From Ray Richmond, who is contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s TCA coverage:
There’s no mystery where Showtime is taking its marketing orders from in promoting its forthcoming historical costume drama series The Borgias that premieres April 3. The tagline hypes it as “the original crime family,” documenting life in the Italian Renaissance of the late 1400s and the corrupt rule of Rodrigo Borgia, who would become Pope in 1492. As he described during a TCA session this afternoon, the man playing the Borgia patriarch, Jeremy Irons, saw the notorious Rodrigo as “a pretty good guy doing the best he can.”
Irons continued, “It was an interesting time. There were murders every night. Poisonings most weekends. Incest here, sodomy there. It was a good old rolling, rollicking society. If you’re going to run that as a Pope tends to do, you’re going to have to play by some set of rules. I don’t judge him at all. I think it’s up to the audience to say what is good, what is wrong, what’s right. There are huge parallels today to how things were back then as far as what people get up to and what they do to get their way. I don’t think anything has changed really. I played him as someone who thought he was a pretty good guy. I’m sure George W. Bush thought he was a good guy, too. Stalin probably liked himself.”
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