not in our stars, but in ourselves
For the most part, I will avoid getting political on here. My opinions on movies are quite enough; no one needs my opinions on what’s wrong with the universe as well. (Short version: A LOT.) But today, I read this article, and even though it’s from the Daily Fail it’s still making me mad. Here we go:
He has already enraged feminists by saying women should accept pats on the bottom in good humor. Now Jeremy Irons has waded back into the same controversy with the confession he loves ‘touching’ people – adding any ‘self-respecting woman’ would simply tell him to ‘f*** off’ if she minded.
Admitting he likes to ‘stir things up’, the 64-year-old also appeared to criticize people who claim they have been the target of underage sexual abuse, claiming they have been ‘encouraged’ to believe they are victims.
Mr Irons caused outrage in 2011 by saying: ‘If a man puts his hand on a woman’s bottom, any woman worth her salt can deal with it. It is communication. Can’t we be friendly?’
But on Wednesday, the actor, who has admitted his relationship with wife Sinéad Cusack is ‘dysfunctional’, suggested he had been misquoted – before proceeding to reiterate his controversial opinions.
The star – famed for playing a sexually obsessed cabinet minister in 1992 film Damage – claimed he had been the target of unwanted advances as a young man, but never had any trouble fending them off. He said: ‘I had people when I was younger trying to feel me up. Older men. I just told them to get lost.’
Mr Irons, who played a man obsessed with an young girl in 1997’s film adaptation of Lolita, appeared to court further controversy by suggesting underage girls who have sex with older men should not be ‘encouraged’ to think they are victims of sexual abuse. He said an acquaintance told him of an affair she had with a much older man when she was 13 before he started filming the movie, adding: ‘There was sex involved. She said: “By the time I was 16 or 17, it petered out — it’s never affected me at all.” There are people who are victims in life and I don’t think they should be encouraged.’
The star seemed anxious to advertise his disregard for authority and for convention. He has been married to Miss Cusack, 64, for 34 years. The couple, who have two grown-up sons, are reported to have an open relationship.
Asked about his marriage in his latest interview this week, Mr Irons would only say: ‘It goes on.’
He has been spotted in the company of much younger women on several occasions. In 2001, he was seen kissing French actress Patricia Kaas outside London’s Chinawhite nightclub. In 2009, he was seen in a ‘prolonged clinch’ with an assistant stage manager less than half his age. The following year, Spanish actress Loles León successfully sued a five-star hotel for £39,000 after breaking her wrist and pelvis falling down steps in the actor’s luxury suite.
She claimed she went to the room so she could tell her friends she had spent the night with him, adding: ‘I think he was up for it.’
Describing his marriage as ‘dysfunctional’, Mr Irons once revealed: ‘Sinead and I have had difficult times. Every marriage does because people are impossible. I’m impossible, my wife’s impossible, life’s impossible.’
In another interview, he said: ‘No marriage is what it seems. I will say that it is very difficult to be everything to one person.’
Sigh. The article is also posted at my favorite celebrity gossip site, Oh No They Didn’t!, and features lots of sprightly commentary – as well as other quotes from The Jez. Choice blood-boilers:
“It is very difficult because children under 16 are immensely attractive…. Any father will tell you. I think our children have to be protected. But I don’t think we need to have hysteria.”
“I remember when my son was 12 and he was like a god. He just went through that sort of golden time for about 18 months. I don’t have a daughter but they do the same.”
“Parental love is sexual. Children practise on their parents. Girls will flirt outrageously with their fathers because they are practising. But we should know that that is practice. Boys will flirt outrageously with their mothers in a different way.”
SIIIIIIIGH. This is the trouble with admiring actors who know they’re brilliant: they’re good at one, maybe two things, but they think they’re great at everything, and they spew utter bullshit based on their own misunderstanding of the world, and nothing and no one will ever convince them of how wrong and stupid they are. Ricky Gervais’s show, Extras, was excellent for many reasons – especially for how deftly it cut through actors’ many layers of bullshit. Maybe I’ll write about it here someday.
But in the meantime: bad form, Jeremy Irons. I felt sorry for you when I saw you in those ads for that pseudo-Twilight movie. Not anymore. May you star in all the sequels as well.
P.S. Will try to post something more substantive tomorrow. This has just been driving me bonkers all day, so this is what you get for now.