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THE MOVIE: The Matador

Pierce Brosnan • Greg Kinnear • Hope Davis
DIRECTOR: Richard Shepard

In this dark comedy, Pierce Brosnan plays Julian Noble, a hit man, who is in Mexico City on a job. Danny Wright (Kinnear) is there for a business opportunity whose outcome could be the difference between solving all his financial problems or falling deeper into debt. One night at the hotel bar, these two men meet, and before long find themselves involved in a strange friendship.

U.S. RELEASE: January 20, 2006, Nationwide
• Rated: R


“When I think hit man film, I think of Steven Segal with a gun. I hate those movies and I felt like there maybe was a different way to look at it, like showing a hit man as a mess. I wrote this script and Pierce got it as sample of my writing, because I was trying to get a writing gig to pay the rent. Pierce read it and said, ‘Hey, I really like this. Let’s do it. I’ll produce it.’ It was an incredible situation.”

“I thought this was a wonderful quirky piece that could be hip, cool independent movie. I wasn’t’ trying to do something anti-Bond, I was just trying to honor the piece that Richard Shepard had written.”

“I didn’t know Pierce [before this film]. We met and had a beer. We didn’t really do any rehearsal here; we got to Mexico City, and it just seemed to click in pretty good. It was like day one, and all of us had a lot of chips riding on [the character of] Julian Noble coming to life, and it was pretty quick that we realized that Pierce had found a guy that was going to be there.”

“Sometimes you see a romantic comedy and there’s no spark between two good actors and it’s always terrifying. It’s like an arranged marriage, but Pierce and Greg hit it off like a house on fire.”

KINNEAR on the scene where Brosnan walks through the hotel lobby in his underwear:
”It was kind of cool to be there to watch James Bond in a pair of cowboy boots and skivvies walk through the hotel lobby. A little trivia about that, we were staying that hotel, and they didn’t shut it down for the movie. So what people don’t realize is that as Pierce is walking through that hotel lobby, only about half of those people who look horrified are actors. The other people are paying customers going, ‘Is that Pierce Brosnan?’”

BROSNAN on the scene in the bar where his marguerite is shaken, not stirred:
“It was in the script. Of course, the emblem of it did not go unnoticed. You’re fully cognizant of what you’re doing, especially when you’ve played the same role, created an image for yourself, whether it be Thomas Crown, Remington Steele or James Bond. You’ve aware of how you’re perceived and the image you’ve painted yourself into a corner with. I was looking to break the mold, and if I didn’t have my own company, I don’t think someone else would have come and offered me this role of Julian Noble.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © The Weinstein Company
Feature © 2005 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #665, January 2006 cover

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