Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond-Inspired Malibu Home Asks $100 Million
The actor who portrayed James Bond was inspired to design the oceanfront home in a Southeast Asian style while filming ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ in Thailand
By ST. Liu
The property has around 120 feet of ocean frontage on Broad Beach.MIKE HELFRICH1 of 7
Actor Pierce Brosnan was on the phone with the producers of “Die Another Day,” his fourth James Bond movie, when he had his Hollywood moment: The movie was a big hit, which meant a big bonus was coming his way.
Mr. Brosnan, in the kitchen of his aging Malibu ranch, turned to his wife Keely Shaye Brosnan. “I said to Keely, ‘Go build your dream house.’ And she did.”
The result—a roughly 12,500-square-foot, Southeast Asian-style spread inspired by the actor’s time shooting 1997’s “Tomorrow Never Dies” in Thailand—is now going on the market for $100 million.
The couple raised their two sons at the property, which has been “much-loved” for the past 18 years, says Mr. Brosnan. But with their children grown, the couple has relocated to Hawaii. “I love Malibu,” the Irish actor says, speaking by phone from their home on Kauai’s North Shore. “It has my heart.” But these days, “home is very much here in the islands.”
“We have a new dream now,” says Ms. Brosnan, a filmmaker and journalist.
Named “Orchid House,” the Malibu property spans roughly an acre on Broad Beach, which is home to other actors like Dustin Hoffman and Danny DeVito. The Brosnan property has about 120 feet of frontage on the ocean, while the average home in the area has around 42 feet, says listing agent Chris Cortazzo of Compass.
The Brosnans bought the land in 2000: one parcel with a midcentury modern home on it for $5.1 million, according to public records, and the lot next door for about $2.25 million. For a few years they lived in the ranch-style house, Ms. Brosnan says, but “it was always too small for us.”
They hired architects Ralph and Ross Anderson to build them a new house inspired by their trip to Thailand, where “we fell in love with the architecture,” says Ms. Brosnan.
With Ms. Brosnan overseeing the process, it took roughly a decade to design and build Orchid House. The completed home has wide-plank teak floors and a green clay-tile roof inspired by temples they saw in Thailand, Ms. Brosnan says. “It was a labor of love to get the exact green color,” which she says was based on the green mountains behind the house.
Between the main house and a guesthouse, the compound has five bedrooms and seven fireplaces. The master suite is about 4,000 square feet—larger than many houses—with his-and-hers fireplaces, an art studio and an expansive deck overlooking the ocean.
As befits a Hollywood star, the lower level of the home has a screening room with custom surround sound, a bar and tiered seating for about 20. “We screen first-run movies every weekend when we’re home,” says Ms. Brosnan. “It’s dinner and a movie.”
Outside the screening room, another bar has a caramel-covered onyx countertop and climate-controlled storage for roughly 200 bottles of wine. Like James Bond, Mr. Brosnan “loves to have a martini,” his wife says.
There is also a gym, a music room and a travertine-walled spa with two soaking tubs. The couple selected chandeliers for the house at antique dealers in Paris, Mr. Brosnan says.
Outside, the estate has carved teak entry gates the couple brought home from Thailand, Ms. Brosnan says. There is a saltwater outdoor pool with a waterfall and glass-enclosed areas for outdoor dining, “so you can have an outdoor dinner party and your napkins aren’t blowing around.”
They also brought in sand to create “our own private beach above the beach,” she says, so their children could play close to the house. The landscaping includes orchids, groves of palm trees and hundreds of everblooming gardenias.
Mr. Brosnan says the family hosted “the greatest parties” in the house. The piano once belonged to saxophonist and friend Kenny G, who has played there a number of times. “Kenny was letting his grand piano go,” says Mr. Brosnan. “We said ‘we’ll buy it.’ ” Mr. Brosnan doesn’t play, but “after a year of looking at it, I thought I better honor the piano, so I learned how to play, with a teacher, ‘Lean on Me.’ ” His 23-year-old son Dylan, a musician, makes more use of the instrument.
The house had only a small amount of smoke damage in the 2018 Woolsey Fire, which destroyed many homes in the area. “We were very lucky,” says Mr. Brosnan. “There were quite a few who lost everything.”
Mr. Brosnan says he has lived on Broad Beach since the early 1980s. “It’s time to move on,” he says. “It’s time to change.”
With their sons now out of the house, the Brosnans have been spending more time in Hawaii, where Ms. Brosnan grew up. But they aren’t cutting ties with California. Mr. Brosnan says they might look for a new home in Santa Barbara. And last year the couple paid $2.945 million for a house in Santa Monica for their sons Dylan and Paris, a student at Loyola Marymount University.
“There’s definitely a room for mum and dad in the house,” Mr. Brosnan says.
Malibu is one of only a few places in the country to have seen multiple nine-figure home sales. Last year NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer sold his blufftop Malibu home for $100 million to Jan Koum, the co-founder of messaging service WhatsApp. And on nearby Carbon Beach, Michael Smith paid $110 million for a waterfront home in 2018.
Mr. Cortazzo says Malibu is busier than it was before the pandemic, as it attracts home buyers who are working virtually.
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