Berlin Unveils Jeremy Irons as President of 2020 Film Festival

Antonello & Montesi
Jeremy Irons

The Oscar-winning actor and 'Watchmen' star will head the jury that picks the Gold and Silver Bear winners at the 70th Berlinale.

Oscar-winning British actor Jeremy Irons has been named jury president for the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival.
 
Irons, an iconic British presence on film and TV since his breakthrough rolls in series Brideshead Revisted and feature The French Lieutenant’s Woman (both 1981), will head the jury of international film experts that picks the Gold and Silver Bear winners for the 70th Berlin International Film Festival.  
 
"The festival management of the Berlinale is honored to have won Jeremy Irons for this anniversary edition," said Berlinale artistic director Carlo Chatrian. "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."
 
The 71-year-old actor attended the Berlin festival in 2013 to present Bille August's Night Train to Lisbon and in 2011 as a co-star of J.C. Chandor's competition entry Margin Call.
 
Irons is a classically trained theater actor who studied at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and was a regular on the West End before making his Broadway debut in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing in 1984 (a role that won him a Tony Award for best actor).
 
Onscreen he broke through playing upper-class characters with a dark side, whether it was the drug-addicted twin gynecologists in David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers (1988), the accused murderer Claus von Bülow in Reversal of Fortune — in which he won the best actor Oscar in 1991— or the psychopathic villain Simon Gruber in Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995). Disney fans will remember his iconic voice as Scar in the original Lion King in 1994.
 
In addition to the Oscar and Tony awards, Irons completed the acting triple with an Emmy win in 2006 for Elizabeth I. He received a honorary César Award from the French Film Academy in 2002. More recently, he has appeared as Bruce Wayne's butler, Alfred Pennyworth, in Warner Bros.' Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017) and as Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias in HBO's critically acclaimed series Watchmen
 
"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," Irons said. "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."
 
Berlin has already announced a handful of titles for its 70th anniversary edition, including Matteo Garrone's hotly anticipated live-action version of Pinocchio, starring Roberto Benigni as Geppetto, which will celebrate its international premiere in Berlin with a special screening.
 
The 70th Berlin International Film Festival runs Feb. 20 through March 1.