September 12, 2002 
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Bond is not enough!
Pierce Brosnan discusses his new film Evelyn at the Toronto festival.

Arthur J Pais in Toronto

The sexiest man alive, as People magazine describes Pierce Brosnan, came to Toronto not to publicize his $120 million James Bond movie Die Another Day, but a small film called Evelyn that opens in December.

By the time Evelyn opens, the Bond film would have set a record or two. Typically a Brosnan-Bond movie grosses $300 million worldwide. The buzz for the current project is so strong that experts believe it will gross at least $350 million. Brosnan's love interest is Oscar winner Halle Berry (for Monster's Ball).

Brosnan, who turns 50 next May, will make another trip to Toronto to promote his new Bond caper, but right now he is at the Toronto International Film Festival to talk about Evelyn, which he not only stars in, but has also produced. The movie had its gala premiere at the TIFF and its press conference was one of the most well-attended.

"I am grateful to the Bond movies," Brosnan said with a disarming smile. "But for the success of the Bond movies, I would not have been able to make films like Evelyn."

Brosnan, who gets about $15 million for each of his Bond films, happily says he is not bored with them and has no plans of giving them up. The producers of the series have told him, he says, that they are his as long as he wants them.

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He works on making each Bond movie better, he says, adding that it is easy to get bored doing the same kind of stuff unless one tries to bring in one's own enthusiasm. He is not like Sean Connery, believed by many to be the best Bond ever, who gave up the series after being in it for a decade.

But for Brosnan, who has been playing the debonair spy for about seven years and whose hit Bond movies include Tomorrow Never Dies, there is no boredom in the series, yet. What's more, he is able to invest part of the money he makes from Bond films in movies like Evelyn, which was made for about $5 million.

Evelyn is also an adventure film, but not the kind that involves outlandish gadgets and sexy women. It is about an Irish father, whose wife has left him. He has to fight the court system and the church in his country in the 1950s to raise his daughters himself. The law stated that single fathers could not raise children by themselves.

The autobiographical story impressed Brosnan, he says, because not only is he Irish and Catholic, but has also known first-hand what bigotry and small-mindedness are. And bigotry and petty minds continue to play havoc with people's lives across the globe.

The movie has allowed him to portray strong emotions. He has to sing in the pubs to earn a living. He also has to show symptoms of alcoholism and emotional burnout.

"Did James Bond ever cry?" he says cheerfully. "And did he ever sing?"

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