1 of 5 | Pierce Brosnan's "Fast Charlie" film opens in theaters Friday. Photo courtesy of Vertical
NEW YORK, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The Son, Mamma Mia! and Remington Steele star Pierce Brosnan says his new action-thriller, Fast Charlie, checked a lot of boxes for him.
Not only did it have a pacey, compelling story with humor, heart and romance, but it also gave Brosnan the privilege of sharing some poignant moments with The Godfather, Brian's Song and Elf icon James Caan in his final screen performance.
Caan died last year at age 82.
"The movie is dear to my heart. Actually, every movie I've done is dear to my heart for one reason or another because it's what I do," Brosnan, 70, told UPI in a phone interview Thursday about the film adaptation of Victor Gischler's novel, Gun Monkeys.
"It was very difficult to make in some respects, and yet it seemed to happen with such ease because of the commitment of [director] Phillip Noyce, who is this magnificent director/storyteller, and the memory of James Caan, of Jimmy, that he jumped onboard at the end of his life to make a movie and be the indomitable actor and man that he was."
Brosnan said Caan was wheelchair-bound, needed an oxygen tank and often was exhausted on set, but he still worked hard and gave his all to his performance and collaborators.
"It was really beautiful. It was something that I will always cherish because Jimmy knew and I knew and we knew that the battle was on the doorstep," Brosnan said.
"But he was still Jimmy Caan. He was still Sonny. He was still the vibrant player and had a wicked sense of humor. The man was just right in the moment of each day and loved being an actor."
Opening in theaters and premiering via video-on-demand platforms Friday, the critically acclaimed Fast Charlie casts Brosnan as the titular hit man who takes on the younger rival gang responsible for the deaths of members of his close-knit Mississippi crime syndicate.
Morena Baccarin plays Charlie's love interest Marcie, a divorced taxidermist who gets dragged into the aging gangster's war, while Caan plays his ailing father figure, mob boss Stan.
"These two people are on their own odyssey suddenly see each other and the clock is ticking," Brosnan said of Charlie and Marcie.
The mixing of genres was irresistible to the actor, who is best known for his portrayal of suave secret agent 007 James Bond in the 1990s, but who also loves doing comedy.
"All of those ingredients came together under the stewardship, keen mind and quick eye of Phillip Noyce because he got the tone right and the casting was very good," he said.
"I thought it worked on all of those levels. The audience who knows me and the people who follow my work and James Bond, I think [will recognize] all the emblems of that heroic character, a man with a gun doing dangerous things."
Audiences might be surprised to hear the Irishman speaking with an American Southern drawl for the role, though.
"I worked on the accent. Believe it or not, I really did," he said with a laugh.
"Accents are always dangerous territory. They are very daunting, and yet, at the same time, if you have the courage to create and be part of an accent, a different voice, it gives you character."
The actor connected to the idea of a man trying to evolve in his career, while still abiding by the rules and codes that have served him for years.
"Fast Charlie and Pierce are joined at the hip in some regards," Brosnan said.
"There's a simpatico. I feel the fast fury of change and ferocity of temperament of life and how we deal with each other and the technology and the information that is overwhelming at times. Charlie and I found each other at the right time."