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"People still call me ‘Mr Bond’"

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Pierce Brosnan on 007, Taffin and hanging with Aaron Paul

Your new film A Long Way Down is about four characters bonding in extreme circumstances. Did the director insist you hung out in real life? We saw a picture of you and co-star Aaron Paul at a Radiohead gig…

All four of us are Radiohead fans and we’d planned to go to see them, but the day we got the tickets I had to work. But Aaron, being a dude, said, “Hey listen, I’ve got tickets for tomorrow night, let’s go again.” So it was just him and I. We had a laugh.

Were you into Breaking Bad? Was Aaron doing ‘Shaken, not stirred’ quotes at you, you giving him ‘Yeah, bitch!’ right back?

No, we didn’t do any of that. But I’d been hearing about this guy and his work in Breaking Bad, so when this gig came in I thought I’d better see what the man’s up to, and it blew me away. I’ve not yet finished it; I’ve only got through the first season, as I then went off to work. I downloaded it all the other day, so I’m going to check it out while I’m in Paris for the next month or so.

You became a US citizen in 2004. Have you picked up any typically American habits?

I’ve been there 30 years, I’m happily an American. I look around and suddenly life is whizzing by – I have an American wife, American sons, I’m paying American taxes. But I think I’m still consistently the same as I was before the American passport. Ostensibly an Irishman abroad with an American passport.

Do you ever unleash your inner Irishman? Gorge on a Father Ted box set or down some Guinness?

[Laughs] I love Father Ted! I do have a good old temper on me – I can fly off the handle with the best of them. Nothing violent or anything, you just know when my ire is up, I suppose. I tend to be like a bull in a china shop, a bit Irish.

Inevitably, we must talk Bond. Is being in the 007 alumni like being a US president – are you still ‘Mr Bond’ in retirement?

Oh yeah. It’s for life, that one. It’s a small group of men – one I’m very proud to belong to. It’s the gift that keeps giving in many respects. People call me Mr Bond in the street.

What did you think of Skyfall? Is seeing Daniel Craig on screen a bit like watching him date your ex-girlfriend?

[Laughs] It’s all his. He’s the man, he’s the dude. There’s only one Bond and that’s him. I didn’t see any of the others, but I loved Skyfall. I thought what Sam Mendes did was very rich and textured and had real balls to it – I was very impressed.

Are there any props from the Bond movies that you now have in your house?

I have the shoes, actually. I wore the same pair of shoes in all four movies, a pair of Church’s that just became like slippers. I don’t wear them now, they’re at home, somewhere in the wardrobe.

Elder action heroes are big business, with Liam Neeson’s Second Coming and The Expendables. Would you return to action if the right offer came?

Oh, the offer has come in for the next Expendables. I just worked over in Bulgaria with Avi Lerner who makes them. He said, “Would you like to be in The Expendables? I’d love to have you,” and I said, “Why not?” So we’ll see.

So would that be The Expendables 3? 4? 5?!

I have no idea which one it would be, I just said yes. It could be 7!

We must ask about your 1988 film Taffin, with one line made famous by Adam & Joe. Have you ever spoken to them about it?

I’ve never spoken to the guys about it. I can’t even remember what the line is.

It was, “MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T BE LIVING HEEEEERE!” Have people shouted that in the street to you since?

Never. No. I think that’s a home brew that doesn’t translate to America. I heard about this, but I can’t even remember the line. But it’s cool when that kind of stuff happens. Well done guys, thank you very much.

Finally, are you still painting? You once said you’d only ever sold one piece of art. Has that changed?

Still painting. I’m working on having an exhibit, maybe in the next year or so – if I can sing in Mamma Mia I may as well show my art, give everyone a good laugh.

A Long Way Down is at cinemas nationwide now

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