Jeremy Irons at the AARP Movies for Grownups Awards Gala

Jeremy Irons presented the Best Picture Award for The Theory of Everything to actors Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, on Monday 2 February 2015, at the AARP Movies for Grownups Awards Gala. The ceremony was held at the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills.

Video from Getty Images of Jeremy on the Red Carpet

Excerpt from Starry Night: The Movies for Grownups Awards

Legendary British actor Jeremy Irons held the audience transfixed as he paid tribute to Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, stars of this year’s Best Movie for Grownups, The Theory of Everything. In it Redmayne plays astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, while Jones plays his long-suffering first wife, Jane Wilde.

“Together,” Irons told the hushed audience, “they create cinematic gold dust in their heartrending portrait of a couple who were forced to grow up before their time.”

From Jeremy’s speech:

“But why should this story which, for most of its length, is about young love, earn the highest accolade from AARP Movies for Grownups? Perhaps because, in The Theory of Everything, director James Marsh connects with our mature knowledge… and charts the course of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking falling victim to Lou Gehrig’s disease, while his fiercely devoted wife Jane comes to terms with her place in his universe. Such an emotional story is hard to tell without falling into the myriad cliché’d traps that lie in wait for the film maker. And the strength of Mr Marsh’s work is that he draws from Eddie Redmayne as Hawking, a performance of a man whose mind leaps light years as his body shrivels, that is sometimes funny, always true, and finally deeply moving. And as his long suffering wife, Felicity Jones offers us a performance of rigorous and searing honesty. Together they create cinematic gold dust in their heart rending portrait of a couple who were forced to grow up before their time.”

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Conversation: Uncovering the Bard with Jeremy Irons

View the original blog posting HERE.

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“Shakespeare Uncovered: Henry IV & Henry V with Jeremy Irons” airs Friday at 10 p.m. ET. Check your local listings.

JEFFREY BROWN: Welcome again to Art Beat. I’m Jeffrey Brown. Now on PBS, a series titled “Shakespeare Uncovered,” six films telling the stories behind some of the Bard’s greatest plays. The series is hosted by some pretty hefty talent, including Ethan Hawke, Derek Jacobi, Trevor Nunn and Jeremy Irons, certainly one of our great actors of time, from when many us first met him on “Brideshead Revisited” — also on PBS, by the way — up to currently “The Borgias,” with many film and stage performances in between and many no doubt more on the way. Jeremy Irons joins us now by phone from Los Angeles, and welcome to you.

JEREMY IRONS: Hello, nice to talk to you.

JEFFREY BROWN: Your involvement in this series came about in part because you were playing Henry.

JEREMY IRONS: Yes, the director got in touch with me, Richard Denton, saying, ‘I want to make a documentary about the Henrys — Henry IV, I and II and Henry V.’ I was rather intrigued, a little confused because I had been involved the films of Henry IV, parts one and two, which go out, I think, in September. For me Henry IV was very personal at that time. I was living the character, and the documentary would involve me watching and commenting on other performances that have been recorded in the past.

JEFFREY BROWN: So you were right into this question, because these films on PBS are really about the story behind the story, the characters. What drew you to wanting to play Henry?

JEREMY IRONS: It’s very interesting, because on stage it’s not a part I would have been attracted to, but in order to put them into two hours of film you have do some judicious cutting, and if an experienced director does that — Richard Eyre used to run the National Theatre in London and he’s a very experienced man in Shakespeare. He had done a wonderful cut, which I think advantaged the character of Henry IV, who normally on the stage you aren’t able as an audience to get inside his predicament in quite the same way that you can on film, having the camera coming close to you so that you can communicate in a much more complicated way than you can often on the stage, where you’re often stuck in the back on a throne having to speak a lot more dialog than is in the film, often describing what we can show in the film because we can go onto location as we did.

JEFFREY BROWN: And that character, the father, is a little more distant than the son, right? The son is up front and sort of in our face all the time.

JEREMY IRONS: That’s right. Although it’s about kings and princes, it’s actually quite a domestic play. It’s a play about a young man growing up — Prince Hal — about his friends who are quite a little bit degenerate, Falstaff, a sort of heavy drinking, heavy whoring aristocrat who spends most of his time in the pub with some pretty dissolute friends, and the young man being attracted to that sort of wildness even though he’s going to have to become king when his father dies, and his father watching this with growing depression, with growing upset. The play really is about a young man developing and the relationship with his father and with his friends. In the play you tend to concentrate on Hal and Falstaff, who are the brightest characters. The father, the king, is this sort of boring old chap who mutters on and wants him to be a better son, but you don’t get inside the intricacies of the father’s mind in quite the same way. I think on film it was a much more attractive character for me to play than it would have been on stage.

