CATEGORIES Hot Topic
When we spoke to Pierce Brosnan last month during the promotion of Roman Polanski's 'The Ghost Writer,' he told us, when contrasting himself to his exiled character, "I enjoy the company of my fellow man and woman and I do not wish to be sequestered away in any type of bubble." In 2010, the Irish-born, England-bred actor needn't worry about sequestering himself, as the former James Bond has an astounding five movie projects released (or releasing) over the year's first four months.

You read that right: Four months, five movies. Not even Nicolas Cage can compete with that kind of output.
When we spoke to Pierce Brosnan last month during the promotion of Roman Polanski's 'The Ghost Writer,' he told us, when contrasting himself to his exiled character, "I enjoy the company of my fellow man and woman and I do not wish to be sequestered away in any type of bubble." In 2010, the Irish-born, England-bred actor needn't worry about sequestering himself, as the former James Bond has an astounding five movie projects released (or releasing) over the year's first four months.

You read that right: Four months, five movies. Not even Nicolas Cage can compete with that kind of output.

In his choice of roles, ranging from a grieving father (twice) to a Latin teacher-cum-centaur, Brosnan displays a nimble versatility and range that few actors have been able to achieve in recent years. In 'The Ghost Writer,' Brosnan plays Adam Lang, an exiled Prime Minister under investigation for potential war crimes. As Lang, Brosnan imbues the Tony Blair-esque figure with a combination of dignity, self-righteousness and pathos, simultaneously attracting and repelling the viewer in equal measure. Using the suavity and coolness that he brought to four James Bond films from 1995 to 2002, Brosnan seemed destined to play the role of some political figure or another in his career.

Flipping from quasi-reality to pure fantasy, February's 'Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief' found Brosnan in the dual role of Latin professor Mr. Brunner -- a cross between Jerry Garcia and a shed-dwelling militia man -- and Chiron the Centaur, proof that Brosnan can even play animals if the role demands it. (In a recent interview with Moviefone, Brosnan said his 8-year-old son called it "the best movie I ever made," to which we say, "Kid, you need to Netflix 'Nomads' immediately.)

Yet it's the actor's dramatic side that will earn him the most notice this year, with two films pitting Brosnan as a father in mourning. 'Remember Me,' which, judging from its reception, is as much a plea to moviegoers as a film title, sees Brosnan as a businessman coping with the suicide of one son and the impertinence of another (Robert Pattinson). "It gave me the opportunity to play a father ... who is emotionally shut down [and] trying to find his own life again," Brosnan told Moviefone earlier this year.

In a similar vein, the actor's upcoming role in 'The Greatest' may be his most eloquent to date. As Allan Brewer, Brosnan plays a father coming to terms with his teenage son Bennett's sudden death and the equally sudden arrival of his son's girlfriend (Carey Mulligan), who is pregnant with Bennett's child. It's a role that could easily veer into maudlin schmaltz, but Brosnan nails it, showing that something as tragic as the loss of a family member can't be easily categorized into distinct emotions and requires the commandment of a wide, sometimes conflicting, range of emotions .

In the beginning of 'The Greatest,' as Brosnan, wife Susan Sarandon and son John W. Simmons are in the car leaving Bennett's funeral, director Shana Feste holds the shot, soundless, for nearly two minutes. It's an interminable amount of time given the context, and forces the viewer to confront the reality of the situation directly. With a rubbing of the brow or glance at a watch, Brosnan conveys more of the rage, pain, bemusement, consternation, resignation and quiet acceptance of the ordeal than most actors can articulate in cinematic speeches.

Finally, on April 22 (Earth Day), Disneynature's 'Oceans' is released, featuring the narrating talents of, yes, ardent environmentalist Brosnan. The film features never-before-seen shots of the world's oceans and is a natural fit for Brosnan, who has worked with the California Coastal Protection Network and Ocean Futures Society among other groups.

So yeah, every time someone asks you how you've been and you reply, "Busy," remember that you have nothing on the busiest man in Hollywood.

Brosnan has two movies, and counting, in production for 2011 (so far).