MI6 Confidential lifts the lid on the story of Pierce Brosnan's unveiling as James Bond as told by renowned unit photographer Keith Hamshere...
MI6 Confidential - Keith Hamshere Feature 20th May 2012
When Pierce Brosnan was confirmed to take over the role of James Bond in 1994 after a lengthy hiatus (largely due to legal disputes) from Timothy Dalton's second and final 007 film "Licence To Kill", EON Productions faced the challenge of introducing a new actor to the public for the fourth time.
On the 8th of June 1994, on the set of "GoldenEye", Pierce Brosnan was introduced to the world as the new 007. But it would be an iconic photo session that would capture the public's imagination as images of the new Bond hit newspapers and magazines around the world. It was up to renowned unit photographer Keith Hamshere to come up with a unique concept that would be seen by millions.
Hamshere, who had known Brosnan before he landed the Bond role, came up with the idea of putting him in front of a barrage of flames. After a lot of testing with special effects guru Chris Corbould, and many safety checks to ensure it could be shot indoors, the shoot was scheduled on a spare stage at Leavesdon, where the film was in production. Hamshere explains how the session grew in scale: "We had the strobes and flame bars prepared with the special effects guys, a team of four fireman, a medical crew and make-up and hair people standing beside it. It had suddenly become quite a big number. Then we set the flames on and Pierce's expression was “WOW!” as they roared in to life."
"A lot people think that it's a montage backing behind Pierce, but it's not, it's for real."
"We had to cover Izabella Scorupco in flame-proof grease because she was in a skimpy bikini dress and had bare shoulders and a bare back to the flames. It all took about an hour once we had it set up, and it was a fantastic shoot."
Read the complete interview with Keith Hamshere about his fascinating career and time on the Bond locations photographing Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan in MI6 Confidential Issue #15 - now shipping around the world.