JEFFREY BROWN: What’s the key to getting right, or where do people often go wrong in trying to capture Shakespeare?

JEREMY IRONS: I think you’ve got to have a facility with the language. You’ve got to know the language and be used to speaking it in such way that it can almost sound colloquial to an audience. You’ve got to get inside that to find out where the character is, what he’s feeling, because that’s what you want to transmit to the audience through the words. I think often the words in a way get in the way, whereas they should enlarge the understanding for the audience, but sometimes they just put them off. I suppose as an actor what you do is you look at the text rather like you might look at crossword clues to find out what those clues tell you about the truth of how the person is feeling. So it probably needs more research, more work before you perform than some writers.

JEFFREY BROWN: One of the things that comes through in that film is that the idea of the theater as a place where people got their history and their news of the day, even though these plays weren’t necessarily all that accurate.

JEREMY IRONS: Yeah, it was the way certainly to transmit ideas, and Shakespeare is often more interested in transmitting emotions and ideas and often domestic situations, relationships, emotional relationships. A classic example is “Antony and Cleopatra,” which is set in Egypt with the great Antony, the great Roman general, the queen of the Nile Cleopatra, but it’s not really about that. It’s about a failing and fading relationship between two older people. That’s really what it’s about, but set against this rather romantic and glorious and historical background. What, of course, the documentaries do is to open up and I hope demystify for the audience these plays, to show them what Shakespeare was drawing on, the situation that existed when the plays were first played, and what people cared about, why he was writing them, where his source material was coming from. I think so many people met Shakespeare at school where maybe it was taught rather badly —

JEFFREY BROWN: Forced on them, right?

JEREMY IRONS: Forced on them, that’s right. And they have a bit of a block about it. And what we hoped that “Shakespeare Uncovered” would do is to remove that block, to open it, to open the windows, let the air into these plays, so that when they came to see them later in the year — when I hope maybe the documentaries will be repeated just to remind people — they would make it far easier for them to become really emotionally involved in the stories.

JEFFREY BROWN: Let me just ask you finally about yourself as an actor. I’m now one of the people following “The Borgias,” which looks like great fun for you.

JEREMY IRONS: People keep telling me that: It looks like great fun for you. I hope that’s not a criticism.

JEFFREY BROWN: Oh, not at all. But I’m wondering how you pick roles nowadays, whether it’s Shakespeare or the pope, the Borgia pope or whatever you are doing now. At this point in your life what sort of grabs you and makes you want to take on a role?

JEREMY IRONS: It’s always a gut feeling of appetite. Shakespeare is somebody I like to return to so often because he’s one of our greatest writers, if not our greatest. The Borgias I was very attracted to because it’s being written and produced by Neil Jordan, who is a filmmaker of note. I find that a lot of the best writing is happening on cable television in America, and many of the films that I would have been making are now very difficult to finance, and a lot of the talent that went into those films is now writing for television. In the old days if you were a film actor, you wouldn’t work on television. Now that’s not so, because actors have a great instinct for good writing and good stories. That’s where we go to work and that was one of the reasons I wanted to work on “The Borgias.” I thought it’s an extraordinary family, this Spanish family who comes to Rome two generations before, a very ambitious man. He becomes pope. Of course pope in those days was much more like a king than a pope, what we now think of as a pope. There were power struggles, there was a very different sort of morality. The more I read about the family and about the man, I thought this is extraordinary, because a lot doesn’t add up. Let’s try and find out how he got the reputation he did, how this family got the reputation it did in history.

JEFFREY BROWN: All right, well the PBS series is titled “Shakespeare Uncovered.” Jeremy Irons, thanks so much for talking to us, nice to talk to you.

2013 Golden Globe Awards and After-parties

Jeremy Irons was a presenter at the 70th Golden Globe Awards, held on 13 January 2013. He introduced the film Salmon Fishing in the Yemen as a nominee for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy. Jeremy also attended the HBO and FOX after-parties.
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NO TIME TO SMOKE
Posted: Jan 13, 2013 10:22 PM EST
By The Associated Press

Jeremy Irons had stepped outside the Golden Globes show and was preparing himself a hand-rolled cigarette when he stopped in mid-roll and pocketed his tobacco.

