10 Pierce Brosnan Action Roles: From Remington Steele, His James Bond Days to AMC's Eli McCullough

Pierce Brosnan returns for the second season of AMC's period drama The Son, premiering Saturday April 27, at 9/8c. Brosnan portrays Eli McCullough, a 20th century oil tycoon working to secure his legacy... no matter what it takes.


Brosnan talked about portraying the no-h0lds-barred McCullough, saying to People Magazine, "I have never been in what is a western and I have never played someone who is kind of filled with so much violence."

While the landscape might be new to Brosnan, The Son is packed with action, which is easily a go-to genre for the seasoned actor. Let's press the rewind button and go back through some of his fast-paced roles, kicking off in the 1980s, making stops in the 90s, traversing the 2000s, landing us... in the now:

1. Remington Steele 


In the 1980s TV series Remington Steele, Stephanie Zimbalist portrays a legit private investigator. But after opening her own agency she finds it difficult to retain clients. She invents a male partner, more senior than her actually, named Remington Steele. She recruits a reformed con man (Brosnan) to take on the role. The two are successful in securing clients and solving cases, but their faux relationship is flawed.

2. Live Wire 


Brosnan takes on the role of Danny O'Neill in 1992's Live Wire. O'Neill is a bomb disposal expert and is brought in to investigate the murder of a U.S. senator. The government official was killed in a bombing, but there is no evidence of an explosive or detonator. O'Neill is an expert in the area and slowly but surely figures out the diabolical planning that's behind the inexplicable terrorist acts. 

3. GoldenEye (1995)


And, of course, Brosnan took on the iconic role of James Bond. His first gig as 007 was in 1995's GoldenEye. This is the first film in the franchise to not follow one of Bond creator Ian Fleming's original stories. In GoldenEye, Bond is after a former MI6 agent who is planning a global financial breakdown. Brosnan starred in four Bond films total, including 1997's Tomorrow Never Dies, 1999's The World is Not Enough and 2002's Die Another Day.

4. Dante's Peak 


Brosnan stars opposite Linda Hamilton in 1997's Dante's Peak. This time around he plays a vulcanologist (his characters have some cool jobs). He arrives to the sleepy town of Dante's Peak, Washington, to investigate reported activity. There's a long-dormant volcano but upon finding dead trees and other signs of disturbance at its base... it's going to awaken soon. He and the mayor of the town (Hamilton), along with all of the other residents, desperately try to escape the natural disaster about to bestowed on them.

5. The Thomas Crown Affair 


In 1999, Brosnan starred opposite Rene Russo in The Thomas Crown Affair. He plays a wealthy playboy whose side hustle is stealing priceless artwork, like a Monet from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He uses his brilliance to mastermind elaborate schemes, purely for his own entertainment. Russo plays a detective who is onto him. And, into him. Brosnan's version is a remake of the 1968 film by the same name, starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway.

6. The November Man 


Brosnan takes on the role of CIA agent Peter Devereaux in 2014's The November Man, based on Bill Granger's There Are No Spies. He has recently retired but is convinced to take on one last mission. He agrees to extract a Russian aide who has evidence of the President-Elect taking part in war crimes. Easy enough, right? Well, the man who gave him his assignment, actually wants the Russian aide killed. Devereaux comes face-to-face, more accurately gun-to-gun, with his former pupil who... is not on the same side as him. 

7. Survivor


There's a bit of change-up in 2015's Survivor, with Brosnan playing a wanted assassin known as "The Watchmaker." He hasn't shown any signs of activity for two years, but a recent bombing in London has his forensic calling card, with traces of chromium showing up in forensics. The authorities realize it's him, but even so, they turn on one of their own, a Diplomatic Security Service agent (Milla Jovovich). She's framed, set up to take the blame and goes on the run.

8. The Foreigner 


In 2017, Brosnan starred opposite Jackie Chan in The Foreigner. Chan plays a former Vietnam War soldier living in London. When his daughter is killed in an IRA bombing he seeks the aid of the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Liam Hennessy, played by Brosnan. At first it seems Hennessy is genuinely trying to help find the identity of the bombers, but when Chan's character follows him it seems otherwise.

9. Final Score 


Brosnan takes on the role of a Russian revolutionary in 2018's Final Score. He and Ray Stevenson portray brothers, Dimitri and Arkady Belav. When Dimitri is killed the revolution comes to an end. Arkady believes his brother is truly alive, having faked his death, and brings chaos on London until the authorities reveal the location of Dimitri.

10. The Son (2019)


And, finally, circling back to how this list came to be, Brosnan returns as Eli McCullough in AMC's The Son. The story is set in 1917 Texas, but also goes back to McCullough's childhood with Jacob Lofland playing the adolescent version. We learn how and why McCullough grew up to have so much anger in him. It seems he pushes the memories to the back of his mind, but he wakes up in a fright reliving the trauma in his dreams. But, once he is up and moving, no one gets in the way of his building an oil empire. The story is rounded out with McCullough's granddaughter Jeannie McCullough, played by Sydney Lucas. The development of Texas as told in The Son is boiling over with scheming and betrayal.

You can catch up with Pierce Brosnan on Saturdays at 9/8c in The Son over at AMC.

Do you have a favorite Pierce Brosnan action character? Please share!!