Pink Panther 2 update

Sony pictures has moved up the release of “Pink Panther 2” by one week to Feb. 6, the same frame where “Pink Panther” debuted. The New York City premiere of the film will be February 3, 2009. No official word on whether Jeremy will attend the premiere, though he will be in New York City, in rehearsals for “Impressionism” at the time.

View the trailer here:

Check out the official website here.

Jeremy’s episode of Faoi Lan Cheoil airs on Wednesday 26th

Jeremy Irons flc left

Jeremy Irons’s ambition is to perform the fiddle in public for the first time as part of the highly acclaimed Fiddle Fair Festival in Baltimore, County Cork – where Jeremy lives. Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh takes Jeremy to the Willie Clancy Summer School and Bantry House where we capture performances from the likes of Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, Breanndán Ó Beaglaíoch, Mick O’Brien, Dermie Diamond and many more.

Wednesday – 26/11 @ 10.30pm

Will of Irons – Inside Jeremy Irons West Cork castle

Will of Irons – Inside Jeremy Irons West Cork castle
By Martina Devlin
Saturday November 22 2008

Though a notoriously private man, Jeremy Irons invited Martina Devlin inside his restored West Cork castle and held nothing back on a dizzying array of topics from abortion and the Catholic Church to farming and marriage

Jeremy Irons is not quite like other people. Not because he has an instantly recognisable face and voice. Or because he lives in a medieval castle keep. Or because he casually mentions Dan (Daniel Day-Lewis) and John (Sir John Gielgud).

He is not quite like other people because there is an unconventional side to him, despite having been shoehorned into the British public school system.

Anyone who paints his castle walls peach is inevitably a little quirky.

Above all, he has an unguarded quality. Jeremy Irons has many, many opinions and out they come — whoosh! — without pausing to consider how they will play. Whether they will offend, make him look nutty or pretentious, or leak like a sieve under scrutiny.

On abortion: “It’s evil.”

On the Catholic Church: “I love its intransigence.”

On the gender of his castle: “It’s feminine. I felt hugged by it when I arrived last night.”

On the Dáil: “A lot of cronies in there.”

On the Georgian Society: “It has a painfully small membership and a reputation for being obstructive.”

On 30 years of marriage: “I take it a day at a time.”

On Irish farmers: “The land is farmed according to the grants, not a feeling of responsibility to what the land needs.”

On modern Ireland: “I’m saddened by how everyone is chasing worldly goods and the churches are empty.”

And that’s the tip of the iceberg.

“Sinéad is always telling me to be more careful about what I say. I just come out with things — I don’t try and censor myself,” he admits.

It is unusual to encounter someone in the public domain expressing opinions so freely on the record. But he will back down in a surprisingly humble way if you challenge him. Perhaps he has a diplomatic streak, or it could be a dislike of confrontation?

Jeremy Irons is an actor who has been famous and bankable on an international scale since the Brideshead Revisited days 27 years ago. He is presumably accustomed to entourages.

When we meet, however, there is no sign of the phalanx of PAs and PRs you normally encounter. Just Jeremy. Answering the door himself, making the coffee himself, taking pleasure in the way our jaws dropped — and stayed slack — at the magnificence of the setting.

The venue is his 15th-century castle keep in West Cork, a McCarthy stronghold built in 1458 which had been sinking into ruin since its fall in 1603. He took it on 12 years ago and renovated it, a labour of love which absorbed six years and the proceeds of several films. But he mentions, with some pride, how the director Hugh Hudson told him it was worth 20 films.

Kilcoe Castle is near Ballydehob, and only someone who enjoys isolation and the odd wallow would be comfortable living there. While it is remote, it is a location of breathtaking beauty. The twin towers of the castle rear 100ft into the skyline, perched on an outcrop of land overlooking Roaring Water Bay.

Irons sails there, and a covered boat is lying in the bailey of the castle as we arrive. Nearby is parked a modest, seven-year-old Audi, which he later hops into and drives at lightning speed along the maze-like side roads.

