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Pierce Brosnan Handpicked the Artwork From That Memorable ‘Thomas Crown Affair’ Bowler Hat Scene


TL;DR: 

Pierce Brosnan played the title role in 1999’s The Thomas Crown Affair.  An artist himself, Pierce Brosnan personally selected René Magritte’s “The Son of Man” for the bowler hat scene.  Rene Russo referenced the bowler hat painting in the last line of The Thomas Crown Affair. 

The bowler hats. Say those three words to anyone who’s watched 1999’s The Thomas Crown Affair and, chances are, no further explanation is needed. In the John McTiernan film, Pierce Brosnan’s title character memorably evades authorities with help from a painting. And, of course, lots of men in bowler hats. Turns out, the actor chose the painting himself.

The painting in ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’ is René Magritte’s ‘The Son of Man’ 

Seeing as the remake of the 1969 version centers around the museum theft of a Monet painting, it’s no surprise The Thomas Crown Affair features various works of art. Brosnan’s character eats in front of a painting he calls “Haystacks.” Meanwhile, a museum security guard points out that another nearby work gets more attention. 

Then there are the additional works seen in Crown’s home. Not to mention the others insurance investigator Catherine Banning (Rene Russo) throws on the fire at Crown’s tropical hideaway.

However, the most famous piece in the movie is arguably the one in the bowler hat scene. So what is the painting in The Thomas Crown Affair called? It’s the “The Son of Man” by Belgian surrealist René Magritte. 

Pierce Brosnan picked ‘The Son of Man’ for the bowler hat scene 

According to Gentleman’s Journal, Brosnan selected “The Son of Man” for The Thomas Crown Affair. The 69-year-old didn’t explain why he chose that particular painting though he did talk about his interest in art. 

Brosnan even sketched during the interview. “Because, sometimes, you just have to paint! Sitting on calls, sitting on Zoom, sitting here looking at people. It’s nice to stay active,” he said. 

He also shared he makes art part of his life even when he’s filming on location.

“Here in Atlanta, in this beautiful apartment, I have a studio. It’s just a spare room, turned into a studio, where I set up work,” he said. “But, if you’re going to be away somewhere for a long time, I find it’s good to come away with one or two pieces of work that you’ve done there.”

The last line in ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’ is a nod to the bowler hat painting

Russo referenced the Thomas Crown Affair painting, aka “The Son of Man,” in the final scene, according to IMDb. “Next time, I’ll break both your arms,” her character told Crown after discovering him on her flight. 

So how was it a nod to the bowler hat painting? Per IMDb, Crown modeled himself as the man in the painting. And, in the painting, the man’s left arm looks to be bending backward as if broken. 

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Source:: Showbiz Cheat Sheet

      

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