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"Night Train to Lisbon" takes Jeremy Irons to Athens

20 September 2013 / 19:09:30  GRReporter
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Anastasia Balezdrova

Famous English actor and winner of many film awards Jeremy Irons visited Athens for the Greek premiere of his latest film "Night Train to Lisbon". This time he is playing the role of Swiss language professor Raymond Gregorius. He leaves his job after an unexpected meeting with a woman from Portugal and is on a trip to Lisbon to track down the mysterious Portuguese writer Amadeu de Prado who is one of the people who fought against Portuguese dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar.

The character is so much involved in the texts and life of Amadeu de Prado that his journey gradually turns into a reinvention of himself. The film directed by Billie August is based on the successful novel by writer Pascal Mercier.

"The most important thing in life is undoubtedly love followed by communication, respect and a good attitude towards others. This is the only way to deal with any situation. Money is not so important, I know many people who have money and who are not happy and we see other people who have less but live well in their communities where they are connected with each other. We must learn to live with less money," said Jeremy Irons at the press conference for the film, which was held at the Museum of Cycladic Art.

Jeremy Irons is one of the actors whose participation in European and American film productions is equally successful. "There is a difference between European and American culture. I think good films are made in Europe but film production companies are more interested in the financial success of the productions."

Commenting on the severe economic and social crisis in Greece he said, "the real taste of life is to enjoy simple things and to stop being consumers as we have been taught over the past 70 years. We can make this choice and change the situation in Europe with our position. When we live well we are not that interested in politics. But when we face difficulties we understand what we want and what we truly need. It is wrong to believe that the position of each of us has no political power."

The organizer of the Greek premiere of "Night Train to Lisbon" is the Greek Tourism Organization. So the actor took advantage of the opportunity to urge film production companies to shoot their productions in Greece. "This will bring revenue to the state. For example, we filmed the TV series "Borgia" in Hungary just because the costs were lower. I do not think that you need a lot of things in Greece. You have ancient monuments, beautiful scenery, climate and food. Maybe you should reduce prices. I was here in August and I can say that the cost of a holiday in Greece is high for a tourist."

Jeremy Irons did not fail to express his views in relation to the murder of rap singer Pavlos Fyssas by a member of Golden Dawn. "We mustn’t feel as the whole country is an incident that we see reported in the papers. Yes, there are idiots who sit under a political title. Yes, they murder people sometimes but this happens all over the world."

According to him, knowledge of history is very important for the rejection of such extreme ideologies. "I am aware of the problems associated with extremist groups in Greece. When there is poverty in a society the far right wing gains popularity. People think that the extreme action is the answer to the situation. But I think if we look history in the eye we will see that this is not so. Moderation is everything. In England we laugh at the representatives of extremes. I hope the Greeks will respond in this way too. I believe, however, that it is very important, especially for the young people, to know history. They will thus understand that the results of the actions of the extremists are never positive."

Tags: CinemaJeremy IronsPremiereNight Train to LisbonBillie August
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