Q: BEING NEW TO THE FRANCHISE, WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH PIERCE BROSNAN?
Apted: Well, he had to approve me. I had to meet with him before we started and all that. I think he had a real appetite and energy to develop what he was doing. He wanted more character in it; he kept saying to me, `Give me stuff to do; give me stuff to play.` He said, `I`ll do all the action, but I don`t want to spend six months just doing that. I have Judi Dench; I have Robbie Coltrane. These are great actors-give me something to do with them.` His dynamic all the way through while he were doing draft after draft-sending them back saying, `This isn`t very good`-was that we were on the same page, and that we both wanted the same thing. All of us wanted the same thing; it wasn`t that we were at odds. He was a very useful kind of benchmark for it, because he was doing THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR at the time, so he wasn`t there for the endless discussions. He would keep on at me and keep on at me to make the stuff better. That was what he wanted, and he was really pushing me to deliver what I could deliver. So it was a good dynamic. I think he just wants to make it his own-put his personality into Bond, which I think is the key to the franchise. It`s why the franchise has stayed alive. Although it`s James Bond, it`s five different characters. They`re all called James Bond, but they`re not remotely alike, and I think Pierce wants to stamp his individuality on it. One of his individualities is his ability to be complicated and to connect with other characters and his willingness, as Bond, to be vulnerable-to walk that high wire between being a mean, brutal killer and also being kind of sensitive to things, which is in some ways more the spirit of Fleming than even Sean [Connery] was.
The full interview with Michael Apted can be found at www.fandom.com Thursday.