I've been checking my cell phone obsessively, waiting for the woman I've been dating to return my last text. This shouldn't be a big deal, but to me it is. To me, the faster she returns the text, the more she cares. Of course I know this logic is ridiculous, but abandonment issues have scorched me with flames of dysfunction and, at times, my self esteem is directly connected to how fast women return my texts. Right now, I don't need food or water or oxygen. I just need her to return my text before my friggin' head explodes. Again, I'm aware of my unhealthy thought patterns. I should be talking to a shrink, but instead I'm strolling into the posh Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica to interview Pierce Brosnan for his new British romantic comedy The Love Punch, the story of a divorced couple -- played by Brosnan and Emma Thompson -- who, after getting bilked out of their pension funds, plan a diamond heist in the picturesque south of France. Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson are delightful in this charming caper film as they ramble around Paris and the French Riviera, trying to salvage their finances and rekindling their romance in the process.
I put my cell phone in my pocket and sit with Pierce Brosnan. He's seated on the edge of a bed in his hotel suite, and I'm in a chair across from him. A panoramic ocean view almost distracts me from the suave charisma he exudes. Pierce Brosnan is as handsome and charming in person as you'd expect, and when you meet him it's painfully clear why he's a movie star and you're not.
I'm mindful and aware that I'm in a beautiful oceanfront hotel interviewing Pierce Brosnan. I should be enjoying this opportunity, but, as we begin our conversation, it's all I can do to resist addict-like urges to check my cell phone to see if she's texted. My emotions are shaken and stirred, but I keep my phone in my pocket and focus on Brosnan. You can't keep checking your cell phone when you're in a one-to-one interview with a global superstar. It would be beyond rude, and it's taking every ounce of discipline I have to keep myself from doing it.
I ask Pierce Brosnan why he wanted to get involved with The Love Punch?
"Emma Thompson," Brosnan says. "I wanted to work with that grand lady. I think she's just a hell of an actor and all-around artist. I love the topical aspect of this story. This man's life was pulled under by the banks, and the relevance of that part of the story was quite poignant. The realization that many people's lives were torn apart by the financial crisis that we've all endured. And then there's the sheer audacity of The Love Punch, the screwball comedy aspect of it. The South of France. Paris. The ensemble."
I ask what he hopes an audience will get from watching The Love Punch ?
"I hope they go see it at the cinema and have a good night out," Brosnan says. "And be transported with love and adventure and hijinks of life, and see that love does endure and that, when you find your partner in life, you have to hang tough together through thick and thin. You have to like each other, really like each other. A big part of loving someone is to like them."
Speaking of being liked, I'm dying to check my cell to see if she's texted yet. I refrain, and maintain eye contact with Pierce Brosnan.
"A good night at the movies," Brosnan continues, "followed by a great dinner and then home to bed with your partner and a bottle of champagne."
"You seem happy," I tell Brosnan. "Are you happy?"
"I'm happy," he answers. "I've always been happy, actually. I've always loved doing what I do. Once I found acting and found that I could get away with it and make a living out of it, I was thrilled."
I look at Pierce Brosnan and wonder if he's ever dealt with heartbreak? Can a major Hollywood movie star and international sex symbol -- one who played James Bond -- possibly relate to romantic disappointment?
I ask James Bond if he's ever been in a relationship where he likes the woman more than she likes him?
"Oh, God, yes," Brosnan answers. "Just because I look the way I look or do what I do doesn't mean that I'm like that and do that every day of my life. It's an illusion. I'm just a guy. I know the pain and deep heartache of wanting to be with someone who doesn't really give you the attention."
"So, what advice do you have for someone in that position?" I ask.
"Take your foot off the pedal," 007 replies. "Just look after yourself. Protect your heart, and have a sense of grace about it all. Grace under pressure. It all goes by so quickly, anyway. Love is hard. It's really hard, especially when they get you by the heart strings."
I shake Pierce Brosnan's hand and leave his suite, cool, calm and collected. He's given some terrific words of wisdom, yet the second I'm out of his sight, I yank my cell phone out of my pocket like a gunfighter at the O.K. Corral and check to see if she's texted.
A minute later, I check my cell again.
Still, no text.
It's going to be a long day, and a long time until I'm emotionally bulletproof.
The Love Punch opens May 23