Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Borgias Exclusive: David Oakes on Juan Borgia's Rise and Fall

"The last thing I did on The Borgias, was literally throw myself off a bridge," David Oakes reminisced on Monday afternoon.  One of the stars of the Showtime series, Oakes' run as troublesome brother Juan Borgia was fantastic, but it sadly came to an end with the character's inevitable death on Sunday's penultimate episode of the year.

It was a moment that Oakes knew was coming. "I always knew I was going to die in season two," he said. "That was never in doubt, but I didn't know when I was going to die." After Juan's failure at Forli, and his subsequent syphilis, gangrenous leg, and opium addiction, everyone saw this character's end in sight.  As Oakes says, "There really wasn't much keeping him alive."

That is truly sad, because Juan Borgia was an extremely compelling character over the past two years.  Oakes was brilliant at playing both the on-top-of-the-world leader of the Papal armies, and also the down-on-his-luck coward.

"I enjoyed the contrast," Oakes told me. "You got this wonderful meeting between what [creator] Neil Jordan wanted initially for Juan to be, and what they ended up with having cast me in the role.  I was always trying to show Neil that behind the arrogance and uselessness, there sort of was this true human being that desired to impress people. Towards the end you ended up with this great, great clash of the two."
To read the rest of my exclusive with David Oakes of The Borgias, head over to TV Fanatic.

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