Pierce Brosnan opens up about devastating losses of his first wife and daughter: 'I don't look at the cup as half full'

Pierce Brosnan recently opened up to Esquire about growing up without a father, as well as the heartbreaking losses of his first wife and only daughter to ovarian cancer over 20 years apart.

The former James Bond actor revealed to the magazine that he taught himself to be a father, as he didn't have anyone in his life growing up to show him what a dad should do.

SEE ALSO: Pierce Brosnan and wife Keely Shaye Smith pack on the PDA on the red carpet

"I know what it's like to bring up sons, and it can be a very arduous road," he said. "My fatherly instincts are purely my own. They relate back to no one, because there was no one."

Brosnan, who has four sons, was abandoned by his father when he was an infant, and his mother later left their Irish village to find work in London. As a result, he lived with various relatives, as well as in a boardinghouse, growing up.

See photos of Pierce Brosnan and his first wife, Cassandra Harris:

17 PHOTOS
Pierce Brosnan and his first wife Cassandra
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Pierce Brosnan and his first wife Cassandra
CENTURY CITY, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Actor Pierce Brosnan and wife Cassandra Harris attend the California Fashion Industry Friends of AIDS Project Los Angeles Fifth Annual Fashion Show & Dinner Benefit Salute to Gianni Versace on February 13, 1991 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - NOVEMBER 21: Actor Pierce Brosnan, wife Cassandra Harris and son Sean Brosnan attend the Pre-Show Backstage Pizza Party for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle's 'Coming Out of Their Shells' Rock & Roll Tour on November 21, 1990 at the Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 26: Actor Pierce Brosnan and wife Cassandra Harris attend the 'Carousel of Hope' Ball to Benefit the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes on October 26, 1990 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - NOVEMBER 21: Actor Pierce Brosnan, wife Cassandra Harris and son Sean Brosnan attend the Pre-Show Backstage Pizza Party for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle's 'Coming Out of Their Shells' Rock & Roll Tour on November 21, 1990 at the Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
CENTURY CITY, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Actor Pierce Brosnan, wife Cassandra Harris, son Christopher Brosnan, daughter Charlotte Brosnan and boyfriend Alex Smith attend the 'Postcards from the Edge' Century City Premiere on September 10, 1990 at Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza Cinemas in Century City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
CENTURY CITY, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Actor Pierce Brosnan and wife Cassandra Harris attend the 'Postcards from the Edge' Century City Premiere on September 10, 1990 at Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza Cinemas in Century City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
CENTURY CITY, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Actor Pierce Brosnan and wife Cassandra Harris attend the 'Postcards from the Edge' Century City Premiere on September 10, 1990 at Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza Cinemas in Century City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - NOVEMBER 5: Actor Pierce Brosnan and wife Cassandra Harris attend the '3 Penny Opera' Broadway Musical Opening Night Performance on November 5, 1989 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Pierce Brosnan, Cassandra Harris, and son Sean (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
INGLEWOOD, CA - JUNE 10: Actor Pierce Brosnan and wife Cassandra Harris attend the Hollywood Park's 50th Anniversary Celebration on June 10, 1988 at Hollywood Park Racetrack in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Actor Jack Scalia and date, actor Pierce Brosnan and wife Cassandra Harris on September 25, 1986 dine at Spago in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Actor Pierce Brosnan and his wife Cassandra Harris at a West End party, London, June 4th 1986. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - MARCH 6: Actor Pierce Brosnan and wife Cassandra Harris attend the 'Nomads' Premiere Party on March 6, 1986 at the Limelight in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 17: Actor Pierce Brosnan, wife Cassandra Harris, daughter Charlotte Harris and son Christopher Harris attend the First Annual Beverly Hills St. Patrick's Day Parade Celebrity Brunch on March 17, 1985 at Jimmy's Restaurant in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 14: Actor Pierce Brosnan and wife Cassandra Harris attend the 11th Annual People's Choice Awards - After Party on March 14, 1985 at Ma Maison Restaurant in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Pierce Brosnan and Wife Cassandra Harris during 42nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
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Despite his father, Thomas Brosnan, being absent from his life, the star of AMC's "The Son" has met him once as an adult when he was filming "Remington Steele" in 1984.

"I only met Tom the once," he recalled. "I had a Sunday afternoon with him. A story about this and that, has a few pints of Guinness, and we said goodbye. I would have loved to have known him. He was a good whistler and he has a good walk ... that's as much as I know about him."

Less than a decade later in 1991, Brosnan lost his first wife, Cassandra Harris, to ovarian cancer, the same disease that took the life of their daughter, Charlotte, in 2013.

"I don't look at the cup as half full, believe me," he said of the heartbreak he's experienced. "The dark, melancholy Irish black dog sits beside me from time to time."

Despite those devastating losses and the difficult start he had in life, Brosnan has more than persevered. He married his second wife, Keely Shaye Smith, in 2001 and they've since welcomed two sons, Dylan, 20, and Paris, 16. He is also father to Sean, 33, and Christopher, 44, who he adopted when he married Cassandra.

