Paris had come bounding into the room, fresh from a fashion fitting for this story, wearing immense furry boots that could be Flintstones props. End of Bond talk, to Pierce’s obvious relief.
Brosnan tells Paris about a movie he’ll be shooting in September.
“You could get a job on the movie,” he says.
“I’ll be another PA,” Paris says. “The lunch runner.”
It’s a joke, but it sounds like he might make it happen, just so he can go off to make a film without saying goodbye to his son again. Brosnan never knew his father, a carpenter who left the family not long after Pierce was born; his sons have lived a very different life, personally as well as socio-economically. Brosnan has a painting studio in the garage, and sometimes he and Paris go in there and paint together – Paris likes to work with an oil stick, homaging Basquiat.
“He just devours these canvases,” Brosnan says. “It just fills me with the greatest pride, fatherly pride, to be painting alongside him, just to be quiet in the garage or wherever we’ve painted. It’s a really beautiful experience.”
Paris and Dylan have grown up watching their father make art on any available surface – drawing on tablets, painting on their shoes, on Paris’s surfboards. They’re excited to see his work on view in a gallery after all these years.
“He’s, like, evolving into a legit artist,” Paris says, with zero irony, “and taking it to the top.”
His father laughs and, with more than a little irony, says, “Thank you.”
For now there’s still the day job. Brosnan gets up, grabs a wooden cane with silver accents, an old Tod’s briefcase, and takes a few steps, dropping into the stooped posture of an 89-year-old. He’s about to go to Belfast and Normandy to film The Last Rifleman, based on the true story of an octogenarian Royal Navy veteran who escaped an old people’s home and legged it from East Sussex to northern France for the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The cane and the grip are his tools for this performance, along with “a lot of prosthetics.”
“I found a wonderful company,” Brosnan says. “They do great work. They just made Kenneth Branagh look like Boris Johnson – it’s unbelievable.”
He whips out his phone, scrolls through photos, then finds it: a tight headshot, resembling a smiling weathered potato with the sharp, bright blue eyes of Pierce Brosnan. He makes quite a charming old man.
Alex Pappademas is a long time GQ contributor and host of the podcast The Big Hit Show.
Styled by Simon Rasmussen
For Pierce Brosnan: Grooming by David Cox using Kevin Murphy
For Dylan and Paris Brosnan: Grooming by Heather‑Rae Bang using Balmain Hair Couture
Set design by Brian Crumley for Rob Strauss Studio
Produced by Isaac Féria