Movies

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Many Irons in the fire but actor's heart is in west Cork

RALPH RIEGEL

Published 24/11/2013|00:30

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Jeremy Irons, seen here in 'The Borgias', does a lot of charity work in his 'home from home' in west Cork

HOLLYWOOD star Jeremy Irons has said his next major ambition is to finally shoot a film in Ireland, his adopted home.

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The British actor, hailed as an outstanding talent of his generation, has been a long-time resident in west Cork with his Irish wife, Sinead Cusack.

Incredibly, despite almost half a century of Irish connections, the Academy Award-winning actor has never been involved in an Irish-based film project.

"I would love to work here. I have dozens of friends in Irish film and theatre," he told the Sunday Independent.

"But not quite at the moment as I have other commitments."

The Isle of Wight-born actor is involved with the hit TV mini-series The Borgias but also found time to shoot two films, Beautiful Creatures and Night Train to Lisbon, as well as a documentary on volcanoes.

His 2012 documentary, Trashed, on the global production of waste, won multiple awards worldwide.

On December 3, the actor will receive a major humanitarian award for his involvement with a host of charities including the Cork-based Greater Chernobyl Cause. The Chivas Legend award will be presented at a gala function in Dubai.

But the star said that he is now carefully studying scripts with a view to identifying the right project to get him working in Ireland.

"I am always hoping. It would be really nice to work at home. I seem to work all over the place . . . Portugal, Hungary, America. It would be wonderful to be back here," he said. "It would certainly be a lot easier."

The 65-year-old actor has starred in some of the most critically acclaimed films of the past 30 years including Reversal of Fortune, The Mission and Lolita as well as blockbusters including Die Hard With A Vengeance and Kingdom of Heaven.

Over recent years, he has increased his involvement with the theatre.

Having made his breakthrough with the Old Vic, the star has rekindled his passion for the stage and appeared in The Mystery Plays in Gloucester this year as well as a film-based version of Henry IV in 2012.

His next major task is finding the right excuse to work at home.

"I've been asked about a few (Irish) projects but they weren't to my tastes. I couldn't find the right one. I have just finished working with Neil Jordan (The Borgias) so that is the nearest I have got to it," the actor said.

He considers west Cork to be his "home from home" and he tries to spend as much time there as he can.

Married for 35 years to Sinead Cusack, the couple decided to purchase and renovate an old medieval castle over a decade ago.

Kilcoe was repaired and refurbished – and made world headlines when the actor had it painted a traditional medieval colour.

Alongside Michael Flatley's Castlehyde House, Kilcoe has been hailed as a masterpiece of tasteful restoration.

When in Ireland, the actor also gets involved in local community and charity work.

A keen musician, he regularly attend traditional music sessions in the Bantry, Skibbereen and Clonakilty areas.

Sunday Independent

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