We cross water and press a buzzer at an imposing outer gate. A familiar voice crackles through the intercom and the gate swings open. We enter a courtyard, step outside the car — and are almost blown away by the force of the gale. There is no shelter from the elements.

Another gate opens, and a head pops out. It’s wearing little round spectacles, as though we interrupted him reading. Jeremy Irons appears in slippers decorated with a little skull on each one.

We follow him into an inner courtyard and he gestures for us to precede him up the steps of a tower. Easier said than done. You almost need to be winched up the vertical incline of the heavy stone staircase. He mentions that there are slits at the base of each step for spears to be poked out at intruders. Unwelcome guests had to fight their way up this tower, step by step.

Huffing and puffing, we enter a vast room. A room so striking you pause and look around, with so much to take in that your eye hardly knows where to settle.

You could fit a two-storey house into this room. A wooden minstrel’s gallery runs along the top, while the floor is covered in patterned north-African rugs. The sound system plays blue grass, while a joss stick burns on a side table alongside a 20-year-old photograph of Jeremy with his wife Sinéad Cusack and their sons Sam and Max, now grown-up.

“It’s a jazz riff on the medieval,” is how he describes the restoration.

A life-size wooden stallion stands in one corner — “every castle needs a horse” — while a sword is propped against a wall. Ridley Scott gave it to him as a memento from their Crusades film, Kingdom of Heaven.

It is an unexpectedly snug room. We know the wind is howling outside, we can see how choppy the sea is from slit-like windows more suited to firing arrows than admiring the view. But only music breaks the stillness.

Jeremy says the reason is that the walls range between three feet and seven-feet thick. He sleeps at the summit of the tower — essentially seven rooms piled on top of each other: “It’s wonderful to hear the wind howling when you’re in bed at night. But that’s the only room you hear it in.”

Like any anxious home owner, he remarks on how relieved he is that it stayed leak-free during recent rain storms.

It is informal and easy, sitting here with him. He removes his spectacles, kicks off his slippers and rolls a cigarillo, the first of many. There is no wedding band on his left hand, but he wears a signet ring on the little finger. A silver bangle glints on his wrist.

He lights up and the opinions come thick and fast. Here he is on the lines on Sinéad’s face. They have been married for 30 years, incidentally, yet he pronounces her name in an odd way: ‘shin-add’.

“Sinéad has grown more beautiful as she has grown older,” he announces.

Oh dear. It’s generally a bad sign when men come out with that.

But he goes on: “As a person, she has become easier and wiser. She was very pretty when she was young, but she was complicated. She has grown easier in her skin as she has grown older and that shows in her face.

“I think it’s a more interesting face now than when I first met her. It has lines, which I like. In LA, I find so many people who have nipped and tucked and their faces have lost all semblance of humanity. Your face has to show what it has lived through.”

Jeremy takes his marriage “a day at a time” and erupts into laughter at the reminder that this is the AA slogan. As far as he is concerned, the best thing about being married for so long is all the shared history. “You could never know that again with someone else.”

Fiddle music

Jeremy Irons was born 60 years ago in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, the son of a tax consultant. He boarded at Sherborne public school, where a teacher suggested he join the armed forces — a career path he declined to follow.

Instead, he starred alongside David Essex in the musical Godspell and made the seminal Brideshead Revisited TV series (he has no curiosity about seeing the new film version).

He went on to appear in a raft of films, from The Mission to The French Lieutenant’s Woman to Lolita. Reversal of Fortune bagged him an Oscar. The Lion King brought him a younger audience.

TG4 and his love of fiddle music are the reason Jeremy has agreed to the interview — he learned to play traditional fiddle for the Faoi Lán Cheoil series, in which personalities attempt to master a traditional musical instrument. The experiment culminates in a live performance.

Established fiddler Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh tutored him over a six-month period, including flying out to film sets for lessons. The two of them would sit in his trailer, practising his diddly-eyes between takes.

Jeremy puts his stripy-stockinged feet on the coffee table and is at his most animated when talking about fiddle playing, and how he feels the music connects to some wellspring of Irish identity.

He wanted to learn the fiddle to take part in impromptu sessions in the pubs dotted around this nook of south-west Ireland.

