Jeremy Irons, wearing Armani, attended the Giorgio Armani One Night Only NYC event at Super Pier on October 24, 2013 in New York City.
Jeremy Irons, wearing Armani, attended the Giorgio Armani One Night Only NYC event at Super Pier on October 24, 2013 in New York City.
Jeremy Irons talks trash
In the 1995 movie “Die Hard: With a Vengeance,” Jeremy Irons was pure evil as an urbane and elegant bad guy.
As Simon Gruber, he terrorized pre-9/11 New York City, practically in the shadow of the still-intact World Trade Center towers.
Scary stuff . . . but it’s nothing compared to Jeremy Irons’ latest film.
In the new documentary “Trashed,” Irons shows us the terrifying possibility of a future world buried in its own garbage.
“After doing the documentary, how conscious are you, when you walk down the street, of trash?” asked Smith.
“Well, I mean, this part of New York is wonderful, there’s no trash in sight,” Irons said. “And I think it’s a case of out of sight, out of mind.”
“We throw it away and it’s gone?”
“That’s right. It’s clean, it’s lovely, it’s not something we have to worry about. But where does it go?”
Where, indeed? In Indonesia, garbage goes in the nearest river, and eventually out to sea. Worldwide, according to the film, Americans could recycle 90 percent of the waste we generate, but right now we only recycle a third of that — and some of our trash eventually finds its way back into us — such as plastics leeching into our food supply.
It’s weird to see an Oscar-winning actor rooting through trash cans in New York City’s nicest neighborhood, but for Irons, garbage has become, well, personal.
He pulled out one object: “Now this is recyclable, this is great, but it’s half full, so it’s wasted food. Coconut water: Fantastic for you, 100% pure, and it’s thrown away half-full. We waste a huge amount of the food we buy.”
“You have no hesitation to just pick through the trash, Jeremy?” Smith asked.
“No, it’s rubbish. That’s all it is. It’s just dirt. A bit of dirt before you die is good.”
“Celebrities get asked to be involved in a lot of different causes; what was it about trash that made you say, ‘I have to do something’?” asked Smith.
“I wanted to make a documentary about something which I thought was important and which was curable,” he said. “It’s not rocket science. It takes a little effort, it takes a little thought. It takes a little education. I think most people want to do what is right. But they need a bit of organization.
“We make everybody wear seatbelts now. That was a bore, wasn’t it? But we do it, and we don’t think about it anymore. Very simple to do the same with how we deal with our garbage.”
It might not be easy to picture Jeremy Irons as a garbage activist: From his breakout role in 1981′s “The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” he has been in more than 40 movies, at least as many plays, and has won just about every acting award there is.
“I’ve been very lucky,” he said.
“You have a slew of awards that would say you got some talent,” Smith suggested.
“Yeah, if awards mean that. Yeah. Yeah.”
“You don’t think they mean much?”
“I do. I do. And I really don’t want to denigrate them. I think awards are fantastic. I don’t let them go to my head. I always, when I start a new piece of work, I still feel like a plumber, but I don’t know how to do it. I just sort of feel out of my depths — I’m not very good at plumbing!”
Well, he’s good at something. Born in England in 1948, Jeremy John Irons trained as a stage actor before breaking into film.
He’s been married to actress Sinead Cusack since 1978, with whom he has two sons. But on-screen he hasn’t always been such a devoted husband.
In 1990′s “Reversal of Fortune,” Irons was cast as socialite Claus von Bulow, accused of trying to kill his rich wife by giving her an overdose of insulin.
“Did you love getting in Claus von Bulow’s head?” Smith asked.
“I was slightly embarrassed,” Irons said, “and in fact fought off playing him for a while, because he was alive and I thought there was something tasteless about pretending to be someone who was still alive. And so I fought against it. Finally it was Glenn Close who persuaded me. She said, ‘If you don’t play him someone else will play him. You know, come on. Have a crack at it. It’s interesting.’”
