Actor Jeremy Irons talks trash with EU bureaucrats

Thu Mar 7, 2013 5:29pm EST
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By Barbara Lewis

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - British actor Jeremy Irons hates waste with a passion - so much so that he overcame his natural dislike of regulation to team up with the EU bureaucrats and inject some movie magic into the bloc's latest plans on recycling rubbish.

The Oscar-winning Irons took to the Commission podium on Thursday, alongside the EU environment commissioner, to kick off months of debate on plastic waste.

While he believes in the cause of tackling the mountains of dumped plastic polluting our oceans and entering the food chain, Irons thinks the Commission, the EU executive, has a few things to learn on communication.

"Brussels is a bubble. Every now and then it burps and out comes a bit of legislation," he told Reuters. "So how do you get the people behind it?"

Deft PR and the cult of celebrity, meanwhile, ensure a buzz about almost any film.

Irons, who won the best actor Oscar in 1990 for his portrayal of murderer Claus von Bulow in "Reversal of Fortune", was promoting his documentary "Trashed", a global tour of people's failure to deal with rubbish.

The documentary, made with writer-director Candida Brady, came about, Irons said, because he wanted to take a break from the fiction that tends to dominate his acting career and "make a documentary about something important".

Climate change is overwhelming, people feel powerless, he said. But rubbish can be tackled. San Francisco, for example, is aiming to become a zero waste city through methodical recycling.   Continued...

Actor Jeremy Irons smiles during a photocall to promote the movie "Night Train to Lisbon" at the 63rd Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz