Pierce Brosnan: 'Acting for me is my life force'

Brosnan appears on "Popcorn With Peter Travers" to talk about his new TV series "The Son."
18:57 | 05/03/17

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Transcript for Pierce Brosnan: 'Acting for me is my life force'
I'm here. I haven't read his cue cards south of the river. Looks like his horse threw him. This bastards club. Hi everybody I'm Peter Travers welcome to popular and where we tell you what is happening in the culture and they culture in terms of what people binge watch. Is certainly on television so if EU going to watch and see you watch a show called the sun. Starring my guest today Pierce Brosnan it takes its time and when he gets to you. It's basically you so congratulations pierce thank you thank you someone yet here. Do you want to set it up about who Eli McCulloch a. Really is viewed AMOCO and whoever plays colonel Taylor McCullough is is a man of his time in 1915 when the story starts. He's a man who comes from the pages in the imagination. Of fill up my who wrote the book. It's a sophomore bull could see was already heralded two as a writer Phil hopeful American rust now comes the sun. And this glorious Carrick Connolly lamb of color who. Who's who who's a Jew out of feet to the man in the sense he was captured. And his family annihilated by the Comanche. Who who who ruled the planes back then in the eighteen hundreds. And you know so there that the pine is. Of the day who went into these lands really. Didn't go into uncharted territory. You have McCullough is is a casualty of that in the sense that he was captured brought up by the Comanche. And when the curtain goes up on a story you find them. With his two sons in the family the granddaughter. And he's trying to make the transition from being the cattle. And to being an. Oil find an all island is now one. By and the oil I like how it's handled though in terms of the flashback. To as a child good not like we see at all. And then we can we come back to them we watch what happened. Yet to him as a child and what form he is a little bit of a wreck that. He is what is I mean there's a man born of violence in the man who's been brutalize and fractured. The trauma of his life and he. He knows that he has to control the violence themselves. And he's going to be there for us want to throw the punch an opponent be the last man standing. He's a good man in many respects he is me you know and he is mightily protective of his family. And he's very forward thinking. Probably most of them is arms and he knows that. The times changing radically and he was part of that change but it's a very brutal piece and because of them that you. It's relevant in the sense of the board this that. Was set then we now suffer the consequences of those borders and day and age and the politics of the the walls that won't be erected and so then you heard. At the white folks Pickens. The Comanche in the Comanche in the Mexicans. Nothing's really changed. It's a little bit like were in terms of western history there's a little of giant and it. And I think a lot of the searchers which is maybe my favorite west of all time because it's I'm living in another culture. And what is that of a culture gun to me what he did. You know when your character can hated because even though his family is killed at the hands some of the Mangini he still raised but. So you do workers this man that. Consumes who users and has the violence of the commands makes him with the kind of the brutality of the white man as well and the such as is a good reference point as a on a couple of occasions. I use the John Wayne Chester posture. If you remember in this Soviet news right in the right in the doorway doors and the hoses. The statement. It's beaten woods. Today. It was John Wayne so I think from the directive that it was worth it I think Ford did. Such a shadowed movers there's. However it's it's it's something like giant it's something they know for them for the sources. I'm talking its luxurious. Two G this kind of thing in this is. You haven't done a TV here east in thirty years right Remington Steele there a long time when a law that they keep saying that but I did some. Did Stephen King tiger bones series. About they hear how many episodes and movies so those three US navy veteran camp doesn't come from real fears. You know real strawberries a recently sought the I've been actively looking in the last four years Newton. Because of the work that's happening on TV game through loans. A house of cards you name it does its fertile ground it's very robust them. Muscular. And I wanted something which kind of you know if it did connect that a little annuity something to go back to each year and counting on you go off and make your own movies. Ants have a series at the same time so. We had that with James Bond for a while Clinton. And it yet at the level of stay employed at a it really an actor's life at float. Did you work work. Does something cute energizes you glory it's essential to work to see actors who were doing sometimes I can see in them OK I'm. I'm getting through this I'm doing the due diligence but you seem to feed off. Mean and the actor who. And for me use words of my life force its I don't know what else to do with this time in my life. Except paying twitch I do now a regular basis and have done for many years so that's running calm confident in his career of being an actor. But work begets work and Saddam at a point now. It's changing. It's it's changing and consequently you please someone like he lies and you come bring. Hopefully some gravitas of euros 63 years of life to the performance. And some new ones. Well you do but you EU have what you bring to it is well which is your Irish on there no matter what the action is intent. It. Outsource Orwell days ago that matters to long may it last. I mean Jackson was something that they did like it does so at the eleventh. I thought she schism Texan an hour ago about this if so. Began to do my homework I'm. Worked with various voices and gave myself the grace that I am an irishman and the McCullough whose account you can that he would've. The would have been up of some sort you reacts in the number problems. No Willie Nelson missed and Willie Nelson Waylon Jennings Rick parry and finally senate. Ted Poe really has some razor yet because my dialect coach would give me. Various people to listen to. And somehow Ted Poe. Got open and columnist and of this wonderful speech I just love the emotional the sound of it. I would go to him constantly. These this incredible cost of of young active scene who. Chomping at the bit to. That already had two months of preparation down that. And so they were either the story. Well you were talking to about the change in this industry that we do. Glenn and T again it the whole idea people now watching them watching a mini series at their own pace. You don't have to be there every week he could just. Get all these episodes together and watch a that you won his one really long movie or not. And you've experience that kind of thing and change I mean not only win. When you did Thomas crown affair. Steve McQueen had. Yes. You play James Bond now Daniel Craig question. What does that how does that affect you do you watch it do you look at Daniel Craig as James Bond dude you just let that character. Although I know I'm