Glenn Close was right: the performance earned him the Oscar for Best Actor.
Irons’ Claus von Bulow is a saint compared with his current role in the Showtime series, “The Borgias.” Irons is Pope Alexander VI, a man of many passions.
Off-screen, you might say Irons has become the unofficial pope of recycling — and, in what may be his most important role yet, an elegant and refined voice of caution.
Are we doomed?, Smith asked “I don’t believe we’re doomed because I believe that human nature is extraordinary,” Irons said. ” I think we will be brought to our senses eventually. I think things may have to get worse. I think, I hope we will be brought to our senses. We’re on a highway to a very expensive and unhealthy future if we do nothing.”
“And gloomy future,” Smith added.
“Well, the sun will still shine,” Irons replied.
Jeremy Irons is featured in the March/April 2013 issue of Cigar Aficionado magazine.
This magazine is a must own for any Jeremy Irons fan. Be sure to buy a copy at your local news stand, book seller or cigar store.
Here are scans and photographs of the magazine. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the images and read the text.
All images © Cigar Aficionado Magazine [Text by Marshall Fine - Portraits by Jim Wright] No copyright infringement intended.
Jeremy Irons was interviewed on Joy Behar’s show “Say Anything!” on the Current television network, on Thursday 13 December 2012.
Here are a couple of clips:
Here’s a Behind the Scenes clip with Eliot Spitzer and Jeremy discussing the Claus von Bulow case:
If there’s a cad or a creep to be played, Jeremy Irons’s antennae shoot up. “Characters who live on the outer edge of acceptable behavior have always been to my taste,” says the Oscar winner, now starring as the power-mad patriarch of Showtime’s series The Borgias (Sundays, 10 p.m. ET/PT). Irons, 62, chats with Steve Daly about his affinity for sinners.
Why are scandalous families like the Borgias so fascinating?
Whether it be in The Borgias or Shakespeare or The Godfather, we love watching people doing what we don’t dare do. Murder and mayhem, from the safe position of our armchairs, can be delightful.
What will audiences make of Rodrigo Borgia, who became Pope Alexander VI in 1492 but kept multiple mistresses?
He wouldn’t see that as hypocritical. He wasn’t a god—he was a man, and man was born a sinner. He’s rather endearing, in a strange way. He’s as pathetic as all men are. They want everything, don’t they?
Will people be surprised at the brutal Vatican politics?
The Vatican at that time was nothing like it is now. In a way, it was a medieval West Wing—the center of power in the known world.
Sundays have changed since Borgia days. What do they mean for you?
I’m a bit sorry we have all the shops open. But we all have to be encouraged to buy, buy, buy, to keep society going, so I suppose one has to accept that. For me, it’s a day I can have a lie-in and a relaxed brunch. I think we need a down day. Otherwise we’d just go bananas.
Your 25-year-old son, Max, is co-starring in Red Riding Hood. What’s it been like watching him deal with the publicity?
Well, it fills me with concern. I’m very happy he’s doing what he loves. But my nightmare as a young actor was to be taken up too quickly. A plant needs to get its roots into the soil before it can withstand the wind and the ice and the cold. Nowadays, the business has a huge appetite for youth and tends, when it’s tired of it, to spit it out. But I think he’s got his head screwed on quite straight.
You’ve played some very dark roles. Which gave you the most pause before saying yes?
I think Reversal of Fortune, because the protagonists [Claus and Sunny von Bülow] were still alive—or partly alive, anyway. But Glenn Close persuaded me that if I didn’t do it, someone else would. And I knew Lolita would cause fireworks. I said to my agent, “You’d better get me a wage that will keep me the next three years, because I don’t think I’ll work much after this.” That was indeed what happened.
You’re skilled at sailing the ocean and riding horses and motorcycles fast—not the safest activities. Are you a daredevil?
Living on the edge, for me, has always been one of life’s great pleasures. It’s not really the speed; it’s the fact that you have to do it well in order to survive.
