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Brosnan breaks from Bondage

Four Bond movies down the line, it is hard to imagine Pierce Brosnan as anything but the globe's suavest superspy.
But Brosnan has decided to swap his vodka-martini for a pint of Guinness and his trademark tuxedo for a battered brown suit in his latest movie - Evelyn.

Brosnan has both produced and taken on the lead role in the film, which tells the tale of a father-of-three who takes on the church and court system in 1950s Ireland - and wins.

So why, after years of playing Mr Smooth, take on such a vastly different role?

What inspired us was the David and Goliath element of the story

Pierce Brosnan
"I really loved the character of Desmond Doyle and knew I wanted to tackle the role," says Brosnan.

"There were so many emblems in it that had meaning in my life."

The true story behind Evelyn is based on a groundbreaking Irish 1953 court case in which Desmond Doyle took the Minister of Education to court.

Doyle was challenging the contention that he was unfit to bring up his children after being deserted by his wife.

The children - daughter Evelyn and her two younger brothers - were taken into care where they remained until Doyle's fight brought about a change in family law.

"As a man and father and someone who feels very passionately about certain things, I identified with Doyle, and I know roles like that don't come around often," says Brosnan.

"I was excited to jump into Desmond's shoes.

"This man had the courage to stand up and say that what was being done to him was wrong.

"Every person should be able to fight for their family."

Brosnan had the Evelyn script on his desk for six years before using his production company - Irish DreamTime - to make the movie.

But it was a lot of audacity and a bit of luck that got it there in the first place.

Screenwriter Paul Pender took on the story after striking up a conversation with the real Evelyn - now grown and living in Scotland - at the Edinburgh Film Festival.

According to Pender, he immediately thought of Pierce Brosnan as perfect casting for Evelyn's father.

While working as an intern at Universal Pictures headquarters in California, the writer sneaked behind the scenes to where, coincidentally, the Irish DreamTime offices were based and handed the script to Brosnan's team.

(BBC 17/03/2003)