Pierce Brosnan & Ewan McGregor gush about Roman Polanski


Oh, screw you, you sexy bastard. I won’t fall in love with you again, even if I do love your crinkles and your crooked smile and your sexy beard. You’re screwing around on your wife with Melanie Laurent. You defend Roman Polanski. I can’t love you. You’ve already broken my heart.

Yes, so this Ewan McGregor (and Pierce Brosnan and Olivia Williams) at a press conference for the Berlin premiere of The Ghost Writer, a film directed by Roman Polanski before the Swiss caught up with him and placed him jail. It actually looks like a pretty decent thriller, very loosely based on Tony Blair’s post-prime-minister life. Brosnan plays the former prime minister and Ewan plays the “ghost writer” who gets hired to write the prime minister’s memoirs, which the prime minister hopes will be an effective white-wash of his war crimes while in office.

Unfortunately, most of the talk at the press conference was about Polanski. And even more unfortunately, Brosnan and McGregor had nothing but love for him:

Pierce Brosnan, star of Roman Polanski’s “The Ghost Writer”, said he regretted the director could not be at Friday’s premiere at the Berlin Film Festival due to his house arrest, and called him a “great man.”

Brosnan and fellow cast members Ewan McGregor and Olivia Williams said they had jumped at the chance to work with Polanski.

“He’s an intense director, a man who’s lived an intense life. He was exhilarating,” the former James Bond star told reporters. “You wanted to be on top of your game for this great man. It was just a magic experience, one never to be forgotten.”

Polanski, the Oscar-winning director of “Chinatown” and “The Pianist”, completed the thriller at his Swiss chalet while awaiting possible extradition to the United States over a 1977 case of unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl.

It features Brosnan as the former British premier who hires a ghost writer played by McGregor to help him pen his memoirs. But the hired hand quickly finds skeletons in the closet of his new boss, who is being probed for war crimes for involving his country in CIA renditions of terror suspects, and in the process stumbles upon a global conspiracy.

The picture is one of 20 films vying for the coveted Golden Bear top prize at the 60th anniversary Berlinale. The Hollywood Reporter called the movie “the hottest ticket in town.” After the screening, critics praised a suspenseful, often witty script and deft acting but said the picture lagged a bit as the final plot twists unfolded.

They also found certain parallels to the embattled director’s life, with a once-admired public figure who finds himself under fire, isolated and fighting to define his legacy.

McGregor said he had been intimidated at first by the notoriously short-tempered film-maker but had never learned more from a director.

“I think it’s a great pity he’s not here to launch the film with us because I feel that he’s as responsible for my performance in this film as I am,” he said. “I left having felt like I’d been really stretched and pushed and challenged as an actor.”

Williams said there was a fashion in directing today to coddle actors.

“After a take, they’ll say ‘That’s great, maybe you’d like to try it like this’,” Williams said. “Roman was the first director I’ve known that, when you’re actually acting, will stop the camera and say ‘No, no, no!'” she said, mimicking the French-Polish director’s accent. “It’s quite alarming when it first happens.”

Filmed in Germany, “The Ghost Writer” sees its prime minister in a kind of exile in the United States, fearing possible extradition to an international war crimes tribunal. Polanski himself had to flee the United States while at the height of his powers in Hollywood, unable to return without risking prison.

The movie, based on British writer Robert Harris’s bestseller “The Ghost”, had been considered as the festival opener until organisers got cold feet.

“It might have been understood as a statement about something that we didn’t want to get mixed up in,” festival director Dieter Kosslick said in the run-up to the Berlinale’s start Thursday with the Chinese drama “Apart Together.”

Polanski’s long-time producer Robert Benmussa said the director’s arrest in Zurich in September had created unexpected complications in finishing the film in time for its Berlinale premiere.

“Despite his incarceration, Roman continued to work on the film though courier packages that we sent to him in prison through his Swiss lawyer. Then, when he was in his chalet, he continued to work on the movie, putting the last touches (on) the final print,” he said.

[From AFP Via Google News]

In Ewan and Pierce’s defense, neither of them signed the Polanski petition, and neither of them offered a defense of Polanski the man, the criminal, the child rapist. They just seem to be defending him as an artist, which I can kind of understand, I guess. I can do that too – separate the artist from the scummy human being, but in Polanski’s case, it’s quite a tall order.

Ewan has previously discussed the Polaski situation, saying that he was “pretty upset” about Polanski’s Swiss arrest, and “I don’t like to think of him sitting in a prison cell. But I wouldn’t comment upon it because it’s a very complicated issue, you know? It seems odd. He’s been living in Switzerland for years and I’ve visited him there, so this is all very strange.” You know what else is strange, Ewan? A married man walking arm-in-arm with another woman. Just sayin’.

Ewan, Pierce and Olivia in Berlin for the ‘Ghost Writer’ press conference on February 12, 2010. Credit: WENN.

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34 Responses to “Pierce Brosnan & Ewan McGregor gush about Roman Polanski”

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  1. bite me says:

    Ewan has an open marriage

  2. Samantha says:

    Noooo, not Remmington Steel! I <3’d you. Now I have to leave you. I don’t care if this guy poops flowers, what he did was wrong and just because he avoided being CAUGHT for so long does not give him a free pass.

  3. princess pea says:

    It’s only strange that he was so … friendly with his costar if you don’t believe the years of open marriage rumours. It’s not socially acceptable, and it’s also not anybody’s business, so it’s not something that people bring up much. But they’re not totally obscure; Tilda Swinton has one too.

    The Polanski thing is trickier, but as I read their comments I found myself thinking that it would be bad for them to star in his movie and then talk a bunch of shit about him at the presser. And there were undoubtedly questions about Polanski; it’s not like they could all just “no comment” their way through. And they all very carefully commented only on his direction, so I can’t fault them. It’s a fact that Polanski makes powerful films, and it’s interesting to hear that he does it with an older style of direction. But right now, anything within 50 feet of Polanski’s name is fraught with tension and delicate lines.

  4. Popcorny says:

    Scums of a feather slither flightless together.

  5. dana says:

    It is very common for Europeans (and many other places) to link arms as they walk. Also for adult women to hold hands while walking, etc. They are far more comfortable showing physical intimacy than Americans are. And it can be perfectly innocent.

  6. kb says:

    Oh no! My 12 year old liked this book and was looking forward to the movie! How can I participate in enriching Roman Polanski? Is everyone a relativist? Geez what a bunch of sick people we have become.

  7. Shannon says:

    Meh, I think we should remember that as disgustingly slimy as Roman Polanski is, he is also a talented director. I don’t think that they’re being Polanski apologists, just appreciating something the man is talented at. Yeah, he’s a sex offender, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a multi-dimensional person.

    Don’t get me wrong, the asshole needs to get back here and face justice for what he did, and just because a certain amount of time has passed does not make a difference to me regarding the heinous crime he committed. But I will also concede that he’s a brilliant film maker.

  8. Cheyenne says:

    Agree with Shannon. People aren’t just one way. Just like John Mayer is a talented musician and a shit of a human being.

  9. oxa says:

    As dissapointing as it is, they are dead to me now and I have to find replacement fantasies.

  10. Peach says:

    See I have a really hard time separating the artist from the man. Art is a comment. Art is an expression of yourself, society and the universe at large. As an artist you develop and cultivate little pieces of yourself into everything you create.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Rosemary’s Baby. I don’t think people who like his work are wrong. I just…Rosemary’s Baby isn’t a very moral story and has no real victors (except one guy who dies). So I cannot help but think, it’s a dark piece form a clearly dark person.

    I just can’t help but feel like everything he touches is tainted. I’m looking at the vision of a rapist. And it is never far from my thoughts during his work. It goes into every frame he’s directed. For me at least. Certainly others can disassociate better than I.