“Wait, I want to see Jodie,” he said.

He rushed back inside the ballroom in time to see Jodie Foster accept the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement from Robert Downey, Jr.

– Sandy Cohen – http://www twitter.com/apsandy
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Jeremy Irons Attends Sean Penn and Friends Help Haiti Gala

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 12: Actor Jeremy Irons attends the 2nd Annual Sean Penn and Friends Help Haiti Home Gala benefiting J/P HRO presented by Giorgio Armani at Montage Hotel on January 12, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)

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Jeremy Irons at the Los Angeles Premiere of ‘The Words’

Jeremy Irons was at the premiere of CBS Films’ The Words at the Arclight Theatre on September 4, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Words opens in U.S. cinemas on Friday, September 7, 2012.

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Jeremy Irons – Upcoming Appearances to Promote ‘The Words’

UPCOMING APPEARANCES:

The Los Angeles premiere of The Words will take place at the Arclight (6360 West Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood) on Tuesday, September 4, 2012, at 6:30 pm. Jeremy will be in attendance.

Jeremy Irons will also be a guest on CBS’s Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, airing on Wednesday night, September 5, 2012 (technically early Thursday morning the 6th at 12:37 am EST).

NEW – Jeremy is listed as a guest on CBS This Morning on Friday, September 7, 2012, airing between 7:00 and 9:00 am EST.

UPDATE – Jeremy was at one point scheduled be a guest on Live! with Kelly Ripa on Friday, September 7, 2012, but Kristin Chenoweth is now being listed as a guest, instead. Jeremy will tape his appearance on the show and it will air on September 12th.

NEW – Jeremy will also be a guest on the Tavis Smiley show on Friday , September 7th. Check your local PBS station listing for air times.

 

Irons Man Two: Max Irons

Max Irons is featured in the London Evening Standard in an article from 11 March 2011, by Richard Godwin.  Photographs by Hamish Brown.

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Max Irons walks into a West London café dressed in a slim black overcoat, smelling slightly of tobacco. You can tell he’s a bit of a rebel as he is brazenly drinking from a carton of Ribena. For some reason – his regally handsome looks? family connections? – the waitresses don’t seem to mind.

I had been warned that Irons – 25-year-old model, actor and son of Jeremy Irons and Sinead Cusack – would be rather shy, but, on the contrary, he’s wholly self-assured. He talks about his dyslexia, which was so bad he couldn’t write his name at eight; his expulsion from boarding school for getting caught in flagrante with his girlfriend just before his A levels; what it was like watching his dad have sex with a minor on screen in Lolita (‘weird’, but it’s one of Max’s favourite films); and the family’s controversial holiday castle in Kilcoe, Ireland, the colour of which has become an obsession of the tabloid press. ‘Listen: pink was the undercoat, it’s now a nice rusty orange,’he says.

And if his CV is still looking a little sparse given the hype that surrounds him, Max ought to put that right with his latest projects. After training at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and appearing in a couple of plays on the London fringe, he is about to appear as a drug-addicted pornographer in the Sky mini-series The Runaway and, before that, in a big-budget reimagining of Red Riding Hood by Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke. ‘You’ve got to forget about what you know about Little Red Riding Hood and inject a bit of sexuality,’he explains. I thought Little Red Riding Hood was all about sexuality? ‘Well, yes, it’s about rape. But it’s very subconscious…’

At any rate, this version has a sexuality that’s precision-tooled to set young female audiences’hormones raging, with Amanda Seyfried as the hooded heroine and Irons as her rich suitor. Clearly, there’s an invitation to follow the Robert Pattinson route to teen idol (Hardwicke describes Max by saying, ‘He’s 6ft 3in, drop-dead gorgeous, and has this crazy magnetism’), but Max is wary of being typecast as a heart-throb. He recently ‘found’ himself talking to Disney about Snow and the Seven, a similarly racy reboot of the Snow White tale. ‘I was thinking, if I get this, they would probably pay a bit, there would be a lot of exposure – but I could pretty much bank on not having the kind of career I want.’He talks admiringly of Andrew Garfield and Tom Hardy, two young British actors who have made interesting career choices, and speaks of his love for Pinter and Stoppard: ‘I want to have a career that lasts 60 years, not six.’

