Pierce Brosnan is returning to TV for just the second time in three decades to play the role of a ruthless 1915 Texan patriarch in AMC’s The Son.
The show is a 10-episode adaptation of the New York Times best-selling novel by Philip Meyer, who also wrote the screenplay for the series.
“I had been actively looking in the realm of TV for a number of years now,” Brosnan told CBC News.
The 63-year-old said he enjoys the fast pace and predictability of the work in television.
Film work ‘like watching paint dry’
“When you work on massive films,” Brosnan said, “there’s such a large landscape of story and budget and pyrotechnics to deal with that sometimes it’s like watching paint dry.”
“A performance can die in the wings because it takes time to do the set-ups,” he added.
Brosnan described acting as a “capricious game” and said a television series affords stability to even a veteran like himself.
“You want to have some security as an actor,” he said. “I’m a certain age now and there’s a certain meat on the bone history of life that you can use within a role like this.”
Brosnan plays Eli McCullough, the main character in the series, which he describes as more of a historical drama than a western.
But before the show’s debut, he has already been facing criticism for his sometimes inconsistent Texan drawl.
“The accent was a challenge,” he admitted, calling it “mildly daunting” because he had jumped in “at the eleventh hour” to replace Jurassic Park‘s Sam Neill, who was originally cast in the role but dropped out.
Brosnan said he worked with two dialect coaches and listened to notable southerners to nail down the accent.
“Listened to Willie Nelson, listened to Waylon Jennings, listened to some senators and cowboys and working men, and listened to the accents,” Brosnan noted.
Brosnan said The Son, which centres around a border dispute, is “relevant” today. The series premieres Saturday, April 8 on AMC.