Ever pushed it too far?
Oh, I have. At any time, you can tumble, but that adds to the frisson. It reminds you there is an edge. And I think we need constant reminders: The edge is there. Don’t fall over it.
Acclaimed actor Jeremy Irons talks about the Irish castle he’s renovated. Plus, Irons gets passionate about the controversial ban on smoking in New York City.
On the 15th century castle in Ireland he owns and has renovated.
“Renovating scared the wits off me. I didn’t know what it was going to cost or how long it would take, or that I’d manage to do it. People were sort of surprised, ‘cause they think I’m an extremely wealthy actor. They thought, ‘You’ll get architects in, you’ll get builders, and they’ll do it.’ But I didn’t want to do it that way. I wanted to be as hands-on as I could.
“It was open to the sky, but structurally sound. The walls had stood for 500 years, despite people’s attempts to pull them down for the stone they contained. They’re 100 feet tall, 9 feet thick at the bottom and 4 feet thick at the top. All the fine carving around the windows had either been eroded or stolen. No heating, no plumbing, no electricity.
“When we were going flat-out on it, I had 40 guys working there every day. I was the main contractor, so my job was to make sure that those guys, who were getting paid by the hour, were fully occupied, that they had all the equipment and materials they needed.
“I didn’t put a lift [elevator] in. The purist inside me said, ‘You’ve got to earn that height. If you want to get up there, you’ve got to walk.’ I’m sort of glad about that, even though when I’m 80 I may be cursing that decision.”
On the unusual color the castle is painted.
“It’s a sort of orange terra cotta—the color of newly-born seaweed. It’s a color that’s found a lot around the castle, and also in strands of the [local] rock that has copper in it. I think it fits [the setting] quite well, but it did surprise everybody when we first took the scaffolding down. There was a sort of sharp intake of breath from those in the neighborhood. I once asked my direct neighbor, who’s a farmer, ‘What color would you have done it?’ He said, ‘I suppose grey.’ Because of course it had been grey for the last 400 years. However, he said, ‘It’s yours! You can paint it whatever color you like.’ And now they rather like it. The fishermen and the ferrymen use it as a landmark. And I have to say it looks stunning, especially in low morning or evening light.
On the public-area no-smoking regulations he hates.
“I think they’re appalling. It’s what I call bullying a minority. Because if you say, ‘I really think I should have the right to smoke in the street or in the park or at the beach,’ people will say, ‘You shouldn’t be smoking at all. It’s bad for you.’ Well, I think we can choose what’s bad for us. I mean, there are many other things in life that are bad for us. Being surrounded by boring people is very bad for us—it attacks the heart. And being surrounded by mass consumerism, as one is in most urban areas, is bad for you, making you believe that if you buy something, it’ll make you happy. But all those things people are allowed to get away with.”
In June 2009, Jeremy Irons was in Czechoslovakia to attend the Art Film Ffest in Trencianske Teplice and to accept the Actor’s Mission Award.
Here’s an article from iDNEZ.cz (awkwardly translated from Czech by Google): Source
July 26, 2009 8:12
“People prefer their dark side hidden,” says British actor Jeremy Irons. But apparently his work has always enjoyed the most. In late June he came to Slovakia and the Art Film Fest in Trenčianske Teplice took the actor prize mission.
Charismatic British actor Jeremy Irons made his debut in 1980 in the film Russian ballet dancer Nijinsky. The film combines, in which he starred with Robert De Niro, his six years later earned a Golden Globe nomination. Yet appeared last year in continuation of the Pink Panther.
In London the Duke of Yorks Theatre, you played the game of Christopher Hampton and passion based on the novel written by Sándor Márai. Did you know that Marai was born in Slovakia?
But died in America. You probably would not return before you will be democracy, right? It’s a beautiful book. I read it several years before I performed in that game. The character should be played by older players, but has so many monologues, that they would probably have problems.
