Oscar-winning producer delights Craiglockhart audience

Second Chancellor Talk hailed a success

Date posted

21 June 2016


Oscar-winning producer Jeremy Thomas gave a University audience an insight into his work in the second of our Chancellor Talk events.

The man behind The Last Emperor, Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, Crash, Young Adam and Sexy Beast revealed he still strived to ensure his films made an impact.

He said: “I’m still trying to deliver films that will shock – every film I’m looking for something to please, and irritate and annoy.”

And he emphasised the importance of learning by getting actively involved in the creative process.

He told an audience in the Lindsay Stewart Theatre at Craiglockhart on Monday; “You only understand how things are done by doing. Anybody can start, going professional is a leap, but the first thing is to do it." 

Thomas – who independently produced Bertolucci’s epic The Last Emperor, which won nine Oscars including Best Picture at the Academy Awards - was introduced by University Chancellor Dr David Eustace with a short edit of his work.

Dr Eustace, who first attended the University in his late twenties and used his degree as a platform to build a career as an award winning-photographer and creative consultant, came up with the idea of the Chancellor Talk events.

Thomas’s appearance follows the successful launch of the series with a lecture by legendary graphic designer Milton Glaser in March.

Dr Eustace said: “At Edinburgh Napier University, we hope to give students, staff and the wider community access to people who have made a difference to our cultural world. Jeremy Thomas is one of those figures; a respected movie producer who often made things happen when others told him it wasn’t possible.”

Thomas’s extensive output includes The Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle starring the Sex Pistols through to Jonathan Glazer’s Sexy Beast, and most recently the JG Ballard adaptation High-Rise by Ben Wheatley and Tale of Tales by Matteo Garrone. 

His rich and varied career has seen him work with giants of cinema, including directors Bernardo Bertolucci, Nicolas Roeg, David Cronenberg, Wim Wenders, Stephen Frears amongst many others, and actors including Dennis Hopper, Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando, Johnny Depp, John Hurt, Terence Stamp, Tilda Swinton, Peter O’Toole, John Malkovich, Harvey Keitel, David Bowie, Susannah York, Ben Kingsley, Jeremy Irons, Willem Dafoe, Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Tom Hiddleston, Eva Green, Michael Fassbender, Tim Roth, Alan Bates, Tom Conti and a young Christian Bale.