Extract from the Independent on Sunday:
While at the Drama Centre between 1973 and 1976, Pierce appeared in Fuente Ovejuna (well before the National Theatre put the Lope de Vega play back in the public eye back in 1989), was Brachiano in Webster’s The White Devil and appeared in the German dramatist Gerhart Hauptmann’s little known 1911 play The Rats.
Soon after leaving Drama Centre he undertook professional theatre work at the Glasgow Citizens Theatre, worked in repertory and took a role in Franco Zeffirelli’s Saturday, Sunday, Monday in the West End. In 1981 Pierce went to Hollywood and in 1995, after a distinguished career in film and television, he became the 5th actor to play James Bond.
“At the Drama Centre we were taught the discipline of the job and the responsibilities you have as an actor. The Drama Centre was my university, my church, my salvation. Before I went there, I’d done some fringe theatre and, in my ignorance and youth, I thought I was above it all – but I really didn’t know anything. When I am on a set with some director who is rudderless and ill-prepared, I hear the words of my teachers coming back to me. The most important lesson they ever taught me is that you will never be directed. The great directors, the good ones, are few and far between, so you’d better be prepared to direct yourself.
You were challenged to investigate yourself, to educate yourself – it was not for the faint-hearted, but if you survived Drama Centre, you could survive any ordeals in your career."