Pierce Brosnan talks spies, grandfatherhood

Andrea Mandell

MALIBU, Calif. — Even movie stars have to pack up their kids for college.

That's on Pierce Brosnan's to-do list on this "auspicious day," as his son Dylan prepares for his first year at USC.

Pierce Brosnan (left) and Owen Wilson star in action thriller 'No Escape.'

"He's been making short films," Brosnan says of Dylan, who was recently discovered while in a Malibu coffee shop by Saint Laurent creative director Hedi Slimane and has begun modeling. "He adapted a Joyce Carol Oates story for his graduation piece, a beautifully rendered piece. I was in it."

Photos of Brosnan crew have recently gone viral. Last week, the cinematic spy hit the red carpet of his new summer thriller, No Escape (in theaters Wednesday), with three studly dates: sons Sean, 31, Dylan, 18, and Paris, 14. (Oldest son Christopher's mom is Brosnan's late wife Cassandra Harris. Brosnan's wife of 14 years, Keely, was tending to their Kauai property.)

"I must say, it was a kick in the pants the other night. I did revel in the photographs as we came home in the car afterward. They were going, 'Look at this one, Dad! Look, look!'"

At that moment, Paris shouts down for the Wi-Fi password (famous families, they really are just like us).

Today, workmen pop in and out of Brosnan's sprawling oceanfront Malibu property, which, as it turns out, is a rental. "My house is one over. It's beautiful. We had a fire in February. This was the home of Steven Spielberg, in fact. We managed to get in here while our house is being repaired."

The fire, Brosnan says, was "pretty intense. An Aston Martin blew up" inside his garage. No one was hurt.

Pierce Brosnan plays a gun-toting government operative in 'No Escape.'

Brosnan, 62,returns as a protector of the innocent in No Escape, playing the wearied spy Hammond, who has "seen better days," the star says. Hammond's special set of skills, however, helps steer a couple (Owen Wilson and Lake Bell) and their two children to safety as an unidentified Asian country plummets into murderous revolt.

The film is shot in Thailand, and, like the rest of the planet, it's where the actor was recognized most often as James Bond, whom he played from 1995 to 2002 in four films: GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day.

Brosnan laughs when asked whether he has seen the fan-created video for Spectre, the new Bond film starring Daniel Craig (out Nov. 6), in which Craig has been replaced, shot for shot, with Brosnan's Bond.

A friend in France sent him the viral video. "Brosnan is still kicking!" he laughs. "I thought it was very cool. I loved it. But there is only one Bond, and that's Mr. Craig."


The motto after exiting the Bond franchise has been dive into the work and "let go a little bit more," he says. "I'm as famous as I'm ever going to be. I like to make a good living and be able to take care of my family. The passion is still there to really be an unexpected surprise to myself every now and then and to keep the audience that you have."

He still wants to make "a classic," he says, and is drawn to period pieces. The goal "is to be excited by the work. And to really make the next job the one that's going to rock the world. To create something that's bedazzling, beguiling, bewitching."

The star is also a grandfather again. Six weeks ago, Sean and his wife, Sanja, welcomed a daughter, Marley May Cassandra, named for Sean's mother, who died of ovarian cancer in 1991 at age 43. Cassandra Harris' daughter Charlotte, whom Brosnan adopted as a child, battled the same cancer and died in 2013 at 41.



Pierce also has two grandchildren by Charlotte: Isabella, 17, and Lucas, 11.

Being a grandfather "is different," he says. "It's bittersweet, life, always. …You learn to just revel in it and be grateful for the days that you have and the days passed. And to have a granddaughter now who is so reminiscent of my family and his mother, and to see that beautiful infant — it's a delightful feeling."