Pierce Brosnan recalled the devastation of losing his first wife for a new film in which he plays a man who falls in love with a cancer patient.
The James Bond star was left a single parent when his wife Cassandra lost a four-year battle with ovarian cancer in 1991 at the age of 41. He raised their young son, Sean, alone until he remarried.
Brosnan has now taken on a new film role playing a wealthy widower who falls for a hairdresser suffering from cancer, and the Irish actor admits the story in Love Is All You Need was close to reality for him.
He tells Britain's Mail on Sunday, "I went through it all, very publicly. Such things draw a mark across your heart and it's always a part of your life. To watch someone you love have their life eaten away - bit by bit, by this insidious and horrid disease - becomes an indelible part of your psyche. It certainly did for me and, of course, when I received this script, the challenge of playing this part was not lost on me.
"I've sat in rooms with doctors and awaited the outcome of examinations, for results to come back. I've opened letters with bad news in them. I know what it's like, I really do... An actor has to draw on all his life experiences, good and bad. You have to be vulnerable and sensitive to the circumstances in a script which you know will affect everyone.
"So I know the pain and the agony of waiting and being powerless. I know what it's like to be a widower and what it's like to find love again."
Brosnan married his second wife, Keely Shaye Smith, in 2001.