British actor Jeremy Irons, who plays Ozymandias in the HBO series “Watchmen” and won an Oscar in 1991 for “Reversal of Fortune,” will serve as president of the International Jury at the 70th Berlin Intl. Film Festival, the event revealed Thursday.
Berlinale artistic director Carlo Chatrian said: “With his distinctive style Jeremy Irons has embodied some iconic characters that have accompanied me throughout my journey in cinema, making me aware of the complexity of human beings. His talent and the choices he has taken both as an artist and as a citizen make me feel proud to welcome him as president of the jury for the 70th edition of the Berlinale.”
Irons said: “It is with feelings of great pleasure and not inconsiderable honor that I take on the role of president of the International Jury for the Berlinale 2020, a festival that I have admired for so long and that I have always enjoyed attending.
“Being in Berlin for the festival will be a treat giving me the opportunity not only to remind myself of that great city but also to watch this year’s crop of films chosen by the festival, followed by the opportunity to discuss their merits with my fellow jury members.”
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Irons achieved worldwide recognition in 1981 with the TV series “Brideshead Revisited,” earning him Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations, and Karel Reisz’s movie “The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” for which he was BAFTA nominated.
Previously, he had been best known as a theater actor in London, and was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 1984, he made his first Broadway appearance in Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing,” and received the Tony Award for his performance.
As well as his role as Claus von Bülow in Barbet Schroeder’s “Reversal of Fortune,” other significant parts included the Earl of Leicester in the series “Elizabeth I,” which earned him a Golden Globe and an Emmy in 2006, “The Mission” (1986), in which he played a Spanish Jesuit, and an ambitious rancher in the screen adaptation of Isabel Allende’s novel “The House of the Spirits” (1993). He acted as the antagonist in the action movie “Die Hard: With a Vengeance” (1994), one of the three musketeers in “The Man in the Iron Mask” (1998), and in 1997, he embodied the protagonist Humbert Humbert in the film adaptation of “Lolita” by Adrian Lyne.