    And Ewen? Fuck off. You’re dead to me. –and oh how I used to adore you—

  11. Mairead says:

    My initial reaction? “Et tu Pierce”

    But since they’re not bleating on about him being arrested at a film festival (le sacrilege!) or how the Prosecution is out to get him or any such nonsense, they are praising his work and what they know of him as a man since the incident. It’s distasteful, but not as dreadful as even Wes Anderson or certainly Natalie Portman’s nonsense.

    Or perhaps they’re so immured to how Hollywood operates that they forget it’s not acceptable to the rest of us, and just think Polanski was unlucky because he was caught. Especially when you think of what the likes of Sinatra (allegedly) got up to. Glamourous as old Hollywood was, most of its female stars were treated as sexual commodities, regardless of whether they got their break on the casting couch or not. Even Shirley blinkin’ Temple wasn’t spared!

    I don’t know what to think, but as a society we can’t begin to deal with this until Polanski has faced his charges and served whatever sentence he’s given. Considering so few sexual assault cases are successful in court, seeing a successful resolution will hopefully give victims of assault confidence to pursue their cases.

  12. Dorothy says:

    Ewan who?

  13. Erin says:

    Am soooo f’ing tired of hearing actors and actresses defending this piece of shit. While I can certainly appreciate that he is a talented artist, that doesn’t somehow make the fact that he is a CHILD RAPIST and pedophile less serious. All of the celebrities making comments should stop and think about how they would feel if their own child were a victim of such a crime.

  14. Popcorny says:

    No way does anyone have to make any distinctions between the heinous acts of a person and their so-called “talents”. Nor should they voluntarily.
    When their acts lower to the depths of despicable, such as pedophilia, rape and murder, they should be castigated entirely -completely rebuked, rejected and abandoned.
    (@Shannon, Cheyenne, etc., -this isn’t a traffic ticket he’s being prosecuted for)

  15. Shannon says:

    Popcorny, I never said people had to separate Polanski’s career from what he did. I’m not defending him either, I haven’t even seen Rosemary’s Baby. But just because SOME people can separate his crime from his artistic talent doesn’t mean they should be burned at the stake, or given a snarky comment implying that they don’t understand the seriousness of his crime. I volunteer at a women’s shelter. I deal with rape survivors and women who were beaten within an inch of their life by their husbands and boyfriends. I am a rape survivor. I detest violence against women to the core of my being. But I have also studied crimes against women enough to know a lot about perpetrators, and the fact that they are as complex as anyone else. And they are *gasp* human beings. I know people don’t want to admit this, because in doing so they admit that rape is a human act. But until we do that, we will never be able to move forward.

  16. Jules says:

    That’s fine, just 3 more people who’s work I don’t have to fund with my money.

  17. lin234 says:

    Dana- Good point. In Taiwan, girls walked around with their arms linked or hold hands. I always link arms with my girl cousin when I walk there and my grandma makes me hold her hand. I know it’s family but still, it’s quite common to see girls walking together arms linked or holding hands. If you’ve ever experienced trying to cross the street (people don’t have the right of way!) or else how crowded it is in Taiwan, it makes sense.

    But Ewan should know better. He’s a star so when HE walks arm in arm with another woman, it’s practically making a statement. Regardless of what type of relationship he has with his wife.

    I wonder if all those people who are defending Polanski had a teenage daughter, if they would feel comfortable letting him babysit overnight.

  18. Laura says:

    Hahaha, love the last couple of sentences, Kaiser!

  19. Popcorny says:

    Nah Shannon, not buying it.
    You said “we should remember what a talented” director this sh!tbag animal is.
    We “owe” him, right? That’s the implication.
    And now what’s with this until we get (touchy-feely) with rapists we’ll “never move forward”? What a load!
    When you “deal” with rape survivors, do you implore that they look at the rapist’s “finer attributes”? Do you bring the victims the rapist’s High School year books and point out their “accomplishments” and other “human” achievements?
    Tell me some redeeming things about John Coohey. Yes, sing his praises for all (and Mr Lunsford) and prove what a wonderful and understanding human you are at the expense of other actual victims.
    Awwww, “rapists are human too!” … boo hoo hoo … “murderers have feelings too!” …. and “your hate of them and their acts is holding up humanity!”.
    “He’s talented, say it with me, rejoice in the rapist and let’s evolve!”.
    That’s all just too casually insane.
    …and another thing, if you studied any of this longer than an Enquirer article, you’d know that a pedophile can’t be “cured” and what Polanski did was not a crime against women -it was a crime against a child. Study more.

