October 17, 1985
London, England, United Kingdom
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Born Maximilian Paul Diarmuid Irons in the London, England borough of Camden on Oct. 17, 1985, Max Irons is the scion of one of the most celebrated acting families in the United Kingdom. His parents are Oscar winning British actor Jeremy Irons and Tony-nominated Irish actress Sinéad Cusack, while his grandparents were the acclaimed Irish stage performers Cyril Cusack and Mary Margaret Kiely. Despite this bloodline, Irons was initially fearful of following in his family's footsteps, due in part to his dyslexia, which made public speaking a challenge. But after successfully memorizing a 30-page play by Neil LaBute for a drama festival, the 16-year-old Irons decided to pursue a life in drama. He initially taught performance in Nepal, then made his screen debut as a featured extra in "Being Julia" (2004) before taking formal training at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2008. To support himself during this period, Irons worked as a model for such labels as Burberry and Mango.In 2009, he enjoyed his first substantive film role with a bit part as a 19th century libertine in Oliver Parker's adaptation of "Dorian Gray," but remained off-screen for two more years before taking a supporting turn as a privileged young man in the fantasy "Red Riding" (2011) opposite Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman. Irons then played against type as a drug-addicted pornographer in "The Runaway" (Sky 1, 2011) before signing with Macy's INC to serve as the "face" of their summer 2012 advertising campaign. The exposure clearly paid off for Irons, who subsequently landed his first major film experience as the love interest to alien host Saoirse Ronan in "The Host" (2013), Andrew Niccol's ill-fated adaptation of the science fiction novel by Twilight (2005-2008) series author Stephenie Meyer. Irons then rebounded by returning to television for the historical drama series "The White Queen" (BBC 1, 2013), which cast him as King Edward IV of England.