He has had a home here for 20 years and is genuine in his desire to integrate into the community, although mistaken when he says that he can be anonymous in West Cork. That face is never nameless. That woody voice never goes unidentified.

If Jeremy is left alone, it is because of the instinctive Irish reluctance to let anybody think they are important enough to be recognised. Yet here is a man who could live anywhere — and he is happier in a medieval castle in wet and windy Munster than in a Beverly Hills hacienda or a New York penthouse. And this castle, which was derelict, has been reclaimed as a home.

“My desire here is to place myself in the community,” he says. “I do it in many ways. I sail here, I’m a joint master of the hunt, I had a station mass in the castle last year and 65 people came; we partied afterwards until all hours.

“The community is extraordinary. People live apart, but come together for births, marriages and deaths. I really respect that.”

He describes English society as fragmented, and responds to the sense of community here: “I felt I had come home when I first came here 20 years ago. I know a lot of English and Europeans feel the same about Ireland, but not all of them last the course. Some find they can’t take the weather or the lack of a real work ethic — people here work to live, not live to work — but I love it.”

Jeremy does not look his age, partly because he moves in a nimble way (he does yoga, “although not as much as Sinéad — she’s brilliant”). When he smiles, his teeth are stained from all the roll-ups, and it is interesting he has chosen not to take the mainstream Hollywood route of whitening.

He returns often to a discussion of Catholicism, which seems to fascinate him. He had the local priest in to bless the castle when work began. It’s not that he believed it was haunted, he just thought it sensible to lay to rest any uneasy spirits in view of the fact that men were on scaffolding 100 feet above ground. He has never felt any spectral aura, although a guest spoke of “a sad female presence”.

I point out that a castle would have witnessed so much pillaging and marauding, it should be inundated with sad female — and male — presences. And he laughs along good-naturedly.

But back to the Catholic Church. “It has gone through a difficult time, with the reputation of some of its priests in tatters, but everyone is tarred with the same brush. I’m saddened by that. The difficulty was the church held such power and absolute authority,” he says.

“The great thing about the Catholic faith is that it’s unwavering. If you take the Pope’s stance on abortion, it’s the only one that’s been constant within western religions.

“Others have said abortion is allowed — it’s not an evil. You only have to abort a child to see what it does to a woman’s spirit. You can never say it’s right. Sometimes abortion is the lesser of two evils, but you can never say it is not an evil.

“If you stop saying that, where do you draw the line?” he continues. “Do you say because a family has a lot of children that there are too many and it’s all right to kill one? We have to accept that there is a difference between right and wrong.”

When asked if he would consider becoming a Catholic, he insists he is “not a club man”. He was brought up Church of England, but regards himself less specifically as Christian.

“I know I’m a blow-in,” he answers, on the question of whether this castle and community are home. He has homes elsewhere, including in Oxfordshire. And Sinéad has an “artisan’s cottage” in Dublin city centre.

She has a son in Dublin, the aspiring politician Richard Boyd Barrett, whom she gave up for adoption 40 years ago. They were reunited several years ago. It certainly puts Jeremy Irons’ views on abortion into context.

“It’s wonderful for Sinéad, who has always been political, to discover that the son she has re-met has very much her instincts. I see her in him. She’s been married to a man who is apolitical so now it’s lovely for her to have someone to talk politics with,” he says.

“We talk a lot about politics when Richard is about. He was only 120 votes off getting into the Dáil [in the general election last year]. Not bad for a Marxist. It would be great fun to see a Marxist in the Dáil.

“What’s needed are well-educated people with convictions. If, in any way, a little bit of his attitudes rubbed off, it would be a positive thing for the country.”

When it’s suggested he must be a lively addition to Irons’ family, Jeremy says: “He has his own family — he is not really part of my family.” But he adds: “I’m very proud of him. But I’m not a Marxist. We would have disagreements.”

Jeremy is mannerly. He offers tea or coffee several times, and when we finally accept, he leads us into the kitchen. It’s a comparatively small room on a half-return, with an empty dog basket under the window.

