Pierce Brosnan Admits He Hates James Bond

Pierce Brosnan said he kind of hated James Bond and doesn't look back at his time playing that character all that fondly.

By Doug Norrie | Updated

pierce brosnan

When it comes to James Bond, there’s often a fierce debate about who the best actor was in the gig. There are a few to choose from with some of the more iconic folks in the game getting a crack at 007 over the years. But not everyone loved his time in the tuxedo, drinking martinis. Look, it’s a big weight to shoulder, one of the most well-known characters to ever hit the big screen. So you could forgive these guys if they worried about the performance when it was all said and done. Pierce Brosnan certainly has thought about it, and he doesn’t look back at what he did all that fondly. 

Pierce Brosnan has expressed a number of times over the years that he didn’t think he actually did a great service to the James Bond character. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly (via CheatSheet), Brosnan had said that there were a number of different things that bothered him about playing James Bond at the time. For starters, he said he “loathed” the “one-liners” that the character was known for. It’s hard to blame him on the front and the James Bond persona isn’t for everyone in this respect, especially some of the earlier iterations. 

And then later, in an interview with The Telegraph (also via Cheatsheet), Pierce Brosnan expressed that he doesn’t like looking back on his time as James Bond. Though he said that it afforded him other opportunities, later on, namely the name recognition and financial benefits, he can’t necessarily enjoy the time as the character. He said, “I have no desire to watch myself as James Bond. ‘Cause it’s just never good enough…It’s a horrible feeling.”

This might be Pierce Brosnan overstating just how bad he thought his portrayal of the character really was. Will he go down as the best James Bond ever? Of course not. But I don’t think fans think he did some kind of massive disservice to the franchise. This was at a time when movies didn’t necessarily have a certain level of grit. So it makes sense that the studio wanted to play his version a little more down the middle. 

Pierce Brosnan was the fifth actor to play James Bond in the franchise. He followed Sean Connery, George Lazenby (one film), Roger Moore, and Timothy Dalton. Brosnan starred in four films total with GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, and Die Another Day. They weren’t the most critically acclaimed of the bunch by a long shot, but I don’t think anyone blames Brosnan for that fate at all. The writing was a bit vanilla, and that lack of oomph definitely paved the way for what came next with Daniel Craig. 

Now, the franchise is looking for a new James Bond. With Daniel Craig finishing up his run in No Time to Die, there will be a passing of the mantle for a new version of the character. Things could go in a number of different directions here for sure. And though Pierce Brosnan might not look back on his time as 007 with great positivity, whoever joins up next will be part of a special group. Not many got to actually take on this iconic character.