Jeremy Irons stars in a new movie out today on Netflix. He stars as former Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in the new film Munich: The Edge of War. The film follows Mr. Chamberlain’s efforts to seek a peaceful solution before Adolf Hitler sends his troops into Czechoslovakia. A British official and a German diplomat travel to Munich to discuss peace.
Playing the role, Mr Irons said he thought there should be a more positive view of the man who was replaced by Winston Churchill during the war.
Mr Irons told The Big Issue: “I was thrilled to get inside this historical figure and be part of this reassessment.
“The mythology of the Second World War crossed my youth.
“So it’s important to see something well-researched and accurately written, like Munich, that offers another angle to the mythology I was raised with about the heroism of the whole situation.”
Mr Irons also touched on politics in the interview saying he was ‘pretty sour about politics right now’.
The actor has given his views on multiple political issues in the past, including Brexit.
Mr Irons voted to Remain in 2016 and has since been critical of Brexit ‒ but he also didn’t buy into the hysteria and blamed both sides for ‘playing on people’s basic instincts’.
In 2016, he spoke to the Irish Times just before the country went to vote in the referendum.
He lashed out at then Prime Minister David Cameron, urging him to be more passionate about EU membership.
Mr Irons said: ‘I would like him to stand up and say, ‘Listen, let’s unite, as a world, let’s unite. . . Let’s be positive about it and don’t be scared.
He claimed the Remain and Leave sides were ‘playing on people’s basic instincts’, with Remain issuing dire warnings about the future of the UK economy and the Leave campaign scaring people about immigration.
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Mr. Irons described the elements of the campaign as “divisive and dangerous”.
Hr added: ‘I’m not proud that our dirty laundry is hanging up like it is around the world for people to see.
“We’ve been through a time where we’ve all lived beyond our means and we need to step back from that and stick together.”
He also dismissed claims of economic disaster, saying the UK was likely to have a “difficult few years” regardless of the direction of the vote.
On immigration, Mr. Irons advocated for the country to allow more people to come into the country.
He continued, “Why the hell would they want to come here where it rains all the time?
“I think there are elements in the Brexit campaign of fearmongering, of playing on people’s basic instincts, saying. . . of course, you’re not going to find a job if we keep allowing all these immigrants in.
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While an advocate of the EU, Mr Irons acknowledged the bloc needed to reform in order to tackle the “deep discontent” many feel with Brussels.
He said: “What I hope, positively, will come out of this is that Europe and those who run it will realize that not only [in] Britain, but in many other countries there is deep dissatisfaction with the way it is run and perhaps it will be changed.
Mr Irons, owner of Kilcoe Castle in Cork and who lives there most of the year, said he had witnessed many changes over the past 20 years in the Republic following the accession to the EU.
He added: “I selfishly didn’t appreciate some of the money that went into the roads.
“I like being able to get from West Cork to Dublin easily, but I feel like West Cork has lost a bit of its independence in that it’s now very easy to get there .
“It was a bit difficult before. But of course if you live there and make a living there, which I don’t, then I think being in Europe is a real help for the community.
While he insisted that Ireland’s EU membership did not change his ties to the country, he said he would hate to see a strong border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, describing it as a step backwards.
He said: “I think it will push back the possibility of the island of Ireland being united, which we all hope for in the future and that seems like the logical conclusion.”