Marai wrote this novel, that every great passion is hopeless, otherwise it was just a barter lukewarm interest.
Some truth to it will be. People looking for an impossible dream. It is very hard to maintain passion when it is permitted.
Often you receive characters deceivers, but also gay.
It’s more coincidence. As an actor, doing characters that we offer.
. Have performed even mysterious, to the horror genre. Do you own the dark side?
We all have sites that are trying to hide from others. Now you as an actor but I always attract, positive characters interest me. Still, I believe that movies, where I worked, the results are positive. I try to live fully, to explore the lives of most.
When you’re in the movie Mission climbed a waterfall, it looked rather dangerous. It was so in reality?
I think it was, even though the corner waiting for rock climbers, who would catch me when I slipped. As an actor and director, I love looking for a job that attracts me and tested.
The biopic of American painter Georgia O’Keeffe play her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz. He allegedly said that a photograph is not art and that artists can be a shoemaker.
It is not, as even the image is automatically art. Umělecké dílo musí komunikovat. Artwork must communicate. They are painters and artists. Indeed, most collectors of contemporary art is more about investing.
And the film is still business.
Sure. I do not know if I ever make a movie that is a work of art. Can be an art book, or music? I’m not sure.
You play the harmonica and the violin, what music means to you?
I think it has magical powers. I recently saw Leonard Cohen. Created an atmosphere at the concert, which hardly reach any other way. Music will touch you, reminding you to some long-forgotten feeling.
How do you work with your voice?
Not realize it, it’s just a sound, which I try to speak. If you want to reproduce the feeling of acting, you have to concentrate on ideas, not to vote. Good players are trying to get into the heads of Mozart. Bad players play only the notes.
Often you occupy the roles of people from high society.
Yet I am not an aristocrat, I am middle class like you, I was tall and good to me sits dress. That is all.
How did you get to work on the film Power of the Powerless, which tells the story of the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia?
Often they want me to record comments on the various documents. I worked briefly in Prague, I have several Czech friends who had emigrated after 1968, but with Czech dissidents was. He called me from a purely professional reasons and I took it like that. I think this movie is well done and that it seeks to address the issue honestly.
British perceptions of Central Europe still a bit Kafkaesque?
I like that I do not see Europe, but the tourism industry is to many Eastern European countries similarly open. Behind the Iron Curtain, we saw only a black space where there is poverty and where they do not travel. When I was filming in Romania, I saw the beautiful buildings that remained there from the 19th století. century. Although today most of them devastated, I believe that there once life returns.
I know about you that we support a free Tibet …
It seems that nobody wants Tibet to do anything. All Western countries want to trade with China. And the Chinese do the same thing, what did the Russians – they make about their country’s security buffers.
You have also donated money to the charity that promotes yoga in prison. Why?
It’s simple. . Everywhere in the world, an increasing number of people who are leaving the prison worse than when they went into it. In prison he spends a lot of time with yourself, yoga and meditation can help them physically and mentally stronger, overcome anger. But in many prisons, he thinks that yoga is the last thing we need to prisoners. Similarly, some governments believe that art is the last thing you need
Practicing yoga and yourself?
No, but I have meditated for many years.
What do you mean admiration by women? Even at a festival in Teplice Trenčianske you gave a lot of signatures.
This signing was a little bored, but I’m flattered. I think people are not interested either way I do, but rather my characters, which are to be aligned. If I went somewhere and nobody would have cared about me, it would mean that I’m doing my job well.
Sometimes call the former partners or film, how to?
I do not do it often, but when I was in New York, I met with Meryl Streep and Glenn Close. When I was last in Italy, we have seen with Ornela Mutti, France is trying to find Fanny Ardant and Juliette Binoche.
They’re just a professional relationship?
No, it is often the friendship.
And something more?
