Academy Award-winning actor Jeremy Irons (“The Mission,” “Die Hard With a Vengeance,” “Brideshead Revisited”) on Wednesday savaged New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s attempts to coerce people into healthier lifestyles, comparing the mayor’s policies to a “nanny state.”

“I’m a complete libertarian. I think it’s very, very dangerous. I really mean that. I think the smoking ban is a tip of an iceberg of society — the leaders of society telling us how to be,” he said during an interview on HuppPost Live

“I think it’s not their business. I think it is their business to tell us to care for and respect each other and each other’s happiness and each other’s health, and we are responsible enough to do that,” he adds.

He continued:

I think it’s terrible, it’s the tip of the iceberg, because it’s an attitude, it’s an attitude where the governors think “we know what’s best for people, and they’re so stupid that they would only not do it if we ban it.”

And personally, I think about smoking tobacco — it suits some people, it doesn’t suit other people. A lot of people who are bored and unhappy smoke cigarettes. Of course if you’re bored and unhappy, you’ll die early. So that’s why those two things add up.

He paused to clean his back teeth, breaking his line of thought for a moment.

“I have a grandmother of a friend of mine in Greece, who grew tobacco all her life, that’s what they did, in northern Greece, they grew tobacco,” he continued.

“She died at 103, she smoked from the age of 13. So it suits some people, it doesn’t suit others. But I think, when governors tell us how we can behave and how we can’t, I don’t believe it’s the way to go.”

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Featured image Getty Images.

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