Jeremy Irons Poster

Quotes (24)

  • I've never been passionate about acting, and I find more and more that I work to live the life I want to live. An actor like Al Pacino lives to act. I'm not sure though, there's something about the detachment I have, the feeling of the lack of importance about what I do, that is healthy.
  • Anyway, I'm never satisfied. I think were I ever satisfied with my work, I'd be in trouble.
  • Basically, I want to keep working, so I don't worry about the size of the character - if it's interesting, I'll do it. It's quite nice doing smaller roles, in some ways. It means I get home more, and I can get on with my life.
  • The movie industry is run by accountants in Hollywood and it's as simple as this; everyone has a number on their computer. They can look up Jeremy Irons and see what my last five movies have made. Say you want to make a $20m picture, which is relatively cheap. If Jeremy makes $9m, the director makes $5m, then you need a leading lady, and they just go through those figures - that's how casting happens. And none of my movies has made a lot of money.
  • As you get older, you look back and try to make sense of the sort of person you have become. And I think the most important thing that happened in my childhood was the first night I went to boarding school at the age of seven. I remember that night, and the loneliness. Also, my parents' marriage broke up when I was 15. But I think it was that first night at seven years old when I felt something had broken, and I've spent my life trying to get back to that feeling of home. It's the same sense of family that you find in the theater and movies. In fact, I'm hoping to make a film about that very subject - the need for home. You don't really have a home until you have children. And that home is created by the children.
  • What a camera likes are eyes which have life and tell a story.
  • On his Ducati motorbike: "Ferrari on two wheels."
  • I sing like an actor and dance like a duck.
  • In an interview, he once explained the origin and pronunciation of his name thus: "My name is certainly not pronounced 'Eye-rons,' but just like the metal. In England we say, 'Eye-ons' -- we're lazy about our Rs. Here [USA] I guess you would say 'Ire-ons.'" The name is fairly common in England, it's probably short for Ironsmith."
  • If we have to pay taxes [for Emmy gift bags], so be it. But don't spend it on bombs, for Christ's sake.
  • (When asked by an interviewer about why he accepted his role in Dungeons & Dragons (2000)) "Are you kidding? I'd just bought a castle, I had to pay for it somehow!"
  • Actors often behave like children and so we're taken for children. I want to be grown up.
  • [1986 comment on Robert De Niro] He is a method actor. I think it would be fair to say he's much slower than I am. As a man, Bob dislikes making a decision. And acting is a whole line of decisions. You make a decision every time you play a line -- do I say it like this or like that? But what I saw was a man trying many areas and now and again something would really work.
  • [on Lolita (1997)] It's very difficult because children under sixteen are immensely attractive, any father will tell you. We have to accept that, understand it for what it is and not become hysterical about it. Strangely enough, Humbert Humbert is not a paedophile ... because he knew he was doing wrong. That's his tragedy in a way. I remember when my son was twelve he was like a god. He just went through that sort of golden time for about 18 months. Parental love is sexual. Boys will flirt outrageously with their mothers.
  • [on Waterland (1992)] I find working for money and nothing else just totally soul-destroying. I've always wanted to work with the best directors on material that interests me, so that how this has come about really.
  • [accepting his Best Actor Oscar, 1991] This is great!
  • [on portraying Rodrigo Borgia] I don't want to make him a sympathetic man. I want him to be an inconsistent man, a man where one moment you think 'Christ, that's terrible!' and some moments you think 'Oh, he's wonderful!' Like all of us, I want to try and create someone that is neither black nor white.
  • [At 2005 Oscars, responding to a loud bang on-stage while speaking about the 'Live Action Short' category] Oh God, I hope they missed.
  • [on Downton Abbey (2010)] If you think that's good, then watch the Shakespeare productions [Shakespeare Uncovered (2012)]. You'll see what real writing, what real stories, what real characters are about.
  • [on returning to the stage in a 1981 interview] I'd like to very much, but the stage - particularly the Royal Shakespeare, which is where I'd like to return for the exceptional quality of its work - really requires at least a year's commitment. A year now in the theatre is probably not a very clever idea; I think I should be consolidating my film career.
  • [in a 1981 interview about movie stardom] I suppose I'd like to be a movie star because I'd like to make people come to the pictures I'm in. Then, of course, there's a responsibility to choose good material. And when they saw me, I'd like to dazzle them, as a star dazzle - as for the paraphernalia surrounding a star, that doesn't interest me much. I quite like my privacy.
  • I enjoy playing villains. It's very difficult in many situations to know who the villains and good guys are. People tend to think in black and white, and, of course, we are all gray.
  • (in a 2016 AARP interview) I feel as confidant on my motorcycle as I do on my two feet. I call it my urban horse. The joy of motorcycling is real freedom and being in touch with the environment - the road circuits, the temperatures, the winds, the smells. It's a wonderful sensory experience.
  • [on performing onstage in a production of 'Long Day's Journey into Night, 2018] Laurence Olivier, who played nearly everything, said that James Tyrone was the hardest part he had ever attempted. I would agree - the hardest, and yet the most rewarding. O'Neill did not write this play to be performed, so performing it as written requires the actors to discover from what is on the page much that is not. It is not possible to play without being emotionally present at each moment.