A shocking look at history’s ‘first crime family’

Actor Colm Feore is up for almost anything — be it a lavish TV period drama, a summer blockbuster or a small Canadian documentary series.

“I do whatever it takes to keep the kids in shoe leather,” says Feore, best known for such diverse works as 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould and Pearl Harbor. “And I have to keep myself interested, of course. It’s always about what interests me.”

What currently interests him is The Borgias, a 15th-century TV drama about Rodrigo Borgia (Jeremy Irons), who would become Pope Alexander VI.

Far from being a costumed tale of courtly manners, The Borgias is being promoted as “the first crime family.” It’s not hard to see why. Directed by Neil Jordan (Mona Lisa, The Crying Game), The Borgias is a devilish, sometimes shocking look at a decidedly unconventional pope who, among other things, had a family, a mistress and ruthless methods to getting his way.

“It is very Godfather,” says Feore, who plays the equally manipulative pope wannabe, Cardinal Rovere. “You see Borgias’ motivations. He wants to protect his family. He wants his kids to do well. And to do it, he’s willing to kill people.”

The actor says the moral ambiguities in The Borgias are such that he was under the belief his character was the “good guy” all through production.

“I saw Rovere as the shining hero of the piece. Then Neil comes up to me at the wrap party and asks me what it’s like to be the bad guy.”

Feore also plays Laufey in the highly anticipated 3-D summer blockbuster Thor.

The Borgias premieres this Sunday on Bravo!.

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