Director Neil Jordan on Showtime’s ‘The Borgias’

  Neil Jordan talks about his new Showtime series.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

After all the wives of Henry VIII, Showtime’s The Tudors had nowhere else to go. So they’re starting with a new European royal family, this time Pope Alexander and his clan. Neil Jordan created and produces the show and we got to ask him a few questions at his presentation to the Television Critics Association.


CraveOnline:There are some pretty hot clips in the sizzle real How many opportunities are there for scenes like that in the story of a religious family?

Neil Jordan:  Sadly, an enormous amount of scenes like that.  It was Roman in 1492.  The popes had mistresses, shockingly.  And the entire family were pretty hot and lascivious, I think.


CraveOnline:  Is that an important element in doing a Showtime show?

Neil Jordan:  Not at all.  No, no, no, no, no, no, no.  I mean, it just happened to be part of the story of the Borgias really.  They were one of the most notorious families to have lived.  And Rodrigo Borgia definitely was one of the most notorious men ever to have become Pope.  He had a family.  He had a beautiful daughter Lucrezia, who became a byword for sinister female machination.  But we want to present her as a real person and as a heroine, actually.  So we're trying to do our best to tell the truth.


CraveOnline:  Do you see The Borgias as a successor to The Tudors?

Neil Jordan:  Well, The Tudors was about England. Actually, if Henry VIII appealed to this guy for a divorce, if he had allowed himself to appeal to this guy for divorce, the entire Reformation would never have happened and The Tudors wouldn't have happened.  So perhaps this is why The Tudors happened.  I mean, they're similar.  They're costume dramas but this is more about a developing story.  This is more about power.  It's more like a huge, enormous crime drama. I think the family in this is much more important.  The family is the center of this.