Irons would-be vet – 1984

The Rock Hill Herald

Jan 9, 1984

New York  (AP) — Jeremy Irons, star of the critical box-office hit “The Real thing” on Broadway, says his first choice of career was to be a veterinarian, but he went into acting because his dismal school record thwarted his original ambition.

The 35-year-old British actor said he wanted to be a veterinarian out of a desire for “the way of life of my childhood — of living in the country with dogs and horses — to continue forever.”

Irons said that eventually he realized that the three things he enjoyed most were “riding horses, playing rugby and doing plays.”

“Since there wasn’t much of a career in the first two, I thought I’d try the third,” he said.

Known to public TV viewers as Charles Ryder in “Brideshead Revisited, “ Irons also has starred in the films “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” and “Betrayal.”

He is a veteran of the Royal Shakespeare Company but “The real Thing” marks his American stage debut. He plays Henry — a brilliant, arrogant playwright.

Irons says the role of Ryder was “the man I was educated to be…a man who kept his emotions deeply hidden and didn’t give very much.” But the new role, he said, fits his personal development from the restrained Britisher to one who has learned “that the more you give to people the more you receive, in life as on stage.”