Jeremy Irons in Brian Griffin Photo Exhibition

Jeremy Irons - photo by Brian Griffin

A life in portrait: Brian Griffin’s latest collection

Friday, 1 October 2010

In the early Seventies, the photographer Brian Griffin began his career taking shots of businessmen for Management Today magazine. His approach, as you may deduce from the images here, was rather unconventional.

Now he is among the most revered portrait photographers of his generation, capturing the likes of Kate Bush, Ringo Starr, Iggy Pop and Helen Mirren. Pictured here are the actor Jeremy Irons, French fashion designer André Courrèges, the unkempt locks of Queen’s Brian May, the actor Donald Sutherland, and the fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood.

“Face to Face”, which opens outside Snow Hill Station in Birmingham today, showcases 38 years of Griffin’s portraiture; from iconic portraits of leading musicians, politicians and celebrities to shots of ordinary people. It was to Snow Hill that Griffin commuted for three years while working in a local factory, the job that was to trigger his departure to photography school in 1969.

A further two Griffin exhibitions will also open in the city today: “Team”, an award-winning 2006 commission depicting the people that built Britain’s first high-speed railway, and “The Water People” a commission for Reykjavik Energy, a semi-mythical portrayal of adventure across the Icelandic landscape. The works in the exhibitions will eventually be donated to Birmingham Central Library.

Brian Griffin said: “I am a boy from the Black Country, born in Birmingham. For that reason the city has always been close to my heart.”

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Jeremy Irons dines at Fogado

“The Borgias” co-stars Jeremy Irons and Joanne Whalley both dined at Rokusfalvy’s Fogado restaurant in Etyek, Hungary on 4 August 2010.  Both actors signed the guest book:

Jeremy Irons
Such wonderful food & hospitality
Thank you
2010.08.04.
Joanne Whalley
Thank you
2010.08.04.

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The Borgias – Casting Announcements

Additional casting information for The Borgias:

Click on cast photo to enlarge:

Also see The Borgias Cast page at The Borgias Wiki for more photos and details.

SHOWTIME has cast English actress Joanne Whalley as the female lead in its Renaissance crime drama The Borgias.

Whalley will play Vanossa, mother of the Borgia children who were fathered by Rodrigo Borgia (Jeremy Irons) before he became one of history’s most infamous popes. Vanossa once was a courtesan with a disreputable past.

Whalley has played several roles on the small screen, including the title character in the 1994 TV miniseries “Scarlett” and the 2000 TV movie “Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.”

British actress Holliday Grainger has leapfrogged over star names to take the part of Lucrezia Borgia.

The 21-year-old Mancunian will play opposite Jeremy Irons and Derek Jacobi in the ten-part series The Borgias, which starts shooting in Budapest in July.

Some episodes will be directed by Neil Jordan, who also wrote the screenplay. Years ago, he wanted to make a big-screen version.

Executives for the U.S. cable channel Showtime met with other actresses in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris and Rome and screen-tested scores of young women – some of them big-name stars – before they decided Holliday was their ‘chosen one’.

Lucrezia is a star-making part. She was supposedly the most vilified woman in history. One Italian historian called her ‘the greatest whore there ever was’ and a femme fatale of the highest order. Others assert she was unfairly pilloried, perhaps for the sins of her father and brothers.

Jeremy Irons will play Lucrezia’s father Rodrigo Borgia (who later became Pope Alexander VI).

Francois Arnaud has been cast as Lucrezia’s brother Cesare Borgia, while Colm Feore will be Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, who later became Pope Julius II.

Actor Sir Derek Jacobi will play Cardinal Orsini in the first two episodes. Jacobi’s previous film credits include Henry V, Gladiator, Gosford Park and The Golden Compass.

Francis Ford Coppola modeled the storyline of Godfather III on the Borgias, and found their ruthlessness and Machiavellian scheming translated perfectly to his 20th-century tale about the Mafia.

Ruta Gedmintas (“The Tudors”) has been cast as Ursula in the Showtime series “The Borgias,” opposite Jeremy Irons. The APA- and United Agents-repped actress will play a young abused wife who falls in love with the Irons character’s son.

Luke Pasqualino, best known as Freddie from Series 3 & 4 of Skins, has also joined The Borgias cast.

