Jeremy Irons to Open Isle of Wight Digital Literary Festival

Text via onthewight.com

The Red Funnel Isle of Wight Digital Literary Festival is delighted to announce that the Cowes born, multi-award-winning actor Jeremy Irons will be opening the digital festival on Friday 9th October at 7pm.

Irons will read Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem The Hunting of the Snark (An Agony in Eight Fits).

Boojum and Snark
Irons’ reading brings Carroll’s enigmatic nonsense poem to life. The Hunting of the Snark describes the voyage of a bizarre crew of nine tradesmen and a beaver on their quest for the elusive and mysterious Snark, who lives in the sea and might be a dangerous, deadly Boojum.

The poem is a backward one with Carroll writing the last line of the poem first. Written in 1874 while caring for his sick cousin and godson the finished poem wasn’t published until 1876.

The Hunting of the Snark has been chosen for its Island connection:  the book is dedicated to Gertrude Chataway and opens with a poem that uses her name as a double acrostic. Carroll met the nine-year-old Gertrude on the beach in Sandown in 1875.

Esteemed career in the The Arts
Irons has a rich and much-lauded career in theatre, film and television. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1990 for his performance as Claus von Bulow in Reversal of Fortune.  

He was awarded Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe and Emmy for his role in the television miniseries  Elizabeth I (2005) alongside Helen Mirren. He went on to play Pope Alexander in the Showtime historical series The Borgias (2011), and portrayed Henry IV in the BBC Two series The Hollow Crown opposite Tom Hiddleston. 

Irons may be best known for his role as Charles Ryder in the cult TV series Brideshead Revisited (1981). Most recently he starred alongside Regina King in the HBO series WATCHMEN, the revamp led by Damon Lindelof.

Free digital festival

  • Decide the talks you want to see – check out the programme
  • Take a note of the day and the time of each talk. It’s free; you don’t need to register, book a ticket or reserve a seat
  • A few minutes before the talk go to the Literary Festival Website
  • Follow the link on the homepage to Watch the 2020 Digital Festival

Ankers: Can think of no better person to open our festival
Maggie Ankers, chair of the Red Funnel Isle of Wight Literary Festival, said,

“We can think of no better person to open our digital literary festival than the much respected actor Jeremy Irons.

“Jeremy’s connection to the Island and those of Carroll’s poem are a great start to a literary weekend that offers something for everyone.”


News shared by Janet on behalf of the Isle of Wight Literary Festival. Ed

Jeremy Irons – The Wight Proms

Jeremy Irons sends a message, in support of the NHS, for The Wight Proms: Stay at Home Gala.

Jeremy Irons Attends His School Reunion

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Justice League and Die Hard star Jeremy Irons heads to Isle of Wight for school reunion

By Imogen Tew

STAR of Die Hard with a Vengeance, Justice League and Batman vs Superman, actor and Island born Jeremy Irons met with old school friends at the first ever reunion for former pupils from Little Appley Prep School.

One of the Island’s three Oscar winners and originally from Cowes, Mr Irons attended the event with his dog, Smudge, at the old school site, now Appley Manor Hotel, where 54 ex-students spent the afternoon reminiscing over old photographs and memorabilia.

Among the gathering was also Anthony Mitcheson, whose father was joint headmaster at the school, Robert Eldridge, son of Jim Eldridge at Eldridge Solicitors, and Colin Boswell who owns The Garlic Farm.

Attendees said it was fitting the reunion it was held at the old school site and agreed to another gathering in a couple of years time.

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Jeremy Irons with the staff at Appley Manor Hotel. Photo by Jessica Dobbs photography.

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Jeremy Irons – photo by Jessica Dobbs Photography

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The 1960 school photo from Little Appley School. Jeremy Irons is circled.

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Jeremy Irons with Colin Boswell, owner of The Garlic Farm. Photo by Jessica Dobbs photography.

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Jeremy Irons on ‘5 Para a Meia-Noite’

Jeremy Irons was on the Portuguese television programme “5 Para a Meia-Noite” on 26 March 2013. Jeremy was presented with a bottle of port from 1948, the year he was born. Also on the programme was his Night Train to Lisbon co-star Nicolau Breyner.

Watch the video of the programme HERE.

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Q + LA Jeremy Irons – LA Times Magazine

Q + LA – Jeremy Irons – LA Times Magazine – Read original article here.

Q+LA Jeremy Irons

The actor brings his consummate skills to bear on stage and screens large and small—and still, it’s the velvety voice that resonates  by Robin Sayers

photo by ANDREW MACPHERSON

Of course Jeremy Irons makes his own cigarettes. He keeps in his pocket a two-sided leather pouch. One half holds the tobacco, the other those dark brown rolling papers favored by the Brits. He is unrepentant about what most everyone labels a vice. In March of 1987, despite her admonishments, he famously puffed away while sitting next to Princess Diana at a charity gala on the U.K.’s National No Smoking Day.

He’s chimney-esque. It’s why we’re sitting outside, mid February in New York City, when the forecast calls for rain. But Irons has the most exquisite vocal cords, and perhaps tar and nicotine are the elements of his phonetical magic. To beat a dead horse here: Up close and in person, his pipes are almost unnerving, having an effect not unlike the enveloping THX surround-sound promo that’s played before movies start.

Irons downplays his golden larynx with a proper Englishman’s manners, but everyone else has taken notice. He’s frequently called upon to narrate spoken-word recordings and documentaries, most recently The Last Lions from National Geographic, about the big cats in Botswana. (Familiar sonantal territory—who can forget his terrifying turn as Scar in The Lion King?) This month, that voice—and the body that houses it—stars in The Borgias, Showtime’s new drama series about a Spanish cardinal who ascended to the Papacy by decidedly Machiavellian means. Let’s hear it for the silver-tongued cads.

