You would be forgiven for being confused about Pierce
Brosnan's stance on smoking and Bond. With "Die
Another Day" stirring up the subject once again,
MI6 trawls the archives of the tobacco merry-go-round...
Brosnan`s Bond - Smoking U-Turn
28th January 2003
Ian Fleming's literary James Bond smoked a lot - as many as 60
cigarettes a day. In today's modern world, 50 years on from when
007 was born, attitudes to smoking have changed.
By the time Pierce Brosnan took over the role in 1995, James
Bond was last seen puffing his way through Timothy Dalton's "Licence
To Kill". So much so, the producers had to display a health
warning during the end credits - after all, Bond is role model
and hero for many children around the world.
With Brosnan on board after the 6 year gap (due to legal
wrangling between MGM and Kevin McClory), James Bond was
back - and different. Gone were Roger Moore's cigars and
Timothy Dalton's chain smoking habits, and in came a politically
correct stance against tobacco.
During the production of "Tomorrow Never Dies"
in 1997, it was reported that Brosnan had requested that
smoking was put back into the Bond formula. The scene with
Bond waiting for Paris Carver in his hotel room was the
main centre of attention.
The producers apparently won out, and 007 had to wait to
light up again. Brosnan said "That scene was crying
out for a cigarette, but you have to think of the kids these
Right & Below: Brosnan as pictured
in the November / December 1997 issue of Cigar Aficionado
"Brosnan's promise not to smoke as Bond shows strong
leadership in the Hollywood community. It stands as a trailblazing
example for other film stars," said Patrick Reynolds,
an leading anti-smoking activist, "we hope others will
follow his courageous lead."
But just as "Tomorrow Never Dies" was hitting
the screens around the world, Brosnan was satisfying his
allegiance to tobacco with a series of adverts in Japan
- which were never meant to be seen in the Western world.
He appeared in television and print adverts for Japanese
Lark cigarettes, following on from his predecessor Timothy
Dalton in both regards.
Imagine the confusion for Japanese fans waiting to see
"Tomorrow Never Dies" when adverts show Brosnan's
Bond smoking a cigarette, and in the film he then declares
it a "filthy habit".
In an in-depth interview, Brosnan said of cigars: "I enjoy
them. People give me fine cigars and I enjoy sharing them with
people who really appreciate a fine cigar. There have been times
when I've gone out with business guys and smoked cigars, and they've
been among the most pleasurable evenings I've had. Good cigars
and good company. Hard to beat."
He went on to feature on the cover of the November/December 1997
issue of Cigar Aficionado.
"The World Is not Enough" continued the anti-smoking
pitch with Moneypenny throwing a cigar Bond brought back
for her into the bin.
"Die Another Day" finally saw the collapse of
the non-smoking Bond charade. Whilst in Cuba, 007 enjoys
several fine cigars, and NSA chief Damian Falco lights up
a cigarette whenever the going gets tough.
Right: Brosnan's advert for Lark cigarettes
This infuriated the The American Lung Association "We are
very concerned that tobacco use is too often glamorised in movies.
We are particularly concerned that the positive depiction of tobacco
use encourages children and youth to smoke," says Michelle
Sawatka, director of media relations for the American Lung Association.
"When they see their big-screen heroes smoking, they may
try to imitate that behaviour." It was alleged representatives
for Brosnan and MGM did not respond to calls for comment.
From 1989 to 2002, the smoking circle has completed and Bond
is back to his literary ways - almost. Ian Fleming was never fond
of cigars, and apparently regarded them as filthy disgusting things.