He has a wariness of Hollywood and laughs at the ridiculous diets and the punishing vanity. ‘At the end of a really, really, really horrible workout, the only thing I want to do is… have a smoke,’he laughs. (He started smoking at 13, liquorice roll-ups, same as his father.) He remains a Londoner, commuting back and forth to LA, where he met his girlfriend, the Australian actress Emily Browning, 22, who has just starred in a sexy Australian take on the Sleeping Beauty story and is shortly to hit our screens in the big-budget teen flick Sucker Punch (no relation to the recent Royal Court play). For the moment Max continues to live with his parents in a cottage on a cobbled mews in West London, to which we retire halfway through the interview, when the din at the café becomes overwhelming. The Irons residence is cosy and bohemian, with an overflowing ashtray, a warm red colour scheme and battered leather sofas. A note pinned to the front door, on Sinead Cusack-headed notepaper, addresses itself to the family cyclists with the word ‘HELMET!’.

Max is touching when talking about his parents, whose marriage is the subject of endless tabloid speculation, though it has lasted more than three decades. The gossip doesn’t bother him, he says. ‘I remember there was a story – I must have been about ten – and it was about him reportedly kissing a co-star. And they said to me, ”Look, there’s going to be a story in the papers tomorrow. It’s not true.” And that was fine. You learn very quickly not to Google yourself.’

He grew up between the family’s Oxfordshire estate, where the novelist Ian McEwan was a neighbour, and London. He was sent to a state boarding school, where, funny to think now, he was mercilessly bullied for his pudding-bowl haircut and the ‘fucking medieval’ inverted yellow glasses he wore to correct his reading. Otherwise, he describes his childhood as happy and stable. One parent, usually Cusack, would try to stay at home while the other was away filming.

He lights up when I mention how much I loved the 1989 film of Roald Dahl’s Danny, the Champion of the World, which starred Jeremy Irons as an unconventional widower trying to raise his son (played by Max’s older brother Samuel, now a photographer). ‘I was two when the film came out, but I watched it so much as a kid, and it made me cry terribly.’Is there a parallel with his own father-son relationship? ‘I would like to say yes,’he says mysteriously, before deciding, ‘Actually I would say there is. My dad’s not lawless but he’s got his own set of morals and ethics which don’t always agree with other people’s – like in the movie. It’s not unjust what they do, or unfair, but it’s unconventional. I kind of respect that, especially these days.’

That unconventional streak emerged in Max when he was sent to Bryanston, a mixed boarding school in Dorset. He was always getting suspended. ‘Nothing serious, only girls, booze, cigarettes. My parents always said,”You’re really bad at getting caught.” I replied,”No, I was just doing it a lot.” That way, statistically, you’re more likely to get caught.’His parents once sent him to observe a school in Zimbabwe, just after Robert Mugabe had come to power, to remind him of his privilege – with mixed results. He was kicked out of Bryanston prior to his A levels, after a teacher caught him having sex.

His parents also exercised caution when he announced that he, too, wanted a career in acting, pointing out that they were in the ‘zero point one’per cent who were successful. They are not overly involved now, though ‘every now and then, there’s a bit of fatherly advice but it’s mainly to do with what to expect from Los Angeles, not how to actually do the acting’.

In fact, he tells me, the dyslexia was the bigger factor in his career choice. ‘The teacher would come along and say, ”Are you finding it all right?” and I would say, ”Yeah, it’s brilliant, I’m loving it, easy,” and that was a bit of acting in itself. You have to rely on charm a lot.’

At first, scripts terrified him, as he was unable to read them, but now he studies his lines beforehand. ‘When I applied to drama school, they had this sheet you had to fill in saying whether you had any disabilities and I called up and asked,”Does dyslexia count?” and they said,”It’s practically a qualification.” ’

I ask him if he’s scared of not being taken seriously. ‘No. I know I have to combat the fact that my parents are actors at least for the next ten years. It’s tied up with dyslexia. You want to give the impression you’re successful. That you’re well, often when you’re not.’He pauses. ‘When you’ve got parents who’ve done what you want to do, as much as they’re proud of you, they can’t be as amazed by it, because they’ve done it themselves. The only person I can amaze is me. I’ve got to do it for me. So… fuck the world, to an extent.’It’s an attitude that has served other members of his family rather well.

Red Riding Hood will be out in cinemas in the US from 11 March and in the UK from 15 April.

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