While in Dubai for the Chivas Legends Dinner, Jeremy Irons was interviewed by CNN-IBN’s Sushant Mehta –
Click the link or photo below to watch the video:
While in Dubai for the Chivas Legends Dinner, Jeremy Irons was interviewed by CNN-IBN’s Sushant Mehta –
Click the link or photo below to watch the video:
Jeremy Irons will participate in the Launch of the 167th Session of the Literary and Debating Society of NUI Galway.
When: 12 September 2013 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Where: The Kirwan Theatre – The Concourse – NUIG Galway
The Society is honoured to have Mr Jeremy Irons as the inaugural
speaker of the 167th session of the Society.
Mr Irons will be joined by British actor and television writer, Mr Rob Heyland and both men will address the Society on the responsibility of the privileged to help shape our societies.
The Auditor will chair the meeting and the address will be followed by a question and answer session leading into a period of Private Members’ Time.
The following is from www.literaryanddebating.com :
With a background as a British television actor including The Professionals and One by One, Mr Rob Heyland turned his mind to observing and writing with involvement in such shows as Foyle’s War, Have Your Cake and Eat It and Ultimate Force. Regarded highly as a prolific social thinker, Mr Heyland’s insights and vision is something to look forward to.
With a career that has included The Lion King, The Man in the Iron Mask, Brideshead Revisited and The Borgias, Mr Jeremy Irons is hugely influential as a dignified and eloquent giant of screen. His
commitment to public discourse, his determination to stand publicly for person-focused society and his work with Evidence for Development make this event an exciting launch to a great session.
Come early as crowds are expected and places are limited.
Come along and let the games begin!
Jeremy Irons was recently a guest on Studio 360 with Kurt Anderson.
Click on the player below for the full audio:
“You can’t play a bad guy thinking, ‘I’m a bad guy,’” Jeremy Irons tells Kurt Andersen. “You’ve got to say, ‘Why does he make that choice to behave in that way?’” It’s all about playing the gray areas.
Irons knows from despicable; for 40 years, he’s been our best bad guy — the possibly murderous Claus von Bulow in Reversal of Fortune; the deranged twins in Dead Ringers; the fratricidal Scar in The Lion King. Irons’ latest complicated character is Rodrigo Borgia, a pope with mistresses and illegitimate children, in Showtime’s The Borgias.
It’s a good thing Irons was bad at science. “I wanted to be a veterinarian,” he tells Kurt, “but I didn’t show any signs of a scientific mind.” The headmaster thought he would join the army; his mates thought he’d become an antiques dealer. Instead, at 64, Irons is as busy in film as ever. Kurt wonders whether Irons ever agonizes over the roles he takes. “No, I’m pretty sanguine about that. I sort of know what I want to do and it comes just through appetite. I mean you see a bacon sandwich on a full stomach you think, ‘I don’t want it.’ And then, you know a day later you look at it and think, ‘I’ll eat that.’”
Bonus Audio – Jeremy’s 3 for 360
Click on the player below to listen:
Jeremy Irons was interviewed on CNN Starting Point, with John Berman and Brooke Baldwin, on Thursday, April 4, 2013.
See the video HERE.
Read the original interview HERE.
Jeremy Irons’ filmography encompasses everything from Disney to David Cronenberg, plus a 1990 Best Actor Oscar win for Reversal Of Fortune, but his first efforts as an actor were on the stage, and one of his initial entryways into the dramatic arts came via Shakespeare’s work. Which explains why he was tapped to host an episode of PBS’ new documentary series Shakespeare Uncovered; Irons’ instalment, airing February 1, will cover Henry IV and Henry V. In conjunction with the show, Irons spoke to The A.V. Club during the Television Critics Association winter press tour about how he came to participate in the program, which of the villains he’s played is the most Shakespearean, and how his training prepared him to play a bar rag on The Simpsons.
The A.V. Club: What was the initial pitch when you were approached about Shakespeare Uncovered?
Jeremy Irons: Well, it was that we were going to make a documentary about the plays, about the locations, where they were written, the historical occurrences around the period, and where Shakespeare diverges and where he follows history, and why. They said to me, “We’ll do it all in four days for you. Do you want to do it?” And I had the time, and I thought it was a very interesting idea. Because anything that opens up Shakespeare to an audience is good. You know, he has a lot of disadvantages. But he’s often taught badly, and people haven’t seen great productions, so they sort of think, “Mmm, I don’t think so. I think that’s a bit heavy.” So anything that can make people realize that he’s a fantastic playwright, a fantastic story-writer, and open it up for them in their minds… well, it must be a good thing.
AVC: Did you have carte blanche to select which plays you wanted to tackle for your episode, or did they say, “Hamlet’s off the table—David Tennant gets first pick because he used to host Masterpiece—but anything else is up for grabs”?
JI: [Laughs.] No, I was doing Henry IV at the time [for BBC2’s The Hollow Crown], so they thought it would be interesting if I did the one that included the two plays that I was doing.
