Jeremy Irons on playing a Pope, 'The Lion King' and his voice

Jeremy Irons, shown here as Rodrigo Borgia in the second season of "The Borgias."

Story highlights

  • Jeremy Irons plays Rodrigo Borgia, a Pope, in "The Borgias"
  • The actor voiced the malevolent Scar in "The Lion King"
  • "Making 'The Borgias' is a great experience, we have a lot of fun," Irons said
"The Borgias" are back for a second season and according to star Jeremy Irons we can expect even more nefarious plotting and lustful encounters.
The 63-year-old actor has had a long career including an Academy Award for "Reversal of Fortune" and voicing the malevolent Scar in "The Lion King." He recently spoke to CNN about playing a pope and his not-so-secret vice.
CNN: What can we expect this season?
Jeremy Irons: You can expect a good ride, a naughty ride, a good ride. I think you can expect an even more exciting ride than last season. It's perkier; it's faster with a lot of surprises.
CNN: When you first signed up, were you worried that it would be historical soft porn?
Irons: No, because I know Showtime, I know Neil Jordan. I thought that we'd avoid that and I think we have.
CNN: The show is like "The Sopranos" in the Vatican.
Irons: I would say that's right.
CNN: The characters are pretty venal.
Irons: Yes life was more on the edge. Life was not valued quite as highly as it is today. People were used to fighting, people were used to dying. Death was much more a part of life than it is today. Children and women would die in childbirth. Men would die. The whole perception was different.