LOS ANGELES

TS

PIERCE Brosnan was the deadliest James Bond - but he thinks society is being damaged by violence in films and video games.

The actor, who relinquished his licence to kill in 2004, told The Sun he does not let his two teenage sons play shoot ‘em up style computer games in their home. And he called on US politicians to ban assault weapons and to closely control handguns.

When he was 007, Pierce ‘killed’ 135 people in four films, which was a higher average than the other five Bond actors. Pierce, who has three sons, Sean, 29, Dylan, 16, and Paris, 12, made it very clear to The Sun how strongly he feels about the dangers of screen violence to our children.

He said: “I do think the movies influence. I hate to say it, on our societies. And the games, which deal with killing, which our kids play these days, have a strong twisted effect. We don’t let those games in the house, but the boys do get them because they go to other kids’ homes. The kill ratio in movies is overwhelming and I never really took the violence in the Bond movies too seriously, the plot was not so real. We are a violent race without question and now what we can do with computer graphics is terrifying.”

Born inIrelandand brought up inLondonfrom the age of 11, Pierce has lived in theUnited Statessince 1982. He became an American citizen in 2004 and has homes in bothHawaiiandLos Angeles. He feels a strong affinity withBoston,Massachusetts, which has a large Irish American population, and was horrified by the terrorist bombing there last week.

Pierce said: “I have deep feelings on the issue. I am so connected toBostonbeing an Irishman, and now being an American citizen. It has a numbing effect on one’s senses and creates deep fear in our hearts and deep sorrow. We are somewhat powerless to do anything, but to extend our sympathy to the victims of such a tragedy and hope that mankind will come to its senses and stop killing each other.”

As a European living across theAtlantiche thinksAmericahas to ban citizens from owning rapid fire weapons. Commenting on the gun massacre at a school inNewtown,Connecticut, which claimed 26 lives last December, he said: “Newtownis a horrendous tragedy, one which could have been avoided. Assault weapons should be banned without question and guns should be monitored. The gun law inAmericais absolutely crazy and out of control.”

Shooting baddies is certainly well behind him in his new film Love Is All You Need, which is a wonderful, warm-hearted romantic comedy. Pierce had wanted to do more than four Bond films, but accepted it was the time to leave the world’s most famous secret agent behind in 2004. He has gone on to star in a string of successful films including The Ghost Writer, Remember Me and Mamma Mia! Mamma Mia! was the biggest UK box office hit in history until the most recent Bond film Skyfall overtook it last year.

Love Is All You Need, which is out in cinemas now, has also been widely praised by critics. Pierce says he only regretted not still playing 007 when his successor Daniel Craig got to appear alongside The Queen in an Olympic opening ceremony stunt. He smiled: “I would have loved to have participated in the Games and that whole escapade with Her Majesty. That would have been great, I would have loved to have walked the halls of Buckingham Palace and done that.”

Surprisingly, though, Pierce didn’t watch Daniel’s first two Bond movies. He only finally decided to see Skyfall after being bombarded with adverts for the film in London.

Pierce commented: “I hadn’t seen any of Daniel’s other films and I had to see Skyfall. I thought it was time to go see this man and he does it magnificently.” Pierce was first offered the role of James Bond in 1986, but had to turn it down due to contractual obligations to the Remington Steele television series.

The actor, who was aged 41 when he eventually got the job in 1995, believes it was good he waited until his looks had matured.

Pierce laughed: “In ‘86 they offered me the role, but I looked like some skinny whipper snapper with too much hair and pretty boy looks. Somebody showed me pictures of myself from my screen test recently and I just looked ill-fitted for the role then and somehow it came back round.”

It was his first wife Cassandra Harris who helped Pierce to get his original audition, but she never got to see him play Bond because she died from ovarian cancer in 1991. The tragedy of her death is reflected in Pierce’s thoughtful and poignant performance in Love Is All You Need. Made by Danish director Susanne Bier, whose In A Better World won the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2011, it tells the story of a woman with breast cancer who meets a widower at their children’s wedding.

Pierce plays the businessman widower called Philip. Like Philip he found new love. Pierce married second wife, journalist Keely Shaye Smith, in 2001 and they have had two children together.

He said: “There were many emblems in the film which I could identify with. My own life and having dealt with cancer in my life and my own family, being a father, being a single parent. That was the stepping off point.”

Unlike Philip, though, Pierce is not a man still consumed by grief. He explained: “The film’s a complete celebration of life, my trauma and the drama of my days and my own loss is very much in the past, something which was significant in my life.

It was a celebration of love and my family. I am a very happily married man and adjusted to life and I am certainly no longer deep in trauma.”

It was, he says, an increase in his workload which helped him to deal with the loss of Cassandra. Pierce said: “When I went through my own loss I worked, I found myself busier than ever. I used my profession as a healing stone.”

He is the only Englishman in the mainly Danish Love Is All You Need cast.