AVC: What was your first introduction to Shakespeare?
JI: I think it was The Winter’s Tale… Well, no, no, no, it wasn’t. I’ll tell you what it was: It was reading ’round the class in my English lessons at school. And I think perhaps once a week in English, we would choose a bit of a Shakespeare play, and we’ll all take characters, and we’d sit at our desks and read them. But it wasn’t until I began to see productions at Stratford and… I can’t actually remember the first Shakespeare I saw, though I think it might have been the Hollow Crown series, with Alan Howard. Peter Brook’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, I remember seeing. That was pretty early on. And suddenly I realized how theatrical Shakespeare is, how alive, how wonderful it is when it’s opened up by a great director and a great company.
AVC: Was it Shakespeare that made you want to become an actor?
JI: He was one of many. No, I wanted to become an actor because I wanted to become a gypsy. [Laughs.] I wanted to live the gypsy life!
AVC: You mentioned The Winter’s Tale a moment ago. That was the first Shakespeare play you actually performed, correct? At the Old Vic?
JI: The Bristol Old Vic, yeah.
AVC: The Winter’s Tale is one of the lesser-adapted Shakespeare plays when it comes to film and television. Do you have any theories as to why that is?
JI: Hmm. No, I don’t. But I’d actually love to film it. It’d be very interesting to film, because it’s all about two sorts of people. It’s about the really buttoned-up and the very loose people, the people who are always touching, which is like I am. The so-called Bohemian people. [Laughs.] Especially now, in this world where we’re so politically correct, and you’re not allowed to hold the hand of a little girl under the age of 14, and you’re not allowed to do this, you’re not allowed to do that, you’re not allowed to smack your children… You have to be so correct. And you compare that with the ’60s and ’70s and that time, with hippies and free love. And to have those two societies rubbing up against each other, which you have in The Winter’s Tale, it’s interesting.
AVC: Watching your episode of Shakespeare Uncovered offers a reminder of just how many of Shakespeare’s lines have filtered into pop culture, such as Christopher Plummer delivering the “dogs of war” speech in Star Trek VI.
JI: [Laughs.] Yep, yep, yep.
AVC: Do you have a favorite example of Shakespeare being adapted for current tastes in popular culture?
JI: Well, I mean, I saw Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus, which was a very interesting way to show the play. Ian McKellen’s Richard III. Again, an interesting film. I suppose you could argue The Lion King, in a way. [Laughs.] We always say that he has entered our language with so many of these colorful phrases that we use in life. I suspect that they were phrases that were being used at that time, which he used in his plays. I’m not sure he necessarily invented them all.
AVC: You mentioned The Lion King, but looking beyond Scar, who would you say is the most Shakespearean villain in your back catalog?
JI: I think Simon in Die Hard With A Vengeance, a man who enjoys creating mayhem and living his own rules. Quite Shakespearean.
AVC: Earlier today, you suggested that you might have a performance of King Lear lurking within you somewhere. Is that something you anticipate letting out anytime soon?
JI: Oh, I don’t know. How soon is soon? [Laughs.] In the next 10 years, let’s say. I’d like to do Iago [in Othello], who is a wonderful character. A smiling villain. I’ve also never done a Don John, in Much Ado [About Nothing], who is a really unhappy man. I’ve always tended to play people who relish playing against the rules.
AVC: Rodrigo Borgia on The Borgias seems to qualify for that category.
JI: Oh yes. He is wonderfully bad, isn’t he? [Laughs.] He’s a man who… well, one of the great things about Shakespeare is that his characters are inconsistent, and that’s something I think makes him a writer above most writers, because inconsistency is what we as people are full of. We maybe don’t see it in ourselves too often, but we are inconsistent. We think one thing one day and something else another day. We act a certain way one day and another way a second day. And Shakespeare knew that. Now, that’s very hard to play on film. It’s very hard to get a writer who will write characters who are inconsistent. They see it as somehow a failure. But when playing the Pontiff, the great thing is, I’ve had time to develop those inconsistencies. The fact that he was no doubt a man of God—maybe his faith wavered sometimes, but he was a man of God, as most people were then—and yet he is able to authorize assassinations and live in a way which we would think, “Well, that’s not very godly.” But then you look at George W. Bush, and you think, “Well, he was also calling himself a man of God,” but he also sanctioned actions around the world—basically in Iran—where thousands of innocent civilians were killed because of his decisions. So we all contain a bit of that.
AVC: Many actors admit to taking certain TV and film projects solely to subsidize their theater work. Has that ever been the case for you?
JI: It’s sort of incidental, really. I mean, you manage a career, you have to pay bills, and… sometimes I have done work to subsidize my life. [Laughs.] And to subsidize other works, yes. Less so now. Now I’m lucky enough to be comfortable enough that I can just choose what I want to do. It sort of doesn’t matter too much what I’m paid for it, and I do what I enjoy doing now. But when I was starting, yes, very much, television would subsidize my theater work.
