The Rewind

Colm Meaney Was In Agony After First Time Working With Pierce Brosnan

Colm Meaney Was In Agony After First Time Working With Pierce Brosnan

The first time that Colm Meaney and Pierce Brosnan worked together was in the late 80s for one of the final episodes of Remington Steele. Brosnan had played the titular character for the previous five years.

In an episode titled 'Hanging in There: Part 2', broadcast in 1987, Steele attempts to hire Meaney's character (credited as 'Man in tavern') to steal a painting. 'Man in Tavern' comes to believe that Steele is a police officer and a fight breaks out.

That fight was initially scripted to have Meaney punch Brosnan. On set, Meaney had another idea, one he would come to regret the following day.

"That was the first time I met Pierce. We got on well," Meaney said on Jarlath Regan's An Irishman Abroad podcast.

"I decided, being very clever, that there was a scene in a bar where I'm having a conversation with Pierce about something, we're having a disagreement and he draws out and gives him a smack, gives him a dig.

"I said to the director, 'I don't know about this swinging and giving him a dig like that. If you're standing at a bar like that, the more natural thing to do - the less conspicuous thing to do - would be to just nut him, give him a headbutt'.

"The director goes, 'Oh, fuck, yeah, that's great, let's do that'.

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"We did it and I'll always remember the next day that I woke up and couldn't move my fucking head. I learnt a lesson here.

"We did the master and I'm throwing my head and just stopping it and pulling it every time I do it just short of Pierce's head. Then we do his close-up, my close-up, a medium shot.

"You're doing about six or eight different set-ups. Each time you're doing maybe four, five, six takes. You've done that nutting thing at least [50 times].

"If you were actually nutting him, you'd be better off. It's the pulling it, stopping it. I thought I'd got glandular fever. Then I realised, 'Oh it was that headbutt yesterday'."

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