Earlier this week, Brosnan and his wife were all smiles at the premiere of his new AMC show, "The Son," and weren't afraid of showing affection for the cameras.

See photos from their appearance below:

27 PHOTOS
Pierce Brosnan and wife Keely Shaye together
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Pierce Brosnan and wife Keely Shaye together
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 03: Actor Pierce Brosnan (R) and journalist Keely Shaye Smith arrive at the premiere of AMC's 'The Son' at ArcLight Hollywood on April 3, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 03: Actor Pierce Brosnan (R) and journalist Keely Shaye Smith arrive at the premiere of AMC's 'The Son' at ArcLight Hollywood on April 3, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
HONOLULU, HI - MARCH 31: Honorees Keely Shaye Brosnan (L) and Pierce Brosnan arrive at the 8th Annual Hawaii European Cinema Film Festival Gala at Moana Surfrider on March 31, 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images)
HONOLULU, HI - MARCH 30: Director/producer Keely Shaye Brosnan (L) and executive producer Pierce Brosnan arrive at the screening of 'Poisoning Paradise' at the 8th Annual Hawaii European Cinema Film Festival on March 30, 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 23: Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith are seen on February 23, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by BG002/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 17: Paris Brosnan, director of HRIFF's Best Documentary Film 'Poisoning Paradise' Keely Shaye Brosnan, Executive Producer Pierce Brosnan and Dylan Brosnan attend the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival Awards Ceremony at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on February 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for HRIFF)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 17: Director of HRIFF's Best Documentary Film 'Poisoning Paradise' Keely Shaye Brosnan and Executive Producer Pierce Brosnan attend the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival Awards Ceremony at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on February 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for HRIFF)
WROCLAW, POLAND - DECEMBER 10: Pierce Brosnan and his wife Keely Shaye Smith with award during the 29th European Film Awards at National Forum of Music on December 10, 2016 in Wroclaw, Poland. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images)
Irish actor Pierce Brosnan (R) and his wife Keely Shaye Smith pose on the red carpet of 29th European Film Awards on December 10, 2016 in Wroclaw. / AFP / JANEK SKARZYNSKI (Photo credit should read JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 28: Keely Shaye Smith and Pierce Brosnan attend the Saint Laurent Menswear Spring/Summer 2016 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on June 28, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Keely Shaye Smith and husband Pierce Brosnan attend The Cinema Society & Disaronno screening of Sony Pictures Classics' 'Love Is All You Need' at Landmark Sunshine Cinema on April 24, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 22: Keely Shaye Smith and Pierce Brosnan attend the 40th Anniversary Chaplin Award Gala at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on April 22, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 25: Actor Pierce Brosnan and wife Keely Shaye Smith arrive at the premiere of The Creative Coalition's 'The Greatest' held at the Linwood Dunn Theater on March 25, 2010 in Hollywood, California (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Actor Pierce Brosnan (R) and Keely Shaye Smith arrive at the 25th Film Independent Spirit Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 5, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK - MARCH 01: Actor Pierce Brosnan (R) and Keely Shaye Smith attend the premiere of 'Remember Me' at the Paris Theatre on March 1, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)
Pierce Brosnan, wife Keely Shaye Smith and children arrive to the opening night gala for Kooza, the new touring production by Cirque Du Soleil under the big top at the Santa Monica Pier Friday evening. (Photo by Axel Koester/Corbis via Getty Images)
Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith sighting in Malibu on August 9, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 17: Pierce Brosnan and wife, Keely Shaye Smith attend the premiere of 'The Greatest' during the 2009 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Theatre on January 17, 2009 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 18: Keely Shaye Smith and Actor Pierce Brosnan during Variety's 15 Minutes of Fame on January 18, 2009 in Park, City, Utah (Photo by Kristian Dowling/WireImage)
Actor Pierce Brosnan and wife Keely Shaye Smith arrive at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
SOUTHAMPTON, NY - JULY 13: Keely Shaye Smith and Pierce Brosnan attend Universal Pictures MAMMA MIA Screening In Honor Of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation at UA Southampton Cinema on July 13, 2008 in Southampton, NY. (Photo by ADRIEL REBOH/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JULY 16: Actor Pierce Brosnan (L) and wife Keely Shaye-Smith attends the American premiere of 'Mamma Mia!' at the Ziegfeld Theatre on July 16, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 10: Actor Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith attend the L'Oreal Legends Gala to Benefit The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at American Museum of Natural History on November 10, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
LONDON - JUNE 30: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Pierce Brosnan and wife Keely Shaye Smith arrive at the UK film premiere of 'Mamma Mia!' the Movie at the Odeon Leicester Square on June 30, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)
Keely Shaye Smith and Pierce Brosnan during Elton John's 60th Birthday Party at St John the Divine Church in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - MARCH 30: (ITALY OUT, NY DAILY NEWS OUT, NY NEWSDAY OUT) Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith leave a midtown restaurant on March 30, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images)
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