The dogs are in Oxfordshire: he is only in Kilcoe for three days, and due shortly to fly to Santa Fe to make a film with Joan Allen. She plays the modernist painter Georgia O’Keeffe and he is cast as her photographer husband, Alfred Stieglitz, instrumental in having photography recognised as an art form.

Jeremy makes the coffee himself, with Bewley’s ground coffee. Imran Khan tried to make me tea once and hadn’t a clue which cupboard to find the mugs in, or where the tea bags might be. We gave up in the end. But Jeremy knows his way around his own kitchen.

He takes organic milk from the fridge, insisting it’s the only kind to use. Local oatmeal biscuits are set in their packet on the table, alongside pottery mugs.

Looking at him move from kettle to cupboard, you can see he is extraordinarily thin with narrow hips and shoulders. He cuts an elegant figure, even in a zipped jumper chosen for warmth rather than style.

Why is he so drawn to Ireland? He surmises it’s to do with an inherent wildness in the people and landscape. The spirituality matters too.

“I have a little bit of Irish in me, but I come from a very solid Anglo-Saxon background,” he says. “But I have a side that’s very anarchic, wanting to live beyond the rules. I was brought up in a very strict way with the public school method of training people to run an empire that no longer exists. I had a reluctance to toe the line.”

On our way out, we pass some buoys in his yard painted a variety of pastel shades, instead of the usual orange. I jokingly wonder if they were testers for the castle walls — the peach hue is a controversial choice. He laughs and admits his neighbour, when invited to reveal which colour he would have chosen to paint it, plumped for grey.

But Jeremy Irons feels a splash of Mediterranean brightness adds some verve to the landscape. A bit like the man himself.

Jeremy Irons features in Faoi Lán Cheoil on TG4 on Wednesday, November 26 at 10.30pm with a repeat next Saturday at 8.10pm

– Martina Devlin

Shopping with Jeremy…

Bread basket: Actor Jeremy Irons spotted in the bread aisle with a loaf of what appeared to be sourdough at Whole Foods last Sunday. He was filling a large basket with groceries. Irons is in town to film the Lifetime Georgia O’Keeffe movie, also starring Joan Allen.

from the Santa Fe New Mexican

Impressionism to play the Schoenfeld Theatre

Impressionism, with Irons and Allen, to Play the Schoenfeld Theatre

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By Andrew Gans
November 19, 2008

As previously announced, Tony Award winners Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen will return to Broadway in 2009 in the world premiere of Michael Jacobs’ Impressionism.

Tony winner Jack O’Brien will direct the production, which will begin previews Feb. 28, 2009, at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, according to The New York Times. Opening night is scheduled for March 12. Additional casting and creative team will be announced at a later date.

The Schoenfeld, located at 236 West 45th Street, is currently the home of the revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, which will end its limited engagement Jan. 11, 2009.

Ostar Productions will produce Impressionism, which, press notes state, “is the story of a world traveling photojournalist and a New York gallery owner who discover each other and also that there might be an art to repairing broken lives.”

Playwright Jacobs is also the author of Cheaters, which was produced on Broadway in 1978 at the Biltmore Theatre; and Getting Along Famously, which was produced Off-Broadway at the Hudson Guild Theatre. His 15 television series have won the Emmy, People’s Choice, Parent’s Choice and Environmental Media Awards, among others.

Joan Allen won a Tony Award for her performance in Lanford Wilson’s Burn This, and she was also Tony-nominated for her work in The Heidi Chronicles. Allen has been nominated for three Academy Awards: for “The Contender,” “The Crucible” and “Nixon.”

Jeremy Irons won a Tony Award for his performance in the original Broadway production of The Real Thing. The English actor also won Academy and Golden Globe awards for his work in the 1990 film “Reversal of Fortune.” Irons was also Golden-Globe nominated for “The Mission” and “Brideshead Revisited.” Among his London stage credits are Embers and The Rover.

Theatre Information:
236 West 45th Street
New York, NY 10036

Box Office: Tele-charge: (212) 239-6200, (800) 432-7250.

