One of the most respected film actors in the world is Jeremy Irons. He is known for his roles in gritty dramas and Jeremy Irons movies guarantee a good performance. Before he got to Hollywood however, he trained in England and appeared in stage productions, gaining recognition as John the Baptist in Godspell. He went on to appear on British television in several acclaimed drama series.
His film breakthrough came with The French Lieutenant’s Woman, a complicated love story that moves from 19th century England to modern times. He plays the dual role of Charles and Mike and Meryl Streep plays opposite him. The performances of both actors are superb and the location shots are beautifully captured.
In 1983, he took the role of Jerry in Betrayal, the story of a love triangle, also starring Ben Kingsley. The Mission from 1986 is something of an epic and is one of the best films to be directed by Roland Joffe. It tells the struggle of a group of Spanish Jesuits in the 18th century whose aim is to convert a Brazilian tribe to Christianity. An iron is Father Gabriel and Robert De Niro and Aidan Quinn also star.
Irons played a difficult role two years later in Dead Ringers. In fact, it was two roles, because he played the part of identical twins, Elliot and Beverly Mantle. It is a dark tale directed by David Cronenberg. The twins are both gynecologists and share their romantic entanglements as well as a career. Genevieve Bujold plays the love interest. Of all the Jeremy Irons movies, this was one of the most challenging for him.
There was a lighter feel to the made for TV film, Danny the Champion of the World, shown in 1989. Adapted from the Roald Dahl children’s book, Irons played William, the owner of a gas station in 1950s rural England. It is the charming story of a father and son relationship, all the more impressive because Iron’s own son Samuel played his screen son Danny. The widowed father and son must fight to keep their way of life when the gas station is threatened. Samuel proved to be as talented as his father. This movie with Jeremy Irons also featured Robbie Coltrane and Jimmy Nail.
Irons won a Best Actor Academy Award for his role as Claus von Bulow in Reversal of Fortune from 1990. Based on a true story, von Bulow is accused of attempting to murder his wife, portrayed by Glenn Close. In 1994, Jeremy Irons movies entered the world of Disney animation when Irons was the voice of the villainous Scar in The Lion King.