It’s been 60 years since the first novel of James Bond was written by Ian Fleming featuring the spy. And the first movie adaptation featuring Sean Connery as the spy, Dr. No, debuted almost a decade later in theaters in 1962. This 60th anniversary year comes at a critical time for the franchise—No Time to Die, released in 2021, marked the end of Daniel Craig’s run as the character, and his successor has not yet been chosen. Pierce Brosnan, who carried the franchise from 1995 to 2002, says that revisiting his own performance is “a horrible feeling.”
Pierce Brosnan had a ‘horrible feeling’
James Bond was one of the most dependable franchises in cinema by the ’80s. Connery had recently returned to the role in 1983 in the Never Say Never Again, a decade after declaring he would “never again” play Bond. Meanwhile, after a short stint with George Lazenby, the official Bond franchise has gotten more popular than ever under Roger Moore who spent 13 years and seven films as 007. When Moore announced he was hanging up the tux in 1985, it became one of the hottest available roles in Hollywood.
Though his franchise films were relatively well-received, a decade after leaving the role, Brosnan admitted he’d never been comfortable with his interpretation of the character and couldn’t rewatch it.
“I have no desire to watch myself as James Bond because it’s just never good enough—it’s a horrible feeling,” he told The Telegraph in 2014 (via The Wrap), also saying, “I felt I was caught in a time warp between Roger and Sean.” The actor noted that the PG aspect of the films also bothered him. “The violence was never real; the brute force of the man was never palpable,” he said. “It was quite tame, and the characterization didn’t have a follow-through of reality; it was surface.” However, he did admit that his issues may just stem from him getting into his own head about his work. “[I]t might have had to do with my own insecurities in playing him as well,” the star noted.