in theaters Friday, April 30. We caught up with Brosnan at a recent press junket, where he talked about love, marriage, family—and his Irish roots. When you first read this script, what did you think it said about marriage? I don't know if I thought anything like that. I just thought it was a good yarn. It's about love, really, and affairs of the heart. When you fall in love you give your heart to that person, and it takes work. But I just loved the irony that they were divorce attorneys and that they should meet across the table in the battleground and the law of love. They're very sad rooms, those courtrooms, when you see people maybe 15 years together or 2 years together, and their tattered life is hanging around their shoulders. I sat in on a number of divorce hearings in the courts of New York before I started the movie, and it was very depressing. But your character in this film isn't depressing. My character was far more cynical in the beginning, but thanks to [director] Peter Howitt, who really wears his heart on his sleeve, he brought humanity to it. I didn't want to play it cynical and hard. I wanted to play a guy who still had a heart and a passion about life and a hope for life and romance, which are all things I believe in. So you end up with a character like Daniel Rafferty, somebody who is somewhat battle-weary by the law process. He finds himself opposite this woman he's heard great things about; she is better than he could have imagined. I wanted to do a romantic comedy and I hadn't really done anything of this ilk in a long time, since Bond has taken center stage for the past eight years. This movie is totally lacking in cynicism. We live in cynical times. But this is a film that kind of tips its hat to the old '30s or '40s romantic comedies, like Adam's Rib. You never actually see the couple in bed together in Why? Laws of Attraction. It wasn't necessary to show that intimacy within the scope of something that has kind of an innocence to it—a charm, a romanticism. To show the couple making love or a heavy sexual scene would have been tonally off, as opposed to something like The Thomas Crown Affair. It depends on what kind of story you are telling. It wouldn't have been right. For them to come in the door with clothes flying off was funny, but to have them naked in bed rolling around would have been another kind of film. There is relatively little cursing in the film. Was that something you did deliberately? Yes. You want to make a film that is accessible to everybody, to families. If a father and daughter or mother and daughter or mother and son want to go to the movies, or a family wants to go see a picture on a Friday night, you want it to be as accessible as possible. In this film, the marriage is the start of the love affair. That's kind of a different take. I think a wedding is such a powerful ceremony. It's such a powerful commitment in the eyes of God, especially when you do it in the traditional way before your family and friends. It's a commitment to each other that does elevate you to another level of love and sharing and respect for each other. I've been lucky in my life to have had love and marriage twice, and both occasions the ceremony was deeply profound and indelible. Marriage seems to be a dying trade, which is sad. People turn to divorce now very readily and that's a frightening way to look at the future of human kind. Because you need to be committed to each other on a man to woman basis, so we can create families that are of love, and stronger communities. Marriage takes work. How did it feel to go back to your birthplace of Ireland to film scenes for this movie? Going back to Ireland is always a glorious kind of homecoming and exploration of my own past life as a lad there. Even after residing in Hollywood 20 years, my character is of that land of those people—how I look at life. The Irish have a wonderful warmth to them. I love going back to Ireland. It says in the credits that your stand-in was Sean Brosnan. Yes, that was my son. He's in his second year at the Academy in London and he is becoming an actor. That was another reason why the film was so glorious; I had my son beside me. He had to run around and make the tea and he did it well. It was wonderful. He was in the film but it got cut out. It was a scene in an airport when she is looking for him and sees these two lovers; he was with his girlfriend. Do you encourage your children to be in your profession? I don't really encourage them, no. When I was younger I thought it was a great idea, to encourage them to go for it. But now it's such a tough game. You have to be as tough as old boots to be an actor. But Sean wants it. He's a very fine poet and writer; he's got a good heart. I think he can use all of that in performance. To make people feel good on a Friday night at the movies, that is a gift. Pierce Brosnan will return as 007 in the 21st James Bond movie, due in November 2005. Photo © Copyright New Line Cinema Copyright © 2004 Christianity Today.
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