What drew you to The Borgias?
Neil Jordan, because he’s a director and writer I admire, and I was aware that a lot of the best writing and filming was happening on American television. [Also] the Borgias [1492–1503] is a very interesting period.

How far from history does the show veer?
Not that far. It’s difficult to get accurate historical information from that time, but there was a huge amount of wild stories about [Pope Alexander VI].

Are you anticipating flack from the Catholic Church?
Obviously they’re nervous, but I hope it’ll be rather like if Queen Elizabeth went to see a production of Richard III. She wouldn’t say, “This is absolutely disgraceful.” She’d think it was historical, and I hope the Pope and the Vatican hierarchy take that attitude. It’s partly about how all power corrupts. That hasn’t changed.

What age were you when you thought, I want to make acting my life’s work?
Very late. Something stirred in me when I saw Lawrence of Arabia and saw what Peter O’Toole did in that. I thought, I’d love to be involved in that sort of thing, but I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be.

So, you were born on an island off an island off an island?
The village where I was born wasn’t actually an island, but it was always known as the Isle of Geese, within a harbor on the Isle of Wight [off the southern coast of England]. I learned to sail when I was 10. I have a little boat of my own, and I did part of the round-the-world race—from New Zealand to Australia.

In Reversal of Fortune, we see your Claus von Bülow character on a boat. Do you ever run into him in London?
Sometimes, but I didn’t meet him until about four years after the movie. I knew he wouldn’t tell me anything I didn’t already instinctively know. I couldn’t ask whether he tried to kill his wife. I think I know the answer, and that’s how I played it in the film. He’s funny. We met at a cricket match at Paul Getty’s, who was a mutual friend.

Did you know ahead of time that he’d be there?
No, I arrived, and Paul said, “Claus is in the house looking around the library. I know you’ve never wanted to meet him, and so I won’t mind if you skedaddle off.” And I said, “Well, I’d quite like to meet him now.” I was sitting watching the cricket, and I heard this voice behind me saying, “You see—I’m not fat!” I turned round and said, “I never said you were fat. I used to do interviews, and I said you were bigger than me. Well, you’re a bigger man than me.” He said, “Do you hear from Alan Dershowitz?” and I said, “No, actually. Since the movie I haven’t heard from him.” And so [von Bülow said], “I understand he’s representing Michael Tyson and Leona Helmsley.” I said, “Yeah, I read about it.” [He replied,] “You haven’t been asked to play either of them, have you?” And I said, “I thought Mike Tyson might be beyond my range, but I’d have a crack at Leona.”.

I would think it’d be weird to be face-to-face with someone you’ve portrayed onscreen.
Quite. Originally I didn’t want to do Reversal of Fortune. I thought it was a bit tasteless. [Sunny von Bülow] was in a coma, the kids were still about, and I thought, Why rake over these coals? It won’t be much fun for them. But Glenn [Close] persuaded me. She said, “If you don’t, someone else will.”

What makes you nervous?
I get slightly nervous when I don’t find work that really tests me or when I’m riding horses or I have to change my routine. It gets harder as you get older to learn lines, and sometimes I get nervous I’ll forget them. Not seriously so. A little adrenaline is good, but nerves tend to defeat what you’re trying to do.

When did you first set foot in Los Angeles, and what were your initial impressions?
I had just made The French Lieutenant’s Woman. I stayed at the Chateau [Marmont] and had a meeting with Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner about some project. It was all very nice. Of course, nothing came of anything. A lot of fat is chewed in L.A. I wasn’t seduced. I was a bit excited about meeting famous people for a while, and there are some nice people there, but I knew I never wanted to live over the shop.

Has anyone ever rendered you starstruck?
Yeah. I was doing The Real Thing at the Plymouth [on Broadway]. There was a knock, and a voice said, “Mr. Irons.” I looked, and it was Paul Newman. He blew me away.

When you won the Best Actor Oscar for Reversal of Fortune, you thanked your Dead Ringers director David Cronenberg and said, “Some of you may understand why.” Tell me what you meant by that.
I’d made that film the year before, which got a lot of feedback in Hollywood [with people] saying, “It’s outrageous that you’re not nominated.” I was playing twin gynecologists, and it was quite eye-catching but not Oscar subject matter. But without that movie…This is why I thanked David Cronenberg.

Did the twins of the movie really die together, both from barbiturate withdrawal?
I don’t know whether it was cold turkey or…The problem is if you’re doing cold turkey and you take more drugs, you’re in trouble. They were found naked in their flat, just wearing socks.

When you were walking up to accept your Oscar, you stopped and kissed Madonna, who was sitting front row with Michael Jackson during their famous 1991 Oscar date.
I would have stopped to kiss to anybody!

Are you two chummy?
No! But at that moment, I nearly kissed Michael Jackson.

Can you enjoy a Jeremy Irons film the way the rest of us can?
It takes me about 20 years. I saw The Mission about 20 years after I made it, and I was able to see it quite dispassionately and see the guy on the screen. I thought, He looks a bit like my son. Who’s that?

You’ve had the same people in your inner circle for decades.
I like longevity. You get to know people, their ups and their downs, their goods and their bads. I’ve always thought the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.

You’re known for having one of the greatest voices in the world. What is your favorite word to say?
Crepuscular. The crepuscular hour is when the sun dips. In movie terms, you call it the magic hour. I also like excellent. Excellent is a word I use because it’s very encouraging, and I learned long ago that when anybody came up with an idea I would say, “Excellent.”

But what if the person’s idea is actually horrible?
Well, you just don’t do it.

Stylist: Brandon Palas
Groomer: Helen Jeffers
Shirt: Ann Demeulemeester