Irons feels the power

Thesp calls 'Borgias' character 'a bit of everything'

There’s perhaps no more natural choice to play the part of the cunning and powerful Rodrigo Borgia, also known as Pope Alexander VI, than Jeremy Irons.

“There are many different views about Alexander,” says Irons. “People say he was a huge reformist of the church, a wonderful organizer, and a great military commander, as well as wonderful company and a man of great appetites. Yet people also called him incestuous, a murderer and an adulterer. I found he was a bit of everything. That’s great for an actor to be able to play.”

Neil Jordan, creator and exec producer of Showtime’s lush medieval series, is a friend of Irons. Both were taking in a play in Dublin when the Irish director told the British actor, “I’ve got something that might interest you.” A few weeks later, Jordan pitched the part of Borgia to Irons.

Irons, however, did not jump at the chance.

“I looked Alexander VI up on Google and learned that he was a big man. So I told Neil, ‘It’s nice of you to ask me but I think you could cast it better.’ Neil responded, ‘I don’t care what he looked like. The part is all about power and how this man dealt with power. I think it’s a role you can cope with and play well.’?”

In the end, portraying Borgia’s tricky relationships in dealing with power and his family is what convinced Irons to come on board.

“Today, people do things to strengthen their power base, to increase their power, to make the life they live more secure,” says Irons. “What interests me are the parallels between then and today, and how the games of power haven’t changed at all.”

ROAD TO THE EMMYS: THE ACTOR
Antiheroes and the actors who love them | Actors always playing the bridesmaid | Prior noms hope to repeat | Actors in Emmy contention
Lead Actor Contenders
Sean Bean | Steve Buscemi | Jeremy Irons | Matt LeBlanc |

Andrew Lincoln | Louis C.K. | William H. Macy | Tom Selleck

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More TV News from Variety

Loading