Jeremy Irons looked up from the latest tiny cigarette he’d rolled and raised an eyebrow. It’s amazing how much meaning some people can convey with one bit of facial hair. We’d been talking about the licentiousness of Rodrigo Borgia, the character Irons plays in the new nine-part series The Borgias, who schemed his way into the Vatican as Pope Alexander VI in 1492. Rodrigo caroused, slept around, left his by-blows all over Spain and Italy. It really was a different time, wasn’t it? Right?
“He did have a mistress,” said Irons in that famous, just-rolled-out-of-the-wrong-bed voice – the voice of Scar, the bad lion, and Claus von Bulow, the bad husband, and now Borgia, the bad pope. “But I have a Cardinal friend at the moment who's had a mistress for 12 years. He's a Cardinal today, and a great man!”
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