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Jeremy Irons on Playing the Pope for 'The Borgias' & the Trouble With Wearing Pants (VIDEO)

by Maggie Furlong, posted Feb 10th 2011 4:00PM
Jeremy Irons, 'The Borgias'Oscar-, Emmy-, Tony-, SAG- and Golden Globe–winning actor Jeremy Irons has always been a believable villain on stage and screen, but his first U.S. television starring role might be his most scheming of all.

In Showtime's epic new Renaissance-era series 'The Borgias' (two-hour premeire Sun., April 3, 9PM ET), Irons plays Rodrigo Borgia, the Spanish family's patriarch who rises to power in Italy and eventually becomes the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Alexander VI.

With that newfound authority, Rodrigo and his family became synonymous with scandal. The show documents their controversial reign with gorgeous scenery (shot outside of Budapest, Hungary) and period costuming -- something Irons really got used to. In fact, when I sat down with him, he was complaining about how difficult it was to go back to wearing pants after shooting. Not to mention how hard it was to not be Pope anymore ...

"I like people doing exactly what I tell them because I am the voice of God," Irons joked. "I mean, that suddenly stops when we stop shooting, and that's difficult. I had a tricky week when I went home to the wife."

But Irons did defend the Borgia clan, saying, "Now we expect our leaders to be crystal clean, and of course anybody who is is actually pretty boring and hasn't lived much of a life ... A lot of what you hear about the Borgias is gossip."

Then he brings up the fact that the Church and the Italian government are still constantly embroiled in scandal, like current Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who's had multiple brushes with the law for alleged mafia ties, tax evasion and, currently, a prostitution scandal. Suddenly the Borgias don't look so bad, do they?

So, TV fans, will you watch? Check out the video interview for more on 'The Borgias,' then sound off in the comments.

Follow Maggie on Twitter @TheTVShowGirl

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Anthony Wickizer

I wonder who the got to play Ezio Auditorre da Firenze?!?!

February 11 2011 at 9:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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Can't wait to see this! Jeremy Irons is an outstanding actor!

February 11 2011 at 6:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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