Additional cast announced for “O’Keeffe” biopic


Four more join O’Keeffe story

Ed Begley Jr., Tyne Daly among actors in biopic

By Kimberly Nordyke

Nov 19, 2008, 12:00 AM ET

Ed Begley Jr., Tyne Daly, Linda Emond and Henry Simmons have been cast opposite Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons in the Lifetime original biopic “Georgia O’Keeffe.”

“O’Keeffe,” from Sony Pictures TV, will follow the 20-year love affair between the American artist (Allen) and photographer Alfred Stieglitz (Irons).

Begley plays Alfred’s brother, Lee, a doctor who examines Georgia after she faints and years later when she suffers a breakdown.

Daly is set as artist Mabel Dodge Stern, a friend of Georgia’s who lives in New Mexico.

Emond plays Georgia’s friend Beck, with whom she travels on her life-changing trip to New Mexico.

Simmons portrays writer Jean Toomer, with whom she has an affair later in her life.

Bob Balaban is directing the movie, set to premiere in third-quarter 2009.

Jeremy Irons “just showed up”

Last fall, British actor Jeremy Irons “just showed up” and was filmed sitting on the Classical Gas Museum porch playing the Irish fiddle as part of a documentary for a TV station in Ireland.

Read the entire article here


Jeremy Irons is guest of honour at fund-raiser

Remembering at West Hill Park

Readers from left to right: Tom Bradby ITN political correspondent, Commander Iain Lower RN, Edward Hudson Headmaster, General Sir Mike Jackson, Richard Todd OBE, Yolanta Volak-Latter, Jeremy Irons, Canon Philip Morgan

On Saturday 1st November 2008 a concert of Remembrance took place at West Hill Park School in Titchfield. The programme comprised of words and music drawn from the First World War to the present day. The concert was in aid of The Army Benevolent Fund, The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust, and Help for Heroes. Over £35,000 was raised through a combination of corporate sponsors, and generous donations. Corporate sponsors included Chemring PLC, who are based locally, Tesco, Forte Trust and PA Consulting.

The actor Jeremy Irons very kindly agreed to be Master of Ceremonies and readers included Lord Salisbury, Richard Todd OBE, Field Marshall The Lord Inge, General Sir Mike Jackson, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles Ambassador to Kabul, ITN Political CorrespondentTom Bradby and the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Jonathon Band.

The music was provided by The Clifton Singers, a locally based singing group, directed by Kate Morgan. There were some powerfully moving moments both in the readings and in the more serious music, particularly The Fallen, by Mark Bletchley. However, two medleys of songs from World War 1I and World War 2 provided some lighter notes and a powerful contrast between life at home and life in the trenches.

Hollywood star is guest of honour at fund-raiser

Words and music drawn from two world wars provided a memorable evening as actors and servicemen came together for a concert.
Actor Jeremy Irons took up the role of master of ceremonies at West Hill Park School in Titchfield for the concert in aid of The Army Benevolent Fund, The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust, and Help for Heroes.

Readers included the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, former head of the Army, General Sir Mike Jackson, D-Day veteran and Dam Busters actor Richard Todd and ITN political editor Tom Bradbury.

Edward Hudson, headteacher of West Hill, said: ‘The readings from First World War and Second World War poetry were very moving. Most people will remember the vivid recount of veteran Richard Todd, a celluloid and real-life hero, when he captured the Pegasus bridge on D-Day.

‘The audience were hugely impressed with Jeremy Irons’ reading of Kipling’s poem Tommy and the Clifton Singers were memorable.

‘Lord David Poole worked hard to get people there or to give a donation. I’d also like to thank Chris Carey, a parent, who provided the lighting and sound effects. The evening would have seemed ordinary without them.’

More than £35,000 was raised through a combination of donations and sponsors including defence company Chemring PLC, Tesco, Forte Trust and PA Consulting.