Dutch star Lotte Verbeek has been cast in The Borgias.Verbeek will play Giulia Farnese, the young mistress of Rodrigo Borgia (Irons). Farnese was famed for her beauty and several 15th century masters are thought to have used her for inspiration, including Raphael in his portrait “Young Woman With Unicorn.”  Verbeek is currently on set of The Borgias in Budapest. The 28-year-old actress won the best actress prize at Locarno last year for starring turn opposite Stephen Rea in Urszula Antoniak’s “Nothing Personal” and was one of the talents picked as a European Shooting Star at the Berlin Film Festival in February. But Verbeek’s London agent Jeremy Conway told THR he pitched Verbeek on the basis of her striking resemblance to portraits of the real-life Farnese.

EMMANUELLE CHRIQUI TO GUEST STAR IN NEW EPIC DRAMA SERIES, PREMIERING IN SPRING 2011 ON SHOWTIME® LOS ANGELES, CA – (September 22, 2010) – Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage) will guest star on the new SHOWTIME drama series THE BORGIAS in three episodes as “Sancia,” the beautiful and seductive Neapolitan princess who marries the Pope’s youngest son Joffre (Aidan Alexander), even though she has her eye on another Borgia brother.  The series is headlined by Academy Award® winner Jeremy Irons and is currently shooting in Budapest for a Spring 2011 premiere.

AIDAN ALEXANDER is from Bournemouth, England and has previously appeared in a Nestle Wholegrain Cereal commercial; the short film The Time Traveller, directed by Tom Cliffe; the short film The Run, directed by Tristan Casey and has appeared in the musical Footprints of Africa at the Lighthouse Theatre in Poole, England. He is represented by Abacus Agency and the Elliott Brown Agency.

THE BORGIAS is a complex, unvarnished portrait of one of history’s most intriguing and infamous dynastic families.  The series begins as the family’s patriarch Rodrigo (Irons), becomes Pope Alexander, propelling him, his three Machiavellian sons Cesare (Francois Arnaud), Juan (David Oakes), Joffre (Aidan Alexander) and his scandalously beautiful daughter, Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) to become the most powerful and influential family of the Italian Renaissance. Joanne Whalley also stars as Vanossa, the mother of Rodrigo’s children.

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Jeremy Irons picks up BMW R1200 GS

21 September 2010

Jeremy Irons picked up a BMW R1200 GS motorbike to use in Budapest, while filming The Borgias:

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Sam Irons’ No Lipstick Private View

Jacobson Space hosted a Private Viewing of its new exhibit ‘No Lipstick’, featuring photographs by Sam Irons.

Celebrities, including Tom Stoppard and Derek Jacobi, were in attendance.

7 September 2010

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The Borgias Wines

Showtime Signs Wine Licensing Deal With Votto Vines

Press Release: 7 September 2010 -

HAMDEN, Conn. – Showtime Networks Inc., in partnership with CBS Consumer Products, has entered into a licensing agreement with Votto Vines Importing (Votto Vines) for a line of Italian wines based on the upcoming SHOWTIME series The Borgias. This will be the first imported wine licensing venture for Showtime Networks and CBS Consumer Products.

“We are thrilled to be working with Showtime and CBS Consumer Products on this unique opportunity,” says Votto Vines President and CEO Michael Votto.  He adds, “This is a tremendous opportunity, and we look forward to developing a successful initiative together.”

In keeping with the setting of The Borgias, the red and white varietals will be imported from the northern Italian region of Veneto.  Each wine will retail for under $15/bottle and will be produced by an award-winning family winery located in the heart of the Bianco di Custoza zone, on the outskirts of the historic center of Verona.  The target release date for The Borgias wines is the spring of 2011, in advance of the show’s premiere.

“In this economy, wine consumers are seeking high-quality wines at great price points,” says Votto Vines SVP of Sales Jeremy Jerome.  “That is what The Borgias wine brand will represent.  Traditional Italian varietals from the region of Veneto at a price point that will appeal to both the novice and experienced wine consumer alike.  Having nearly finalized the selection process for The Borgias wines, we are confident that wine consumers will be very excited about these wines.”

THE BORGIAS, a one-hour drama series based on the infamous Italian Renaissance family, will premiere on SHOWTIME in spring 2011 with nine episodes. Oscar®-winning actor Jeremy Irons will star in the epic drama as Rodrigo Borgia, the cunning, manipulative patriarch of the Borgia family who ascends to the highest circles of power within Renaissance-era Italy.   Additionally, Academy Award®-winning director Neil Jordan (“The Crying Game”) will create and executive produce the series and will direct the first two episodes.  The series is currently in production in Budapest.

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New Kilcoe Photos

New, recent photos of Kilcoe Castle taken during the Heir Island Regatta 2010, during the third week of August. (Photos copyright Heir Island Images)

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