"I find 'life' more exciting," the British thespian told reporters in New York. "I do love getting into the tunnel of new lives and new characters. ... (But) there's an awful lot of hanging about and traveling that I don't enjoy too much, but you take the rough with the smooth."
Irons, who lives in Ireland with his wife, actress Sinead Cusack, added, "One of the reasons I love Ireland is that a lot of the time I can't be there, so when I'm there, I'm really hungry for it."
The "Lolita" actor also confided he feels more like an ordinary Irish resident, not a celebrity.
"They take you for what you are, not what the public perception of you is," he said. "So, if you're a good person and sing a song, you fit into their way of life. I hunt foxes and I'm a joint master of the local hunt, so the fabric of society is one that I've weaved into and that's what I like because when I don't film, I'm not an actor."
2014: The Year in Fashion [PHOTOS]
Polly Bergen, Emmy Award-winning actress, dies