It’s a heartfelt tribute from one James Bond to another as Pierce Brosnan honours his “hero,” the late Roger Moore.
Moore, who passed away on May 23 at the age of 89, served not only as Brosnan’s Bond predecessor, but a personal influence for the actor who traces the roots of his fandom back to Moore’s 1960s starring role in TV’s “The Saint”.
“I had discovered the movies and Bond, James Bond. However, it cost money to go to the pictures. And that’s when I discovered my first real hero, Roger Moore. Simon Templar, the Saint, all rolled into one man,” Brosnan, 64, writes in a touching tribute for Variety.
“Only on reflection do I see how much of an influence Roger Moore had on me as a young Irish immigrant lad from the banks of the River Boyne,” he recalls. “I guess the combination of Bond and the Saint ignited a flame for fame in my heart of innocent wonder. I wanted to be up there. Roger as the Saint made me believe in his world.”
Brosnan recalls how he fell in love with movies at a young age, citing the “effortless” ease at which actors he admired, like Moore, drove his obsession with acting.
“Only now after 40 years as an actor do I know the hard road it takes to be one. It’s only now, after all these years, that I know he was a hero,” he says of Moore, recalling the very first meeting between the two, well before Brosnan would step into the role of 007.
“He is the only actor I ever asked for an autograph,” he explains. “I was 12-years-old, and my mom and dad had taken me to Battersea Park. I lined up by the ferris wheel and waited my turn to get his autograph. I wanted to be somebody like him. Maybe that’s why I waited. Little did I know my time would come to someday enter onto the stage as 007.”
While Brosnan would go on to play James Bond in four movies between 1995 and 2002, he reflected on the passing of the 007 torch from Sean Connery and George Lazenby.
“He became James Bond — not an easy task for any man. As an actor he must have known the job at hand was Herculean, with an expectant world awaiting; who was next in line? Sean Connery had set the bar high, and George Lazenby, with mighty flair and a valiant heart, had given it his best. Now it was Roger’s turn,” he writes. “He knew his time was now, and he reigned over seven movies as James Bond with exceptional skill and comic timing laced with a stiletto vengeance. He knew his comedy, he knew who he was and he played onstage and off with an easy grace and charm. He knew that we knew.”
The actor once again got the chance to meet his hero Moore, this time when his late wife Cassandra was cast as a Bond Girl in 1981’s “For Your Eyes Only”.
“By then Roger was the man — the world was at his feet. He was most gracious to the children and myself,” he remembers.
Years later, the actor and Moore would reunite this time on the set of “GoldenEye”, Brosnan’s first outing as Bond.
“Roger came down to set one day on ‘Golden Eye’ and wished me well. I was still in awe of the man,” he says. “Last time I saw him was at the Albert Hall for a tribute to [producer] Cubby Broccoli.”
“What more can one ask for? I am so proud to have known the kindness and humanity of Sir Roger Moore,” he concludes.