  20. Misty_* says:

    Shannon, your posts are great. I agree with you. Boycotting anyone related to Polanski is not only very difficult (because the man has worked/is friends with a great part of the industry) but also naive, in my opinion. It’s like, I don’t know, boycotting the Let It Be album because it was produced by Phil Spector (anyone ever did that?).

    I will watch The Ghost. The film sounds interesting and Polanski is a fantastic director, even though he’s a scumbag of a human being. Many of the people who gave relevant contribuitions to art and science were not examples of morality. For instance, Lewis Carroll was rumoured to be a pedophile (dude liked to take pictures of naked children and used to hang out with them), like Michael Jackson, Picasso was a violent misogynist (he beat all his wives), Wagner was a raging anti-semite, Einstein was a cheater, Sinatra was involved with the mafia, and Hollywood legends Charlie Chaplin and Errol Flynn were obsessed with 14 year old Lolitas. What to say of Ted Kennedy? Hardly model behavior.
    And yet, people are able to appreciate their work without approving of their personal lives. It’s not my duty to judge anyone. Society has the court and trials for that and I hope Polanski will get a fair judgement for what he’s done.
    Now, a reflection: have any of you wondered of all the harm many of your favorite stars may’ve done to other people without getting caught? Their PR people cover it all up. This is why you see Hollywood freaking out when a guy like, say, Anthony Pellicano threatens to open his mouth.

  21. Seer says:

    A lot of the celebrities who are defending Polanski have children. I wonder how many would defend him if some time ago Polanski had drugged and sodomized their daughters?

    They like to say, “Hey, that was years ago! And the girl (who is now a woman) forgave him! So cut the man some slack! It’s not like he’s a serial rapist or anything like that. He just did once.” I wonder if this girl’s mother feels the same way they do? Do you think she does? You know what he said in an interview? He justified his actions by basically saying the girl was okay to have sex with, because she had “experience” with other boys. I wonder if that includes rape, sodomy, and drugs with older men?

  22. Kelly says:

    R.P (cant even type his name) is a child molester, by his own admission, by his victim’s assertion, by legal definition, and anyone with a functioning brain’s standards.
    Why don’t even men with female children understand this? Do they never look at their own daughters and wonder how they’ll be treated by other men?
    Rapists don’t go around in gimp masks hooting evil laughter and lurking in shrubbery every day of their lives. They hold dinner parties, get married, go to work, make great cocktails. Still festering on the inside.
    Is is just that celebrity types are so entranced by the superficial that they can’t get past it any more? And why don’t their fucking wives tell them to shut the hell up about this shit?

  23. Ben says:

    I must have missed the part here where they said something defending Polanski or said something to warrant rebuke from the public. They were talking about working with him. Polanksi is a brilliant director I’m sure it would be great to work with him. How does acknowledging that defend the fact that he raped a person, it doesn’t. I hate how people over react to a point beyond all reason. If China Town was someone’s favorite film is it wrong to feel that way still because the guy committed a heinous crime – no, those two things in no way correlate.

  24. Popcorny says:

    Oh but Ben, why the “need” to list the child-rapist’s “attributes”? Why is there the urge to sprinkle sugar on the sh!t of a pedophile? Want him to “taste” better/be more palatable -and for what reason?
    It’s like saying because of his “talent” children are worth getting raped, that it’s okay -just so long as you folks get a nice tasty movie out of the deal -that his “talent” somehow makes him redemptive in the light of his depravity.
    Boycotting is “naive”? Well now, if that isn’t the most apathetic stance -who cares who gets hurt, so long as you get yours! Yum yum yum! -And that person wants to dilute Polanski’s crimes with the imaginary and non existing crimes of others while self congratulating herself that she’s not “judgemental” (tho earlier called him “a scumbag of a human”). Hmmmm.
    Is it any wonder why we can’t get proper laws and sentences going on pedophiles? -all this so-called “intellectualizing” the “humanity” of the depraved and supporting them -instead of standing up, out and against them who betray humanity by raping our children.
    No wonder at all.
    Apathetic = Pathetic.

