M2: Pierce and Halle Find Real Bond; Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry Had Great Fun Making the New James Bond Movie Die Another Day, as Mail Film Editor GRAHAM YOUNG Discovers. HALLE BERRY Has the Looks and the Curves. . . and an Oscar on the mantelpiece.(Features)

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Pierce Brosnan has the looks and the swerves and, since 1995's GoldenEye, he's been the linchpin of four movies grossing more than $1 billion between them in cinemas alone.

But, since they are both sitting in front of me, and James Bond movies are a notorious slog to make, surely he deserves a more permanent reminder of his efforts to first save and then keep afloat cinema's most durable secret agent.

Like his very own Oscar? Halle Berry bursts out laughing in admiration for a star she clearly adores.

Winning a best actress nod for Monster's Ball earlier this year thrilled her, yet the ravishing beauty has still got her feet on the ground, just like Pierce.

'It doesn't mean that mine was the best performance because it's all subjective,' she says modestly.

Leaving the Pinewood set to fly to Hollywood for her award in mid-shoot only made her heart grow fonder for 007.

'I then developed a lot of respect for Pierce on a much deeper level,' she adds. 'What's more, he doesn't take himself too seriously. 'A lot of people turn into something you don't like and he's never done that. Oh, yes, he deserves a medal!' she says, twinkling her eyes before throwing her arms around her leading man.

'And an Oscar?' asks Pierce coyly as he reminds her of my question.

'...And an Oscar,' she replies. 'For Evelyn!'

This is an Irish film about a woman who abandons her husband and three children the day after Christmas.

Director Bruce Beresford only finished shooting on December 22 last year, two weeks before star man Pierce had to start work on Die Another Day.

It opens next month in the US, when Pierce originally thought he'd make it after the Bond movie, but both he and Halle are at their happiest mixing and matching their work between smaller and larger projects.

Halle herself will take two months off before making a small movie called October Squall in March, but says she'll never forget being a Bond girl.

'The producers went to great lengths to arrange the schedules so that I could go to the Oscars,' she smiles. 'They were really quite generous with me. At times, it was hard to stay focused and I was burning the midnight oil doing interviews after I'd finished shooting because of the time difference. …