Pierce Brosnan almost backed out of his role in new movie The Matador just weeks before shooting started, after suffering a confidence crisis.

Brosnan's performance as anxiety-ridden assassin JULIAN NOBLE is a stark contrast from his role as suave superspy James Bond, and The Matador director Richard Shepard admits it briefly troubled the Irish star.

Shepard says, "Pierce had a crisis. He didn't know if he could do the role, say the line 'margaritas and cock' and play a guy with a moustache.

"Fortunately he came round."