Irons Makes Good Impression


New York Post

March 5, 2009 —

JEREMY Irons. On Broadway. “Impressionism,” now in previews, co-stars Joan Allen, with whom he’s worked before. Director’s Tony winner Jack O’Brien.

“It’s a play about mature love,” said Jeremy. “About the process and how, should it find you, you must be willing to give up your own personal emotional neurotic baggage. That is, if you want to come together with another person at this second stage of your life.”

The man does not speak from experience. “Oh, no, no, no. I fell in love with my wife when I was young.”

The first play Jeremy ever saw was “My Fair Lady”: “We lived on the Isle of Wight, and for special treats, my parents would take us to London.”

His own last Broadway outing was “The Real Thing” with Glenn Close 25 years ago. “Because it’s an investment to come over here. I have a life in Ireland and England. This is a six-month limited engagement, so I’ve rented a lovely apartment off an old friend in the West Village.

“But I must say, New York is such a friendly city. I was wandering around Gramercy Park, and a fireman walking by said, ‘Great to see you, man. Keep warm.’ Possibly didn’t even recognize me. Americans show what they feel. In England, we’re all so closed off. Even audiences are more outgoing and appreciative here. When Americans like you, they show it. Brits won’t ever let you know you’re good. Must keep us in our place, you know.”

And his routine when working onstage? “Wake up half past 10. Good breakfast and then, before the show, something nourishing, not too heavy, a light snack like an omelet. I have a little food after the show but don’t eat heavily late at night. And I’m relatively fit but, to keep in trim, I try to go to the gym about 5 o’clock so I’m warmed up for the performance. This way, working physically as well as mentally, all systems are go.”

Do all these systems ever not go? “It isn’t too often, but we can go up in our lines now and again. Happens mostly in long runs where you become too relaxed and begin to work on overdrive. After a while, you don’t concentrate. You’ve done it so long, you don’t focus. Usually you can catch up because you know what you’re trying to say even if you can’t come up with the exact word. Happened when I was very young. I felt the floor had opened and I was hanging there without a clue.”

“Impressionism” opens March 12.

Liz Smith on “Impressionism”

From the New York Post

February 17, 2009

TALK MAY be cheap, but there’s plenty of it about the coming Broadway pro duction “Impressionism,” which will star Joan Allen, Jeremy Irons, Marsha Mason – an excellent cast – opening March 12.

No wonder, it is being directed by the genius Jack O’Brien and was written by Michael Jacobs. Now here’s a story. Producer Bill Haber recently heard from a woman he’d represented 30 years ago, Susan Harris. He describes her as “the creator of ‘Soap,’ ‘The Golden Girls,’ ‘Empty Nest’ and a billion dollars worth of other writing. She is considered one of the smartest of all TV people.”

Susan said she’d seen the ad for “Impressionism” and talked CAA into lending her a script. She wanted Bill to know that the play “is the finest I’ve read in years. I went back and read it again! Who is this guy – Michael Jacobs? I’m going to stop writing plays since I can never match this. Thanks for doing something this adventuresome, courageous and sensitive.”

Now that’s the kind of pre-inside talk everybody wants. Haber says, “This moved me and reminded me again why we’re doing this play.”