After 'The Borgias': 4 Historical Figures Jeremy Irons Should Play Next

Yahoo Contributor Network

View photo

Actor Jeremy Irons is no stranger to period dramas. Most recently, the veteran actor portrayed Rodrigo Borgia (aka Pope Alexander VI) in the Showtime drama "The Borgias." But now that "The Borgias" is at an end, Jeremy Irons is in need of a new project.

Other than an upcoming Western, "A Magnificent Death from a Shattered Hand," Irons doesn't have much on his plate (at least, according to his IMDB page). Fans of "The Borgias" are hoping that Irons will sink his teeth into another juicy period-drama role soon. Here are four historical figures that Irons is uniquely suited to bring to life.

Julius Caesar

While Irons is a full decade older than Caesar was at the time of his death, the 65-year-old actor is uniquely suited to play Caesar in the days before his assassination. Irons has an innately regal bearing; his role as Henry IV in the recent miniseries "The Hollow Crown" is testament to that. But Irons also has a fragility about him that would make him sympathetic to audiences. Caesar is believed to suffer from epilepsy, and the actor who plays him must seem strong and fragile at the same time.

The Sun King

Louis XIV of France, also known as the Sun King, ruled over his country for an astonishing 72 years. The Sun King's obsession with divine right would make this role an interesting parallel to the role of Rodrigo Borgia. In addition, he was a gifted tactician and a patron of the arts who maintained a string of mistresses. Irons could bring this fascinating character to life with ease.

Oswald Mosley

Season 4 of "Downton Abbey" is set to take place from 1922 onward. Is it too much to hope that Irons could be written into the show for Season 5, which would presumably take place in the late 1920s or early 1930s? Irons would be a great choice to play Oswald Mosley, the notorious founder of the British Union of Fascists. It would be all too easy to see Mary getting caught up with the wrong kind of political people.

George Bernard Shaw

To be fair, Jeremy Irons looks nothing like George Bernard Shaw. But then again, Irons didn't look much like Rodrigo Borgia, and he brought that role to life with great finesse. Shaw is a fascinating historical figure, most famous for his play "Pygmalion," which was the basis for "My Fair Lady."

Shaw had an interesting personal life that would make for a great miniseries. He married his wife Charlotte but never consummated the marriage. He was a member of a society that championed the need to explore outer space... in the 1940s. And he was an ardent socialist. Irons has played a writer in the past, making this role a good fit for him. Also, in 2002, Irons played F. Scott Fitzgerald in a made-for-TV movie.

View Comments