  25. asiont says:

    I agree with Shannon, those guys said nothing in defense of what happened 30 years ago, they just appreciated him as a director and that shouldn’t be shocking, because in my opinion, he is one of the greatest artists of our times

    Peach you said that: “So I cannot help but think, it’s a dark piece form a clearly dark person.”
    well, for me it’s obvious that he’s not doing naive and optimistic films,because it would be hard for somebody who was abused as a child, witnessed holocaust in the jewish ghetto and had his pregnant wife murdered. and no, I’m not justifing him.

    and yes, I will buy tickets for The Ghost Writer

  26. Popcorn says:

    Popcorn you’re an idiot in regards to the part of your comment that refers to me (I didn’t mention boycotting films or say it’s naive).
    THere people are promoting a film their in. If they’re asked a direct question what it’s like to work with the guy should they say he’s untalented because of his crime.
    You’re an overreacting idiot and I actually don’t have the energy to waste on stupid overreactions such as yours (overreactions towards Peirces and Ewans answers, not overreaction to Polanski’s crimes, specifically crimes, which are unarguably wrong).
    Anyone with a hint of rational thinking would be able to see what I was getting at in my first comment.

  27. Popcorny says:

    Hhhhmm … “popcorn” -you seem to be having a huge identity crisis.
    How the heck am I supposed to know “who” you are to respond properly?
    Now, if you’re “Ben”, the “naive boycott” remark was referencing a comment made by “misty”. It ain’t all about you, babe -and I wouldn’t be so heavy handed with calling others “stupid”, “overreacting” or an “idiot” if I were you.
    Which brings up another point -try putting your “own clothes” back on instead of weeping in a popcorn costume. It’s very bizarre to say the least.

  28. sonola trip says:

    Pierce called Polanski a “great man”. That’s where I have a problem. Not a great artist, a great director, or whatever. He’s not just referencing what Polanski is like to work with here. He’s speaking to who Polanski is as a man, as a human being. Considering this man is a child rapist I’m shocked at Brosnan’s choice of words and extremely disappointed.

  29. Mikunda says:

    Seriously, it is extremely unsettling when people pretend that Woody Allen never did the awful things that he did to his children, yet at the same time play so innocently outraged when it comes to the way the Europeans communicate and socialize. It’s not a crime in Europe to walk hand in hand with a friend or an acquaintance!!!
    Oh, and why don’t you talk about Allen versus Polanski while you are at it?

  30. isabelle says:

    A great man indeed. Right, Pierce.

  31. Ben says:

    Popcorn I wrote popcorn as a name, I meant to start my sentence with popcorn.

  32. trashaddict says:

    Sweeping generalizations Mikunda! In regards to Woody Allen, I won’t watch any more movies by the son of a bitch. And I don’t have any problems with people walking arm in arm. It kinda sucks to have to give up on Chinatown but it’s pretty misogynistic anyway. Also kinda sucks that one’s own ethics can completely mess up their fantasy life. So much for Pierce and Ewan. Sigh.

  33. ItsComeToThis says:

    Isn’t it interesting how many criminals are brilliant or gifted? Hmmmm. If I separate the artist from the rapist, then I would have to separate the skilled surgeon from the wife beater, the professor from the murderer etc. You see where I am going with this? Sure you do. Bottom line, I am not separating jack from squat.

    He is not the only accomplished person to be evil; in doing the bad, he must accept that the good he has done or is doing, will be overshadowed. Those are the consequences and punishment for doing ill in society. We are losing sight of that. If we were to remember the good that every violent criminal did, then we would have a society where bad behavior is excused.

  34. Sarah says:

    “I can’t love you. You’ve already broken my heart. ”

    ROTFL, Kaiser. That’s just perfect writing!! LOL!!