very much a fan of Daniel Craig's worker you Daniels were before he became James Bond and I thought it was a great choice. And when. I've seen Specter months. Scuffle between. The other is Cecil itself but sky full really knock myself so I thought it was an outstanding piece of work. From the franchise. To great alchemy storytelling beaten poster room. Camera and performance by him. But you'll remember the last time you hear I think you were telling me about how you don't watch. Your own James Bond movies that you sons and wanted you to watch it with them and he didn't. Why. And so cruel to that question. Oh. Just fine really hard towards those movies. Oh any movie that I mean taking them so to go to cross it was right across the board I mean watch it because afterwards to which there. C with. The workers of then grunts. Don't take pleasure NC what's so. With you though I'm fascinated not just with the accident but you coming from our. Talked a little before about it means your dad left very early in your life right yes you come back there you go what was the name of the. Town you would come from Napa Napa now Negroponte on the banks of the river Boeing and the river boy and flows through and have been avenues in county needs. And they're still mad left when I was and I was an informed students. I was you know. My mother. I lived with her parents the grandparents and and she went off to England has to be in us to find new life and then when I was about eleven I enjoyed my moms and London 1964. And how does it what's the step from that from rejoining your mother to you saying I'm going to be an active. This is what I'm do or had no desire to be an active a service was very happy to be you. You know back with my mother and family life and and Putney South London was. It was tough being Irish 1964. They let you know you're Irish than ever that you forget you're Irish group ID you roommate a little of that might still be happening. Ago him you know the skin is tough but you're still who will be oh and oh yeah. It's. But it was greats who was. Whose the making of me in many ways because I began to principles give first performances. Just fifty and I lost my sacks and some. Asked token. Or. You know it bit me so it was all that kind of supplements them. So amid even speak to an American that in these include American actionable you know I quit school it's seventeen. And a November cardboard folder of drawings and paintings and I got a job small studio. And Putney South London. Basically. Destroyed straight lines and water in the spider plants and making capacity for the three. And when days it was a from the foot of graphic department. And we're talking about movies and my love of movies and usage should come along to the oval house. And heal the house was an arts lab. And I went along that particular night and the world changed for me I was but he team. And who is experimental theater who was no mama was gronkowski. Who is some time and was. Mind is that it's fascinating to me. Because that I mean that's a really a great tool that a lot of actors have never done minutes even when they've been Inco I mean it is because a lot of what. Re even today when I'm watching the sun yup there's a lot of scenes we are not seeing any. Yes you you're just reacting to dealers and no my mind has an essential. Cool to. Believe not from Wendi good in an interview emotion you are just mind. Road it will hurt so welcome. There and then Andrea it is up to live to be at other fire reading actors so. Street. Other chemicals that his bill and we did a lot of cruises. But I did that for about three years and then I thought no I really wanna be an act. No performance. I love the company of practices and it was just exhilarating so I trained. Drama school method. Very heavy going irritated methods school an income of TB. Miller left side that that night and I went off to become. That good job is. Assistant. Acting as Sam acting actor assistant State's manager goes back to making cups of TE and and it is always active fault that those that it throw it who watched T when asked if humility. I'm sure thing ago I made an actor's life and that I did rip the truth is. And I began to. I did withstand that worked with. This to Tennessee Williams when one of his last productions. Brilliant piece well I was abused the piece of the wonderful peace pros. Call the red double factories. Dramatically. In the kind of jump off the page of the stage but for me it was for him because it go to work with them. And thin BBC costume drama. And then Monday audition for an American ministers called the minds of America. That was the ticket that was to. And then at that Remington Steele does something else it says suddenly your stall. Not an actor in a thing your store. There is always human movement that was great humor yes I mean I wanted to be carried dropped the ball Butler of Butler who wanted to carry. Bob Butler who. Directed that created the services would do an old movie. Go movies that was robust and many of them so I went right back to the world are grown. That's where it's after James Bond what you started doing I love them because of the matador. Yes it's just hear it men and there's there's. It really centric one via well that was a clear. I was here. If you try to be an unexpected surprise and sometimes and you get the attitude and sometimes you don't and that particular case. Richard shippers who wrote and directed it. Gave me this beautiful. It was lovely to crack. The mold of what being created. Yeah I mean for him to say yes OK piers you know get down to tidy ways. Boots and walk through a lot yeah in. Shall let's do that. That's not a James Bond thing that was just game. Conscious effort not doing it the character is. Name. He's eaten well. It's kind of like jives I think Richard shepherd wrote is is he just voted started writing. About 20 pages through central picked up again and continued and that made him so that it that great in the year. Caucus so great news is obstacles. And that deadpan. So it was a gift who's a real good will this show as you know always sentence on. You're here with Ewan McGregor and did some kind of pub song together and you're famous from. A third circuit remember what referrals reviews I ever wrote was in the sun newspaper insert a spokesman couldn't hold it noted that the queen's head on it. Up. Don't read anymore Hamas. You do it SOS. This was here she said. The toughest thing in any actor ever worked with was pierced breast and having to look with great love me while I saying the winner takes a doll. In that and he's been to hold that. Look at and windy Hilltop looking at me like I was the hottest thing at what she did act acting. In less it was easily done with Orleans before me but that's it. Well as you can give me not to have to be but it could be Irish on getting you saying you do it also honestly it's a tiny bit just the tiniest bit. Then you free to go. Oh. Home there is a lot of Abrams along. Local dealers. And the people. Work and I game. I mean they don't grow old material girl's arm bar in new lead but those guys and. Britain. Or goal in the street. Beautiful. If Steve Sondheim is watching this he's gonna creative musical you had a favorite. At stake you simply.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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