Jeremy Irons’s Most Stylish Movies

Get inspired by the costumes and settings found in the Oscar-winning actor's most notable films.

With his natural elegance, gentlemanly demeanor and good looks, coupled with a passion for design, Jeremy Irons emerged as a style icon in the early 1980s. The image of the Academy Award–winning English actor — which, of course, has been shaped by his work in film and TV — still holds enduring appeal. Let’s take a peek at some fashions and accoutrements drawn from a few of his classic roles.


Brideshead Revisited

Brideshead Revisited cast

From left: Anthony Andrews, Diana Quick, Jeremy Irons, 1981. © Granada Television/courtesy of Everett Collection

In 1981, Irons became internationally famous playing Charles Ryder in this 11-episode television series based on Evelyn Waugh’s novel of the same name. Brideshead Revisited’s lush world inspired fashion designers and interior decorators, who adapted the show’s vision of aristocratic style. Viewers hosted Brideshead dress-up parties, and some even began carrying stuffed bears.


Dead Ringers

DEAD RINGERS, Jeremy Irons

Irons as Elliot Mantle, one of the twin gynecologists, 1988. © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.

In this 1988 David Cronenberg film, Irons takes on the double role of creepy twin gynecologists who get overly involved with their patients. Sunglasses, a sharp European suit and imported high-end accessories lend this evil twin confidence and panache.


Reversal of Fortune

REVERSAL OF FORTUNE, Glenn Close, Jeremy Irons

Glenn Close as Sunny von Bülow and Irons as her husband, Claus, 1990. ©Warner Brothers./Courtesy Everett Collection.

In 1990, Irons won an Oscar for his portrayal of Claus von Bülow, the British socialite who was convicted and later acquitted of the attempted murder of his wealthy wife, Sunny. Before Sunny fell into her irreversible coma, Claus’s life was one of high style. Think: Newport garden parties, white dinner jackets and fine china.


Stealing Beauty

Stealing Beauty Jeremy Irons Liv Tyler

Jeremy Irons and Liv Tyler in Stealing Beauty, 1996.

Irons plays Alex, a dying playwright, in this 1996 Bernardo Bertolucci film. Costars include his wife (Sinéad Cusack), Liv Tyler, Joseph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz. As Alex, Irons maintains his upper-class European style but with a dollop or two of artistic eccentricity.


Lolita

Lolita Jeremy Irons

Irons as Humbert Humbert in Lolita, 1997.

When Irons took on Humbert Humbert, a middle-aged man sexually obsessed with 12-year-old Lolita, based on Nabokov’s controversial 1955 novel, his performance was hailed for its bravery. Costume designer Judianna Makovsky, who also created the looks for Reversal of Fortune, clothed Irons’s conflicted character in respectability — putting him in suits and ties and keeping his body mostly pajama-ed during love scenes.


The Man in the Iron Mask

Man in the Iron Mask cast

John Malkovich, Jeremy Irons, Leonardo DiCaprio and Gerard Depardieu in The Man in the Iron Mask. Photo by Etienne George/Sygma via Getty Images

In this 1998 action film set during the reign of King Louis XIV, Irons plays Aramis, an aging musketeer. There are gold embroidered costumes, heavy jewelry, ornate candlesticks and feathered headgear. Is this period piece a style departure for Irons? Perhaps. But keep in mind the man does own a castle in Ireland.