If so, would I say? (Laughs)
Italian fan Ambra Corti has contributed this first-hand account of Jeremy Irons’s appearance at the Viaggio nel Cinema Americano, sponsored by the Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma.
[Translated from Ambra Corti's original Italian]
The event in Rome was wonderful! I never thought my emotions could be so great and overwhelming. Jeremy Irons is a wonderful actor and a very fine man, calm and charming and is one of the few actors capable of doing major showbiz productions and supporting charities beyond all expectations, a more extraordinary person there never was!
With his English manner, in the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, he was beloved by everyone, including me,with the power of his warm and seductive voice.
During the evening, we were shown some of the scenes from his films such as The Mission, Lolita, The House of the Spirits, Reversal of Fortune, M. Butterfly, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Stealing Beauty, Kingdom of Heaven, Dungeons and Dragons, of course, accompanied with comments.
Of The Mission, speaking of the relationship he had with DeNiro, he said:
“At the time, filming went really slowly and DeNiro asked for a lot of takes. When I arrived on the set I was dissatisfied with the choice, I would not accept having to work with an actor who was not trained as I was. With every passing day our antagonism grew until it burst into a furious argument, but it subsided thanks to our producer. Since then we have become great friends.”
Of Lolita he said: “Many found it crazy that I could be like a villain, but I think there are people in the world capable of committing terrible acts and still be humorous, and if I’m not mistaken, here in Italy you have a Prime Minister …” he said with a grin. He did not say the name, but everyone in the room who knew all related, and all burst out laughing! He went on to say: “I did not want to do Lolita because I was convinced that this film would cause me many problems with the passage of time. Adrian Lyne asked me to make this film for 2 years in a row, saying that if I had not accepted the part, he would not have made the film. Glenn Close was to convince me that it was a classic story and had all the right elements for a good movie and a good job.”
I remember that the presenters did ask a question about the Labour Party, who Jeremy once supported. Eventually, there were 4 or 5 questions from the audience (including me).
I remember one in particular, even though it was more of a statement than a question.
A lady, who was from Ischia, pointed out some events took place many, many, many years ago.
At the time, Jeremy was 17 years old and the lady was as well. She said that they had a [brief relationship or a date] and he played the guitar and she was fascinated.
Immediately after this lady, I made my application (Jeremy was directed to me when I raised my hand to speak) and I think I started in the worst and most embarrassing of ways. I said: “Carramba, what a surprise!” referring to the situation the first lady spoke of, and I do not think that he took that very well, but that may just be my impression.
When I asked the question I was very nervous! I wasn’t standing when I asked the question; I was sitting, because even if I was standing I would have fainted! I do not even know how I had the courage to do it, my heart was bursting, I surprised myself!
The real question that I did was: “You have not yet spoken of The Lion King! I want to know how do you dub a cartoon?”
He explained the various technical things that he had to do before moving on to comment directly on Scar. Of Scar he said: “It’s the ugliest animal! Because, unlike Mufasa (played by James Earl Jones) Scar is dry, skeletal, has a bad mane and tail hair has not, however Mufasa is strong, beautiful, strong with the bushy tail!”
Jeremy did not speak Italian at all and the woman sitting next to him on stage acted as his translator. At the conclusion, I and about twenty people went up to the stage in hopes of an autograph, but he was gone. It was a wonderful and unforgettable evening!
10 June 2009
He considered a career as a veterinarian, but failed the entrance exams. He cleaned houses and maintained streetside plants. And finally, he became one of the world’s best-known actors, awarded with the most prestigious prizes.
The illustrious Jeremy Irons has accepted our invitation to Art Film Fest, and on Saturday, 20 June, he will personally accept the Actor’s Mission Award and fix a brass plaque bearing his name to the Bridge of Fame in Trenčianske Teplice.
Through the years of his prolific acting career, this star of films such as Lolita, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, The Man in the Iron Mask, and Damage has performed alongside such renowned performers as Meryl Streep, Ben Kingsley, Liv Tyler, Juliette Binoche, Glenn Close, Melanie Griffith and Rachel Weisz. Irons has portrayed romantic lovers, torn intellectuals and even psychopaths.
In the film Lolita (1997) he flawlessly portrays Professor Humbert, who smoulders with devastating desire for his very young stepdaughter. This film adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s novel of the same name was directed by romantic drama specialist Adrian Lyne, who has films such as Fatal Attraction and 9 1/2 Weeks under his belt. Today, many readers of Lolita cannot imagine the mad, miserably enamoured professor as anyone other than Irons.
Jeremy Irons was born on 19 September, 1948 in the small town of Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, Great Britain. He received his acting education at Bristol’s Old Vic School, and after graduating he accepted an engagement with their travelling theatre troupe. His first step towards a stable acting career was performing in serials such as The Pallisers (1975) and Love for Lydia (1977). His breakthrough role could be considered the biographical film of the renowned dancer Nijinsky (1981), where Irons played famed choreographer Mikhail Fokine.
He drew considerable attention with his second film, The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981), where he acted alongside Meryl Streep. Here he portrays two spiritually connected people – an intellectual and a lover, who fall in love with a mysterious woman. These roles were perfectly suited to Irons’ temperament, and he was their ideal performer, thanks in part to his elegant, even patrician features and striking eyes.
Irons also lent his mournful face to other roles of fated lovers. On the silver screen he has succumbed to the love of numerous ladies: Patricia Hodge in Betrayal (1982), Ornella Muti in Swann in Love (1984) and Juliette Binoche in Damage (1992).
The first significant acknowledgement of Irons’ work came in 1984. For his role in the Broadway production The Real Thing, where he performed with Glenn Close, he was granted the prestigious theatrical prize the Tony Award. Four years later, he received a Best Actor award from the New York Film Critics Circle Award for his double role as twin-brother gynaecologists in the picture Dead Ringers.
In 1990, he earned the most prestigious film award, an Oscar, as well as a Golden Globe for Best Actor for his role in the film Reversal of Fortune, based on true events, where he played an aristocrat accused of twice attempting to murder his wife.
Irons excelled in the picture The Mission (1986) with Robert De Niro, where he took the role of a Jesuit missionary who attempts to spread Christianity among Amazonian natives and puts stake in their defence.
Irons has also visited Prague, thanks to the filming of Kafka (1991), the fictitious picture inspired by the writer Franz Kafka, a Prague native. The film was directed by the famed Steven Soderbergh, who entrusted Irons with the lead role as Jewish bureaucrat Kafka. During his stay in Prague, Irons also acted in the film version of Václav Havel’s The Beggar’s Opera, shot by Jiří Menzel.
Irons remembers meeting Jiří Menzel for dinner and asking him if he could act in Menzel’s film. Menzel invited Irons to do so, so he came, and they dressed him and made him up. They filmed the scene in two hours and Irons was paid twenty-five dollars. It was a fantastic collaboration according to Irons, who recounted it during his 2005 stay in Bratislava, when he was a guest of the TOM 2004 awards ceremony. He also visited Bratislava in 1991, on his way from the Prague filming to Berlin. He spent one day in Slovakia, buying an accordion and pictures.
Irons’ wife is actress Sinéad Cusack. They acted together in Bernardo Bertolucci’s Stealing Beauty (1995), which was also the final film of popular French actor Jean Marais.
Irons’ name is also connected with Hollywood. He played the main villain, craving money and revenge, in Die Hard: With a Vengeance, alongside Bruce Willis. In The Man in the Iron Mask he portrayed Aramis, whose undergoes a religious conversion. His co-actors in that film included John Malkovich and Gérard Depardieu. In Ridley Scott’s epic Kingdom Heaven, he is reincarnated as Commander Tiberias. And he took the role of an evil wizard in the film adaptation of the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.
Irons’ hobbies include riding horses and motorcycles, skiing and gardening.
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