Mumbai, Feb. 21: For once there was someone more stunning than Sonali Bendre.
The thick forest of cameras was daunting, but so were the female fans waiting for him. Two young ladies openly declared that they had 'come to ogle'. Another said that she would make a brave effort to somehow get herself photographed with him. But when Pierce Brosnan finally walked in, in a beige jacket, dark blue shirt and jeans, looking exactly as gorgeous as he does on the screen, one heard the loud thud of jaws dropping.
He was on display for not more than 20 minutes, but here was the man who looked even better than Sean Connery as Bond. If there's a debate on the issue, a look at Brosnan in person settles the matter. There is no room for improvement there.
Brosnan, 51, actor-producer-environmentalist, was on a 'personal' trip here from Saturday, till he was spotted at the Gateway of India by the paparazzi wearing a white shirt. Today, he made the only public appearance as the global brand ambassador for a leading international watch company.
As Bendre, the other ambassador of the brand, dazzling in a white salwar kameez, gushingly invited him on to the stage, Brosnan walked in, looking a little doubtfully at the rising wave of photographers. But he survived them, perhaps with his wit, a little dry like the Martini that Bond has, and the amused expression on his face, as flashbulbs went crazy and the audience squealed at regular intervals.
Asked how he keeps fit, he named almost every kind of sport in one breath, including kickboxing. But he added that he was a 'bad surfer'.
Asked how easy or difficult it was for an 'outsider' to make it big in Hollywood ' Brosnan, an Irishman, made it big as a television star first; his first Bond movie Goldeneye happened in 1995 ' Brosnan said it took luck, courage, and 'hard work, hard work, hard work and hard work'.
It was not the first time he has come to India. His first visit was for the shooting of The Deceivers, a 1988 film by Merchant-Ivory. But then he came again three years ago to Dharamsala, to meet the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader living in exile there.
India appears to have left Brosnan ' who has acted in four Bond movies, including The World Is Not Enough, the most successful Bond movie ' moved, if not shaken and stirred. He said that he loved the country and its people. He also said he loved the food.
But he means to take it further. Asked if he was familiar with Indian cinema, he said he was. He said his production company, Irish Dream Time, is looking at a venture that would bring the industry here and Hollywood closer. 'The cross-pollination between Hollywood and Bollywood is getting closer,' he said. At this, he was whisked off to the watch boutique. It was not clear if he heard the last shot fired at him: Did he know Aishwarya Rai'