The Borgias stars reveal 'devious' world of new Sky show

12/08/11

Holliday Grainger and David Oakes

Two young British actors have told Newsbeat about the "devious" world of TV show The Borgias.

The raunchy drama, already a hit in the US, tells the story of a powerful renaissance-era Italian family and their rise to power.

David Oakes plays the "lecherous" Juan Borgia while Holliday Grainger plays the "innocent but not naive" 13-year-old, Lucrezia Borgia.

The show debuts on digital channel Sky Atlantic on Saturday 13 August.

David Oakes, 27, said the show was about the family's "manipulation of the city and their aspirations of grandeur".

'Poisoning people'

"My character Juan is the debauched black sheep of the family," he revealed.

"He maybe isn't quite as switched on as the other ones but certainly knows how to enjoy himself a lot more than the others.

"In the first episode you'll see me in a brothel with some prostitutes dressed as nuns and I quite enjoy pouring red wine over them."

It doesn't pander to the audience, it's dense, it's got everything people want if they want to find it
David Oakes

Holliday Grainger, who played Meg in BBC One series Robin Hood, added: "The Borgias were very famous for their political corruption and poisoning people and things like that."

She also said it had been "fantastic" to see Jeremy Irons in action on set.

The British actor plays Rodrigo Borgia, the father in the family, who bullies and bribes his way into being made the new Pope Alexander VI.

"He's got such presence on the set," she said. "He emanates power and authority but is actually very easy to work with, he's completely not starry."

David Oakes, who appeared in ITV2 show Trinity, said that the show had been a big hit with US audiences so far.

"They've either loved the lecherous debauched side of it or the political, devious, darkness of it.

"It doesn't pander to the audience, it's dense, it's got everything people want if they want to find it."