Jeremy Irons Interview with Showbizireland.com

23-10-01

Hollywood actor Jeremy Irons flew back into his adopted home of Ireland for a meeting with ShowBizIreland.com to tell them about his upcoming role as the writer Scott Fitzgerald, the war in Afghanistan and his charity work in India.

The star has confirmed that his next role is to play the writer Scott Fitzgerald. “I am off to Canada next to play Fitzgerald a great hero of mine which I am looking forward to playing the character.”

As a patron of the Hope foundation charity based out of Cork where the star has a castle Irons explained that a trip to Calcutta where the charity is based is next on his agenda. “It is something I would very much like to do, my interest in the charity started after my one and only trip to India. Although I did not go to Calcutta, my son however did. I went to Bombay, which I think has a lot of the same problems as Calcutta.

He went on “It was my eldest son Samuel. He spent four months in Calcutta and six months in Darjeeling teaching English. In Calcutta he was working for Mother Theresa’s organization in the House of the Dying. Washing dying people basically, which is tough for a boy who was then just 19. But, I think once you have been there and seen India a little you will always go back again and again. I however have not yet returned since that time.”

So where has the Irish based actor been so far this year as he has not been seen around his castle in West Cork? “It actually frightens me. I’ve been to England and Ireland because that’s where I live. Nepal, New Zealand, Australia, France, Romania and North America.”

And does the actor have any plans to bring any of the children from the HOPE foundation down to his castle in West Cork? “Well, you know those sort of things I’d love to do but I’d have to do it very quietly because one of the problems with doing that is you have to have fire doors, handicap slopes and a whole load of regulations. My original hope was to use the castle to introduce the castle to city kids to the joys of West Cork like sailing and horse riding. Things they made not have had offered to them before. But, the restrictions for making a building for that use would ruin the integrity of the castle. However, in the future I hope to bring a few friends to stay who may be city kids. I haven’t slept there. Well, not certainly on a mattress anyway. More sort of collapsed out of exhaustion. As for the charity. The only way people like me can really help is to provide a bit of media interest. The people who do the work are the organizers. They are the people at grass roots level. But, I like to flatter myself and say that my presence here means that a few people may have bought tickets that may not have done if I was not here. It’s all I can do and it’s not a lot. The more I can become au-fait with this the more integrity I will get. I’ve only been a patron for two years. That’s what actors can do. After all I am an actor. That’s what my work is. I don’t work within international childcare. But, I can bring profile to those people who are actually more valuable in the work they do but don’t have the same draw.”

As for the actors views on the situation in Afghanistan? “It would seem to me that we should only have to look at the Balkans and the amount of money spent on arms and covert that into economic aid and give that to those struggling states. I think the war should have been averted. I think we are very near the edge of the Arab world. Really since NASA’s move in 1958 with the organization of Arab unity. You can see where this collection of medieval tribes that move around the dessert came from and then were suddenly put within the boundaries that they need help to come into the modern world. They need economic help and not to be used. I think one of the problems in Calcutta is migration. We call it a refugee problem but it is economic migration and as fortress Europe gets stronger people from all over the world are going to want to come to Europe. What do we do if somebody says ‘I will be economically disadvantaged if I go home.’ Do we say ‘stay’? I don’t think we can.”