Jeremy Irons Describes His Alfred as a Hero with a Small 'h'

Justice League actor Jeremy Irons describes Alfred Pennyworth's role with the team, saying that while he's not a superhero, he's good backup.

Justice League: The Art of the Film shared a number of behind the scenes pieces of information for excited film fans including more insight into Jeremy Irons's Alfred Pennyworth. While Alfred has seen a number of incarnations throughout the history of the Batman franchise from the 1960s series starring Adam West to Gotham's Sean Pertwee.

Ben Affleck's Batman, the character's latest incarnation, first introduced Alfred in Batman V SupermanPlayed by Jeremy Irons, Batman V Superman saw him play both Bruce's chief of security and chief comforter. While plagued by nightmares of the future of the planet, Alfred was, as always, at Bruce's side ready to support him through any emotional entanglements, or physical ones.

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It's that spirit of support which drives Alfred's motivations in Justice League according to the Art of the Film book. The actor has called Alfred "A bit of a grease monkey who was very involved in the decisions that Bruce makes" in Batman V Superman. In Justice League, Alfred continues in that role which doesn't make him any less heroic. According to Irons, however, he's a hero with a 'small h.'

"Alfred's not a superhero, but in some small, retiring way I think he could be regarded with a small 'h' as a bit of a hero. I think he's a good calming influence, he's a good advisor. I'm not sure he would be at the forefront of the fight, but he'd be a good back up."

Batman V Superman Jeremy Irons Alfred Pennyworth Poster

Fans of Batman know that Alfred is just as integral to the story as the Caped Crusader himself, but always in a secondary, more motivating role. This latest incarnation of Alfred Pennyworth continues in that longstanding tradition of not just being the friend and father figure to Gotham's Dark Knight, but the biggest pillar of support Bruce has ever had.

The biggest difference between Irons's Alfred and previous incarnations is that while previous versions of the Alfred Pennyworth character have existed in a more advisory capacity, this Alfred has proven in DC's film slate that he's very capable of supporting Bruce as well as taking care of himself. He does become the ultimate advisor to Batman on numerous occasions, all while taking care of Bruce Wayne's business. Fans might wonder however if that's enough as the stakes in the DCEU get higher for Gotham's vigilante team.

With Justice League now out in theaters, fans can judge for themselves. Declaring that Alfred is more of a "hero" and less of a superhero doesn't diminish the character in the slightest. He is an integral part of Bruce's story in both Batman V Superman, as well as Justice League, providing excellent backup and proving that you don't need to be a member of the league to be a hero worthy of being a part of the team in any capacity.

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Source: Justice League: The Art of the Film

Key Release Dates
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
  • Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
  • Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
  • Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
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