AVC: In what way did your Shakespearean training prepare you to play a bar rag on The Simpsons?
JI: It taught me the importance of the smallest character, the most insignificant character, who not only has a great history, but who is as involved and as caring and as emotional as the largest character, the most active character. So it taught me not to take the bar rag for granted and to realize that he was, in his soul, Hamlet. How’s that? [Laughs.]
Jeremy Irons – Trashed Preview Screening
12/11/2012 – 7:15 PM
The Oscar-winning star of such films as Reversal of Fortune, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, The Mission, Lolita, Dead Ringers and the TV series “The Borgias,” Jeremy Irons is also a producer, director, and activist. He will join Reel Pieces moderator Annette Insdorf for an onstage discussion after a selection of clips from his movies and a preview of Trashed, which premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and will be released Dec. 14 in New York.
Irons is the executive producer of this powerful documentary, a wake-up call about global waste. Irons investigates and reveals the extensive pollution of land, water and air around the globe-a threat to the food chain and to future generations. While Irons is outraged, the film also features images of paradoxical beauty as well as a score by the renowned composer Vangelis.
Liverpool Echo 30 June 2012
After almost a decade, Jeremy Irons is returning to Shakespeare, as King Henry IV in a new BBC series. Acting’s good, he tells Kate Whiting, but what he really loves doing is tinkering with his boat.
IN A snow-covered field just a stone’s throw from the M25, Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston and a heavily disguised Simon Russell Beale are doing battle.
It’s a surreal sight, as Jeremy and Tom, in chain mail and red capes, charge back and forth on horses through a throng of armour-clad men, while Russell Beale, in a fat-suit and clasping a spear, runs comically away from just about everyone in his path.
On hills either side of the small valley are camps of ancient tents and, were it not for the camera crew in modern-day dress, you could almost imagine it was Medieval England. Even the sounds of the M25 have been muffled, much to director Richard Eyre’s relief, thanks to the snow.
But this is January, 2012, and the scene being filmed is the climax of Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part I, where the future Henry V, young Prince Hal, will defeat rebel leader Hotspur, ultimately taking his place in history.
Some time earlier, in the comfort of a heated modern tent, which doubles as wardrobe and canteen for the battling mob, Jeremy Irons, who’s playing the titular king, settles down to discuss his first Shakespeare play since the 2004 Merchant Of Venice film.
He looks every inch the lauded British thespian, dressed in a red woolly jumper, Middle Eastern scarf, cords and high black boots, with a backwards cap on his head – chic but cosy.
“Shakespeare is wonderful to come back to, you forget how fertile his language is,” says the 63-year-old, in those deep, familiar tones.
“You get used to working in film, where language is spare and often not well written and suddenly you get back to this language, his use of rhythm, the choice of words, the way he changes from one thought to another on a sixpence, which is glorious.
“It’s like driving an Aston Martin and you think, ‘Oh yes, this can do anything, once I get to know how to do it’. Once you’ve done some of those big roles, even though you might not have done it for a few years, you know the possibilities, you know what you’re looking for – which is to make it sound completely colloquial and understandable to an audience.”
Indeed, with their season of four Shakespeare history plays, entitled The Hollow Crown, it’s the BBC’s mission to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. As part of the Cultural Olympiad in the run-up to London 2012, the Shakespeare Unlocked season charts the rise and fall of three kings; self-indulgent Richard II (played by Ben Whishaw) who is overthrown by his cousin Bolingbroke, Henry IV, and finally his son Henry V.
The two parts of Henry IV tell of the king’s guilt over deposing his cousin and struggle to retain the crown, as his enemies rise up against him.
In recent years, Jeremy, who made his name in the 1981 ITV series Brideshead Revisited before starring in films such as Lolita, The Mission, The Lion King and the Oscar-winning Reversal Of Fortune, has returned to TV acting, with an acclaimed role in the US drama The Borgias. Next month, he’s off to Budapest to film the third series.
Television has become more appealing as film budgets dwindle, he says.
“Movies are really having a problem. The sort of pictures I make, what I call the £8m to £30m, are not made very easily now. The £200m are getting made and the £1m movies are getting made, but the ones in the middle are finding it very hard.
“I’ve been watching the series that are coming out of America and there’s such good writing happening. Mad Men, The Wire, Damages, this is really good drama, good writing.”
When he does get a break from his acting schedule, Jeremy has more than enough at home in Ireland to keep him busy.
“I love downtime because there are many other things I love doing,” he says simply. “I’ve always been a doer-upper of things. In the early days it was furniture, then it became houses. Now I have a boat and horses, which is very lucky.
“At one stage, during my 30s, I remember leaving the house thinking, ‘Why do I have to work, there’s so much I want to get done?’. Then I thought, ‘Careful, you have to work in order to support the life you want to live’.”
And with that, Jeremy is off to ride a horse – for work.
The Hollow Crown begins on BBC Two today. Jeremy Irons appears in Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 on Saturday, July 7 and Saturday, July 14