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Jeremy Irons defends Alfred Stieglitz, applauds Joan Allen

Jeremy Irons as Alfred Stieglitz in "Georgia O'Keeffe"

Jeremy Irons as Alfred Stieglitz in "Georgia O'Keeffe"

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Jeremy Irons Defends Alfred Stieglitz, Applauds Joan Allen

The Hollywood Exclusive: Jeremy Irons Defends Alfred Stieglitz, Applauds Joan Allen

by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith

Jeremy Irons, who plays the world-renowned photographer Alfred Stieglitz in Lifetime’s Sept. 19-debuting “Georgia O’Keeffe,” comes to the defense of the man with whom O’Keefe engaged in a turbulent 20-year relationship.

The Oscar, Emmy and Tony-award-winning actor declares, “Stieglitz was difficult, but forgivable. O’Keeffe loved him until the day he died. I do think creative people like she need a partner who excites them deeply, and that person does not have to be the easiest to live with. I wonder if she would have become a great artist without him. Sometimes we need a thorn to make us realize our greatness.”

Irons continues, “Granted, Stieglitz was difficult to live with. He had a record of picking talent for his art gallery and controlling them until it got so bad, they moved on. Georgia had to go to New Mexico to get away from him, but she never stopped loving him.”

Irons has nothing but kudos for his leading lady. “Joan Allen was born to play Georgia O’Keeffe,” he says. And, he adds, the story of O’Keeffe and Stieglitz was born to be made. He just can’t understand why it took so long to make it.

“It was shopped around for about seven or eight years as a motion picture and could never find a taker,” he reveals. And then, he notes, “It was offered to HBO and they turned it down. That was a shame. It was a big mistake. I must tell you, when I saw the completed film, I was thrilled.”

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Georgia O’Keeffe trailer

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Georgia O’Keeffe movie to premiere in Santa Fe on August 28th

from Artdaily.org

Georgia O’Keeffe revisits the turbulent, 20-year relationship of O’Keeffe (Allen) and her husband, legendary photographer Alfred Stieglitz (Irons).

Joan Allen will be in attendance at the Santa Fe premiere.
Jeremy Irons is not expected to attend.

SANTA FE, NM.- Georgia O’Keeffe’s life and art continue to fascinate public imagination, as is evident with the upcoming premiere of the Sony Pictures Television original film for Lifetime, Georgia O’Keeffe, scheduled to air in September 19, 2009. Starring three-time Academy Award®, Golden Globe® and Emmy Award® nominee Joan Allen (The Contender, The Upside of Anger) and Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune, Elizabeth I), the film is directed by Academy Award nominee Bob Balaban, who produced Gosford Park, the sly poke at the British class system that so delighted movie audiences. Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cristofer wrote the script for the film. Allen, who has twice interpreted O’Keeffe’s voice in readings of her letters, serves as one of the film’s executive producers along with Emmy nominated producer Joshua D. Maurer (Introducing Dorothy Dandridge) and Alixandre Witlin (Dodson’s Journey). Tony Mark (And Starring Poncho Villa as Himself) is a producer.

Georgia O’Keeffe revisits the turbulent, 20-year relationship of O’Keeffe (Allen) and her husband, legendary photographer Alfred Stieglitz (Irons). The film explores their complex interdependence, in which O’Keeffe struggled to accommodate Stieglitz’s powerful persona while trying to establish an independent artistic path of her own. As O’Keeffe’s fame grew, she increasingly needed new inspiration for her work and in 1929 she began spending part of the year working in New Mexico, which became her permanent home in 1949. There she began to reshape her image into the one we are so familiar with today.

While Georgia O’Keeffe will have its television premiere on Lifetime in September, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum announced that the film will have its “live” premiere in Santa Fe, New Mexico on Friday, August 28, complete with red carpet, strobe lights, and stars! The Lensic Performing Arts Center will be the site of the premiere, and Joan Allen will be on hand to help the Museum celebrate. In addition to attending the film’s opening, Ms. Allen will attend an exclusive cocktail reception at the Museum for high-end ticketholders before the film is shown. Another reception will be held for the rest of the audience after the film.

Last but not least, this exciting evening will also feature (thanks to Sony Pictures Television’s generosity) a silent auction of props and other memorabilia from the movie. The auction will be opened first to ticketholders attending the early reception with Ms. Allen. Among the items available will be ones autographed by the film’s two stars, such as a canvas slip-back from one of the chairs on the movie set and two copies of the film’s script. Other items, all used in the film, will include photographs that were taken of Allen in character as O’Keeffe in the style of Stieglitz; reproductions of O’Keeffe artwork (most of them silkscreened with touches of paint or charcoal to give a realistic feel), a lasso and walking stick, and an animal skull representing the ones that O’Keeffe habitually picked up on the mesa and then painted.

The premiere of Georgia O’Keeffe and the auction of memorabilia from the film promises to lend a welcome touch of glamour to the last dregs of summer, a time when Santa Fe usually finds itself winding down.

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Jeremy attends Lifetime Networks Upfront Luncheon – photos!

Lifetime Networks Upfront Press Luncheon

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 21: Actor Jeremy Irons of the Lifetime Original Movie Georgia O’Keeffe attend Lifetime Networks’ 2009 Upfront Press Luncheon April 21, 2009 at Hearst Tower in New York City. (Photos by Thos Robinson/Getty Images)

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Georgia O’Keeffe to premiere on Lifetime September 19th

Breaking news from Lifetime Original Movies:

Lifetime Television, the leading basic cable network for original movies among women, has assembled a diverse slate of contemporary films. The Network’s 2009-10 longform schedule remains top-notch.

Upcoming Lifetime Original Movies include September 19th’sGeorgia O’Keeffe, starring three-time Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-nominee Joan Allen (The Contender) and Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winner Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune).

The Georgia O’Keeffe biopic starring Joan Allen in the title role with Jeremy Irons as O’Keefe’s long-time lover, the photographer Alfred Stieglitz, premieres Sept. 19.

Allen and Irons were in attendance at the upfront. Allen is also the executive producer on the project, which was originally optioned by HBO. The pay cabler relinquished the rights and Allen brought the project to Lifetime. She said she was grateful to HBO for giving her the rights back and to Lifetime for a quick turn-around.

“It’s a tough market for making movies,” said Allen. “It’s a tough market for making movie about women of a certain stature.”

Georgia O’Keeffe gave the production permission to film at Ghost Ranch, her former home in New Mexico. O’Keeffe also “endorsed us as being historically accurate,” said Allen, “which means a great deal to all of us.”

Irons quipped: “Despite my disappointment at not being involved in Project Runway, I am very happy to be involved in this.”