Jeremy Irons Interview: ‘Watchmen’
“I like my sleep,” admits Jeremy Irons about whether he plans to participate in the Emmys next month, which will for the first time be a live virtual ceremony across countless locations worldwide. While the actor is thrilled to be nominated for an Emmy, he says its unlikely he’ll be able to be on camera in the middle of the night where he lives in Ireland. “It goes out at three o’clock in the morning my time, so I shan’t be up for it, I shall probably leave some sort of message and wait and see when I wake up!”
“But ‘Watchmen’ got 26 nominations, which is amazing. Had I not got one, I would’ve been a bit peeved,” he laughs. This is Irons’ fifth career Emmy nomination, this time for HBO’s “Watchmen,” which leads all programs at the Emmys this year with a whopping 26 nominations. Watch our exclusive video interview with Irons above.
In “Watchmen,” Irons stars alongside Oscar and 3-time Emmy winner Regina King, Oscar and Emmy winner Louis Gossett Jr. and 3-time Emmy winner Jean Smart (all of whom are nominated this year for the show). It also stars previous Emmy nominee Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Hong Chau and newly-minted first-time Emmy nominees Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Jovan Adepo.
The series is set in an alternate reality Tulsa, Ok. in 2019, where an embattled police force wear masks to protect their identity, a nefarious white supremacist cult terrorizes the city, a group of officers assume alter-egos as they mete out vigilante justice and otherworldly forces threaten all of their existence. Emmy-winning writer/producer Damon Lindelof (“Lost” and “The Leftovers”) developed this take on “Watchmen” for TV, based on the 1987 DC Comics series and the earlier Zack Snyder-directed film.
The actor plays mysterious billionaire Adrian Veidt, who is isolated in an ornate country mansion surrounded by clones in a illusory ecosystem on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. Veidt (also known as his alter ego Ozymandias) has been stuck there for years after he was responsible for genetically engineering an gargantuan extra-dimensional squid, which he unleashed onto New York City. In doing so, the creature destroyed most of the city, killing three million of its citizens, in his reckless attempt to bring humanity together against a common “alien threat,” and thus avoiding a nuclear holocaust.
This Emmy nomination is Irons’ fifth to date, having won three of them (for “Elizabeth I” in 2006 and for voice-over work in “Big Cat Week: in 2014 and “The Great War” in 1997). He also has an Oscar win for “Reversal of Fortune” (1991) and a Tony for “The Real Thing” (1984), leaving him just a Grammy short of EGOT status.