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Pierce Brosnan returns to TV in 'Bag of Bones'

By Mike Ayers, Special to CNN
updated 10:51 AM EST, Sat December 10, 2011
Pierce Brosnan attends A&E's premiere party event for Stephen King's 'Bag of Bones' on December 8, 2011, in West Hollywood.
Pierce Brosnan attends A&E's premiere party event for Stephen King's 'Bag of Bones' on December 8, 2011, in West Hollywood.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Pierce Brosnan stars in a TV mini-series adaptation of Stephen King's 1998 novel, "Bag of Bones"
  • He portrays a writer who seems to be going slowly insane at a remote lake town
  • Brosnan has words of praise for the actor currently playing James Bond

(CNN) -- You most likely know Pierce Brosnan from his work as 007, but he's actually been quite busy since his Bond days.

Rom-com roles, quirky indie flicks here and there and spending time developing his own projects through his company Irish DreamTime gives you the sense that this is a guy who's dedicated to not only the craft of acting, but also to working instead of coasting on any prior associations. For his latest project, a TV mini-series adaptation of Stephen King's 1998 novel, "Bag of Bones," he portrays Mike Noonan, a writer who seems to be going slowly insane at a remote lake town after his wife's death. It's a typical King thriller, with a host of supernatural and psychological twists.

As "Remington Steel," Brosnan got his start on the small screen so there's no mystery as to whether he could pull it off -- but with the creativity found on television these days, the medium is ripe for a versatile workaholic like Brosnan.

The actor recently spoke with CNN about his return to TV, how he brought King's character to life and what he thinks of the Bond franchise now.

CNN: "Bag of Bones" is one of the first big returns for you to television since "Remington Steele."

Brosnan: I haven't done TV in a good number of years. But I've been saying to my agent, "Look, please do not rule out TV. I enjoy it, I started my career there, it's such fertile ground." So, I got "Bag of Bones." The timing was great, I love Stephen King ... I'd done one of his short stories a long time ago, called "The Lawnmower Man."

CNN: What's exciting about this medium to you these days?

Brosnan: It's a corporate world out there in the world of movie making. It's really hard to raise the finances, as a filmmaker myself. It's just really hard going.

I have two pieces with my own company, Irish DreamTime that are in development, that we just got the writers on and just got the heads-up from the studio. Two shows that I would be in from time to time. It's just interesting work out there. We've started writing the scripts ... I don't really want to talk about them right now, it's a little bit premature. The one that's going to be a half-hour show, it's very cool. Comes from the world of "Dexter," it has a sick attitude about it. TV is very exciting; it's get in, get out.

This particular piece, "Bag of Bones," happened so quickly. I had two weeks off before the last job I had, before moving into this. You can come away from a day's work absolutely exhausted, but exhilarated, because it's so fast.

CNN: What's critical to bringing a King story to screen? His world's are so rich as you're reading it, but for a visual medium, it's different.

Brosnan: (Director) Mick Garris is the one you have to tip your hat to. He's extremely prepared and passionate and knows the King world so well. King trusts Nick implicitly. Garris and I didn't talk too much about it. It was fairly self-evident what had to be done with the story. At first I thought it was overly written with stage directions and it kind of irked me where it was telling me how to act here. As the piece wore on, the weeks went by, I realized more and more of the stage direction.

CNN: There's not a lot of dialogue between you and other characters. It was more the inner-conflicts that we see play out. How does one approach a role like that?

Brosnan: The first three weeks it was just me in a house. It was like "Diary of a Madman." There was only one person on the call sheet and that was me. That was a unique way to work and I actually found it extremely pleasant; I didn't have to deal with any other actors (laughs). I could just have my own timing and my own emotional world, all to myself. That only goes so far. It's hard to articulate how I got there, but it's somewhat like "Diary of a Madman."

CNN: Portraying fear is a critical aspect of a King story. How difficult is that?

Brosnan: I didn't really have time to worry about that. How many ways can portray fear, things that go bump in the night, or how many expressions do you have up your sleeve? That's when you have to rely on the director, that he's going to be in the right place to get that look.

CNN: How did the book translate to screen?

Brosnan: It's pretty much there; I think it's better than the book. I found the book, at times, kind of slow and I thought the script had such a snap to it. You enjoy the sharp left turns that come at you.

CNN: Does Stephen King consult on something like this?

Brosnan: I think there was a great rapport between Garris and him. He didn't come down. I called him up before I went off to shoot it, just to say hello and get his blessing, so to speak. Stephen King is Stephen King. There's only one of him. He always has a point of view.

CNN: Have you been following the "Bond" franchise?

Brosnan: (Daniel Craig) is one great Bond. Certainly does a magnificent job.

CNN: He's a tough one. A tough dude.

Brosnan: He's a tough dude. They have to. Big competition with "Bourne Identity" and one thing or another. He'll be right as rain.

"Bag of Bones" is a two-part mini-series that airs Sunday December 11 and Monday December 12 on A&E.

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