Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Brosnan Identifies with Character in 'Love Is All You Need,' a Widowed Father

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Brosnan Identifies with Character in 'Love Is All You Need,' a Widowed Father

Article excerpt

Brosnan identifies with widowed character

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TORONTO - In the sweet-natured Danish film "Love Is All You Need," Pierce Brosnan portrays a widowed, emotionally unavailable businessman who bankrolls his son's wedding in a postcard-perfect chunk of the Italian coast, but struggles to engage as the groom-to-be deals with a pre-marital crisis.

And for the debonair Irish actor -- a father of five, including four sons -- exploring that emotional canyon between father and son was both appealing and challenging.

"I have an 11-year-old, a 15-year-old, a 28-year-old and a 39-year-old man who's as tender as the 11-year-old is. I call him an 11-teen-year-old," Brosnan said last September as he whisked through the Toronto International Film Festival.

"So I have sons. And the complexity of bringing them up and trying to guide them -- as a man and somebody who was fatherless to some extent in his own life -- that comes with a lot of baggage and a lot of understanding and a lot of heartache. But also, an appreciation of life. So I understood something about this young man's ambiguity."

Transporting though it is, his breezy romantic drama doesn't seem bogged down by any baggage, even as it acknowledges heavier themes than escapist love stories typically would.

Upon arriving for the wedding festivities, Brosnan's dour Philip is initially unmoved by his beautiful surroundings until he meets Trine Dyrholm's mother-of-the-bride, an ebullient woman resolved to positivity despite an ongoing struggle with cancer and the dissolution of her marriage to an unfaithful boor.

Their romance unfurls slowly as the wedding that brought everyone together begins to seem in doubt.

That the film could address death, disease and sexuality yet remain mostly as light as a panna cotta is something Brosnan credits to director Susanne Bier, who helmed 2010's Oscar-winning "In a Better World."

"I think that's the gift and the talent of Susanne Bier," said Brosnan, looking typically dapper in a blue suit. "She really goes deep into these areas and ... she seems to have a courage and humanity to her and also a complexity of storytelling which ... really just brings this level of filmmaking like you haven't seen before.

"And that's why I said yes to it. Because of these films that she had done. And it came to me under the title of 'The Bald-Headed Hairdresser,' which I thought was rather fascinating. And as I turned each page, I got more and more pulled in by the humour and the tenderness of it, and the frailty of these people."

And Bier said handling heavy themes with a light tough was pretty much "the premise of the whole film."

"I think in a way, in North America, there are two types of romantic comedies at the moment," she said last September. "One is more quirky -- and they have a hard time being romantic. …

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