Create an image depicting filmmaker Neil Jordan in the English countryside, discovering a sense of rationality. Include ethereal elements such as the ghostly figure of his father appearing nearby, and

‘It wasn’t until I went to England that I discovered rationality’: Neil Jordan on Tom Cruise, sandwich-boarding, and encountering his dad’s ghost – The Guardian

‘It wasn’t until I went to England that I discovered rationality’: Neil Jordan on Tom Cruise, sandwich-boarding, and encountering his dad’s ghost

Neil Jordan, the acclaimed Irish filmmaker and writer, is best known for his work on films such as The Crying Game and Interview with the Vampire. In a candid interview with The Guardian, Jordan opens up about his unusual journey towards rationality, his experiences working with Hollywood mega-star Tom Cruise, his early days of sandwich-boarding, and a rather surreal encounter with his father’s ghost.

A Journey to Rationality

Neil Jordan’s path to becoming one of Ireland’s most prominent directors was far from conventional. It wasn’t until I went to England that I discovered rationality, he says, reminiscing about his formative years. Ireland in the ’60s and ’70s was a place steeped in superstition and folklore, and while that certainly adds color to one’s imagination, it can also cloud one’s grip on reality.

Jordan describes his move to London as a transformative period where he first encountered the enlightening power of rational thought. This shift in environment played a significant role in shaping his approach to storytelling, one that balances ethereal themes with grounded narratives.

Working with Tom Cruise

When asked about his experience working with Tom Cruise on Interview with the Vampire, Jordan’s face lights up with a mixture of fondness and amusement. Tom is a peculiar blend of sheer professionalism and boundless energy, he recalls. There were these moments on set where his enthusiasm was almost contagious. It was as if he transferred some cosmic energy into every scene.

The director acknowledges that casting Cruise in the role of the brooding vampire Lestat was met with skepticism initially. But Tom is incredibly dedicated. He threw himself into the role with such fervor that by the end of it, he silenced all the critics.

From Sandwich-Boarding to Silver Screen

Before his ascent to cinematic greatness, Neil Jordan had his share of humble beginnings. One of his most memorable early jobs was sandwich-boarding in Dublin. It sounds almost Dickensian now, walking the streets of Dublin with an advertising board strapped over my shoulders, he laughs. But looking back, it was an experience that taught me a lot about human nature.

Jordan credits these early encounters with ordinary people as foundational in his ability to create nuanced characters and compelling narratives. People from all walks of life would engage with me, share their stories, and in those moments, I learned more about the complexity of human emotions than any writing workshop could ever teach me.

Encountering His Father’s Ghost

No conversation with Neil Jordan would be complete without delving into the mystical experiences that have punctuated his life. One particularly eerie encounter involved the apparition of his late father. It was shortly after he had passed away, Jordan begins, his voice softening. I was in bed, half-awake, half-dreaming, and I heard his voice clearly calling my name.

This spine-chilling experience left a lasting impact on Jordan, intertwining his understanding of rationality with an acceptance that not everything can be explained. I suppose that’s why my stories often tread that fine line between reality and the supernatural. It’s reflective of my own grappling with the mysteries of existence.

Concluding Thoughts

Neil Jordan’s multifaceted career is a testament to his ability to weave life’s rich tapestry—rationality, superstition, the mundane, and the extraordinary—into his work. From sandwich-boarding in Dublin to directing Hollywood legends, his journey is a fascinating exploration of the human condition. As he continues to craft narratives that question the nature of reality, Jordan’s unique perspective ensures that his stories remain as captivating as ever.


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