New additions to Sam Irons’s website

Check out for new additions of his photography.  Here are some samples:

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Jeremy attends Ilen boat restoration project

project_team Find out more about the project at

from The Southern Star Newspaper – Co. Cork

‘Ilen’ restoration project begins at Oldcourt

By Jackie Keogh

Saturday November 15th, 2008

Film producer, Lord David Putnam, and award-winning actor, Jeremy Irons, were among the group who turned up at Hegarty’s Boatyard to see work commence on the re-fitting of the Ilen ketch. Also included are Eoin MacMahon, Ross Kelly, Christopher Meehan, Pat McCormac, Justin McDonagh, Paul Keane, Anthony Keane, Mary O’Driscoll, Kieran Clancy, Donal O’Sullivan, Liam Hegarty, Fachtna O’Sullivan, Mary Jordan, Diarmuid Murphy, Colm O’Cuileanain, Pat Tanner. (Photo: Eoghan Daly)

A unique boat renewal project has got under way in Hegarty’s Boatyard at Oldcourt.

Ireland’s last coastal trading vessel in existence, the Ilen, is being refitted in a series of week-long workshops under the expert guidance of Mr. Liam Hegarty, his brother, Mr. John Hegarty and Mr. Fachtna O’Sullivan, three of the few remaining traditional shipwrights in Ireland today.

The Ilen was originally commissioned by Limerick man Mr. Conor O’Brien, and was built by the Fisheries School in Baltimore – Ireland’s first vocational school – in the mid-1920s.

When the boat was launched in 1926, Mr. O’Brien together with two Cadogan brothers from Cape Clear Island sailed her to the Falkland Islands, where it was delivered to the Falkland Island Company for inter-island trading.

For the next seventy years, it served in the seas of the South Atlantic until the mid-1990s when another Limerick man, Mr. Gary McMahon found it abandoned on one of the islands.


There was great excitement when he sailed the Ilen ketch back into Baltimore in 1998.  The refitting of this eighty-two year old vessel is now being used as an opportunity for people to experience first-hand the skills of wooden boat building.

An enthusiastic supporter of the project, Ms. Mary Jordan of Baltimore, explained to The Southern Star that each of the ten people participating in the workshop will “understand how our traditional wooden boats were built and acquire some of the skills involved.”

The first workshop, on Monday, November 3 last, began with a talk entitled “Tree to Sea” by Br. Anthony Keane, forester of Glenstal Abbey, on the type of timber used in boat building.  The talk was followed by an introduction to wooden boat construction by Mr. Liam Hegarty and Mr. Gary McMahon.

The five working days, according to Ms. Jordan, “are designed and structured to inform the participants on all aspects of traditional boat construction, examining each piece of timber in the hull, frames and floor, taking patterns, shaping moulds, preparing timber for refitting.”

Each day, the participants had a defined objective to learn one aspect of the traditional boat building skills. One of their first tasks was to remove the cover sheets of copper and felt, which were used to protect the wooden hull from attack by the treado worms that live in the waters of the South Atlantic.

The workshop has attracted widespread interest and the ten spaces on the first course were quickly filled.   The participants included Bro. Anthony Keane from Glenstal Abbey; two young men from Limerick, who were sponsored by the Moyross Rejuvenation Project; and local participants, Mr. Diarmuid Murphy of the Bantry Long Boat Project, Ms. Mary O’Driscoll, Crookhaven, and Mr. Colm O Cuileanain of Baltimore.

the sole

According to the project leader, Mr. Gary McMahon: “The Ilen is the sole surviving example of our once thriving maritime culture.

“Thanks to Hegarty’s Boatyard, and the ten people participating in the workshop, we are taking the first steps on the long road of returning the Ilen to its former sailing glory.”

Mr. McMahon also expressed the hope that the Ilen could become part of “a new era of sustainable development by demonstrating that trading under sail is still viable.”

Further five-day workshops are planned for next year.  People from all over Ireland have helped fund the re-fitting project through donations that have been sent to the AK Ilen Company, which is a registered non-profit company.

The participants in the workshops have also raised funds for the programme of works. More information about the project can be obtained on

Anyone interested in making a donation, or joining one of workshops over the next two years, can e-mail or phone Mr. Gary McMahon on 086 2640479.