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Brosnan regrets Polanski absence at Berlin premiere

12 lutego, 2010

Pierce Brosnan, star of Roman Polanski\'s \"The Ghost Writer\", said Friday he regretted the director could not be at its Berlin Film Festival premiere due to his house arrest on child sex charges, calling him a \"great man.\"

Brosnan and fellow cast members Ewan McGregor and Olivia Williams said after a warmly-received press preview of the film that they had jumped at the chance to work with Polanski, 76.

\"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,\" Brosnan said.

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 scribe 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 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.

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.\"

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 September had created unexpected complications in finishing the film.

\"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.

Harris, an estranged friend of Blair\'s who also wrote the screenplay, said stranger-than-fiction revelations about Washington and London\'s cooperation on the Iraq war and the CIA-orchestrated interrogation of terror suspects had inspired the plot.

\"It seems basically in the last few years as if Britain has been the 51st state of the United States,\" he said.

\"I certainly wouldn\'t want to be Tony Blair\'s ghost writer.\"