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BROSNAN LEFT SHAKEN AND STIRRED BY A JOKE WEBSITE; IRISH BOND STAR PIERCE RED-FACED AFTER FALLING VICTIM TO SPOOF INTERVIEWER'S OUTRAGEOUS QUESTIONING.

Byline: EAMONN O'HANLON

O07 star Pierce Brosnan has been left cringing after a joke interviewer poked fun by saying the world's most famous secret agent should be given a gay sidekick.

Family man Pierce had been told that his phone chat with US comedy website facer.net would be a serious discussion about the latest Bond film Die Another Day, due out later this month.

Instead, the Irish actor found himself reeling under a barrage of outrageous questions on everything from the pulling power of Hollywood hunk Vin Diesel to Bond beauty Halle Berry's performance in the bedroom.

At one stage, the interviewer suggested spicing up future Bond movies by re-introducing a cast of saucy-sounding Bond girls with names to rival Pussy Galore from the 1964 classic, Goldfinger.

The website claimed it was disappointed with the strait-laced names given to the leading ladies in the latest movie, where Halle Berry plays Bond girl Jinx.

Pierce: "I think the makers were worried about it getting out of hand. Some of the old ones were silly."

Facer: "I wanted to see Daisy Throatwash, or something like Trixie Fingerbutton. Misty Pimplepuss..."

Pierce: "That's what I mean."

Facer: "...Bambi Bimbobottom."

Pierce: "Yes, that's what I mean. It's become somewhat of a joke. I think the producers wanted to distance themselves from that Pussy Galore stigma."

Facer: "So you're saying the producers are fags?"

The interview has already triggered more than 100,000 hits on the Facer website and has been picked up by Bond fan sites around the world.

Facer told readers that Pierce's minders had no idea the interview would be a send-up when they allowed it access to the star.

"The interview was short, by phone, and thus lacking in any visual context," Facer said.

"But one can imagine the pained look on Pierce's face as we posed our queries. We could tell he was irritated from the start, but our smoothness won him over in the end."

Facer kicked off by pretending to have mistaken Navan man Pierce for arch-rival Vin Diesel, who stars in the $100million new spy movie xXx.

Facer: "Oh. I thought your latest was Knockaround Guys."

Pierce: "You're joking."

Facer: "Aren't you the big bald guy with the deep voice?"

Pierce: "I'm sorry?"

Facer: "I'm kidding. That's Vin Diesel."

Pierce: "Will the whole interview be like this....?"

The interviewer then asks an increasingly bemused Pierce that if he were a woman, would he consider dating Vin Diesel.

Facer: "The guy's as suave as a rectal exam. But he is hunky. Would you date him?"

Pierce: "Who?"

Facer: "Vin Diesel. I mean, if you were a woman. Women love men who are named after fossil fuel products. Indicates a certain dynamic flammability, I think."

Pierce: (silence)

Facer: "This is pretty agonizing for you, isn't it?"

Pierce: "Well, it's not the worst interview I've had."

Eventually, the discussion turns to Die Another Day, with the website asking Pierce to rate the movie on a scale of one to 10.

When Pierce gives it an 11, he is asked to consider it on a scale of one to 100.

Facer: "What if the scale were a base nine integer set, and calculated purely in hexadecimal?"

Pierce: "I really have no idea. It's a very good film."

Facer: "Right now you've disappointed (Microsoft boss) Bill Gates. You know he once said that every child should be taught hexadecimal."

Pierce: "I suppose with his money he's entitled to say whatever he likes."

Facer: "What if he said, right to your face, "James Bond is a pussy?"

Pierce: "He'd never say that."

Pierce's patience is further tested when the website raises the possibility of 007 being paired in future Bond movies with a new camp character called Rod McSteel.

Then Pierce is asked about the appeal of the Bond format, before being quizzed on possible successors to the 007 role.

Facer: "Is it difficult to work in such a formula film?

"I mean virtually every second is predetermined. Opening sequence, M office scene, flirt with Moneypenny, drive fast car, have random sex with some nuclear scientist bimbo, blow up huge underground lair.

"Austin Powers has made a franchise on parodying this. Is it tough to do the source material of a parody?

Pierce: "Oh no. I don't think so at all. I love the Austin Powers films, mind you, but Bond will always be Bond. They tinkered with the formula and it didn't work."

The website follows this by inviting Pierce to choose from a shortlist of three actors to play Bond when he finally decides to step down.

These included Ralph Fiennes, Dame Edna Everage and Wil Wheaton, a former American child actor who appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Pierce: "Oh, well... Dame Edna, I suppose.

Facer: "Why?

Pierce: "Ralph is a fine actor, he may make me look bad in comparison. And I don't know your third choice."

Finally, Pierce is asked what he would bring to eat if he ever found himself marooned on a desert island.

Pierce: "Oh, goodness. I, well, I'm not sure. Perhaps hamburgers. I know it's not quite Bond to say that, but I love them."

Facer: "You blew an opportunity there."

Pierce: "Excuse me?"

Facer: "You should have said 'pussy galore'."

Brosnan (laughs): "You are awful."

A Bond insider yesterday admitted Pierce had not bargained on such a bizarre grilling.

"He gets so many interview requests that a few rogue ones are bound to slip under the net," the insider said.

"Some of the questions were pretty off-the-wall, but Pierce seems to have taken it in good heart."

The interview came amid rising excitement ahead of Die Another Day's release.

Pierce this week confirmed he had already accepted an invitation from producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson to do a fifth Bond movie, with filming expected to start in 2005.

With his first three Bond outings grossing more than $1 billion, Pierce said he hoped negotiations for the as yet unscripted movie would include a pay rise for himself.

"I would like to think that fair play will be involved," he said.

"I have the highest expectation of fairness and good spirit."

The website - www.thefacer.net - is regarded as a menace in US showbiz and political circles.

In a previous stunt earlier this year it filed an official bid under America's Freedom of Information laws to have exploratory surgery on President George W Bush's colon shown on TV.

It triggered more outrage after the September 11 terror attacks on the US when it produced a series of provocative bumper stickers with messages, such as "My other car is a truck bomb" and "If this van's a-rocking, it's probably going to detonate."

CAPTION(S):

IN ACTION: International criminals and beautiful women pose no problem for secret agent 007 - but a hoax caller managed to pull one over on him; LOVELY LADY: Halle Berry plays Jinx, the latest in the line of Bond conquests; PUSSY GALORE: Honor Blackman is the best loved Bond stunner
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Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Nov 10, 2002
Words:1170
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