IGN: I'm going to start with an obvious question. Are you a gamer? Have you played video games?
Jeremy Irons: No. Never played a video game. Actually, I try to keep them out of my house. No one bought the children Xboxes only because I just wanted to them to get out and get some fresh air and not sit in front of the screen for too long. But I do understand that they -- apart from the fact that this is a large franchise -- they can introduce children to history in quite an interesting way. There are good things about them.
IGN: Was that one of the things that appealed to you about Assassin's Creed is that it could possibly be educational to some?
Irons: No, purely what appealed to me was that it was a big movie, it's always useful to be in big movies for one's career. But it was more than that. It had Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard already attached and I thought well, that's a really interesting pairing. We've seen them in Macbeth and to see them doing a movie like this, maybe we'll make something which is better than the game which I think no film has yet done. You probably know better than I.
IGN: It's been a challenge for the video game movie genre to get all those right elements together. Of course, Michael, Marion, and of course, also the director of Macbeth, Justin Kurzel. Was he also a factor in you wanting to?
Irons: He was indeed. An emerging director, but someone who takes on like that is not to be scorned. And I knew that he hadn't done the genre before and that he would approach it in a fresh way. He's a very visual director and he's also interested in subtly. And I thought, well, those two things, and also I like him very much. Those three things convinced me to get on board. I thought this could be an interesting film and I have to say when I saw it the other day -- I saw it on Friday -- I was deeply impressed on many levels. It seemed to me to be a movie which has so much going for it.
The photography on it was great, the story was very strong and fascinating to an adult as well as to a child. I thought the period stuff was quite brilliant and the action sequences, I thought, because Justin didn't want to have to rely on CGI, that he wanted real sometime elliptic performers during those sequences so that they are actually running across those roofs. They are actually climbing those walls. I think that gave it a level of seriousness and suspense that many films that rely on CGI don't have. We were really invested in the characters and I also love the very enigmatic relationships between both Michael and Marion and me and Marion and me and Michael. I felt they were deep complicated relationships that were not easily colored in black and white.
IGN: The relationship between Alan and his daughter Sofia. It is one of the cruxes of the entire movie and it definitely, it gives it a sort of dimension that you don't really see in video game movies. I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit who is Alan Rikkin to you, what makes him tick? How does he views his daughter -- is she simply serving a larger function for him? Or does he see it more as a legacy thing?
Irons: I think she's serving a very important function for him because I think he knows that she's brighter than him, less jaded than him. When you get to a position like Alan, heading up that enormous scientific corporation, being thread by whatever it is, 3 billion a year to keep it running, and trying to use his knowledge and his experience and his money to get back the apple of Eden, to find where it is. The masses may be controlled, the violence may be taken out of their system. I think there are many people probably running the world who would like that to happen. And so you know he's not that, he's not such an unusual guy, he's just doing his best, doing his job, and up against a very hard wall. He knows that the funding will be taken away unless he can come up with something. I think he relies very much on his daughter's work. He doesn't necessarily, I think he's impatient but that's purely well mapped into generationally. And I don't think he's that unreal. I think the ways of thought are not that unreal. I think I'm probably an assassin and not a Templar, but no doubt we're probably run by people with Templar mentalities.
IGN: The Templars seem like they have really, at least in the last decade or so, resurged into public consciousness or they've definitely carved out a space in pop culture. What do you think is the long lasting fascination people seem to have with the Knights Templar?
Irons: Well, I think it sort of starts with, of course, the start of the Crusades, but any organization that is sort of underground like the Masons, the Masons are always looked at with suspicion and you can find in anti-antisemitism the same thing -- a group or a nation or whatever who seem to be and have power and how do they get the power? But they do have it. I think it's very much a feeling now in global economics, you know G7 and all of that. There are a group of people who are managing the world to their advantage and who just look to the rest of us as people who will buy their products and fund their salaries.
IGN: You've stepped into these large pieces of machinery that are modern film franchises. At this point, are you more at peace with how the industry is now? You have to basically go to television to do more dramatic work. You're not going to work everyday thinking of okay, am I acting across from a tennis ball today?
Irons: Well, fortunately I've never had to do that. I try to avoid doing movies where I act with tennis balls. It's ultimately incredibly tedious. On the other time, I have to nurture my career. I just finished two relatively small budget movies and I know that one of the reasons we got the money for them is that I have a name because I've appeared in these very widely seen movies such as the Batman franchise or this movie or Die Hard. It's important in a career to mix the two. The work I prefer to do are the smaller budget pictures, television can be great but it ties you up for quite a long time. I did The Borgias some years ago which was five months a year for three years.
But that's the nature of it. I have to say that I've reached the state of my career where I quite like not to work. Strange enough, I'm busier than ever. I'm not spending every waking hour beside a telephone waiting for it to ring. I'm hoping that I'll have a few months off. I feel I've sort of, although I have two movies I'm going to make next year, but it still seems to be... I've actually always been fussy about the work I do. Making movies is.... making movies can actually be quite boring, there's a lot of sitting around and waiting. Unless you really believe in the story and love the character, and unless you really need the money, I don't see the point in doing it.