|Arnaud with Holliday Grainger (Cesare’s kinky sister Lucrezia)|
The Borgias has certainly been a big break for Francois Arnaud. The 26-year-old Montreal native landed the role of Cesare Borgia and is second billed to Jeremy Irons on the Showtime/Bravo/CTV series, which has been renewed for a second season. Season One comes to DVD and Blu-ray Aug. 30.
I spoke with Arnaud last October in Budapest, Hungary, where the historical drama is shot. He seemed pretty matter-of-fact about his good fortune and about acting opposite Irons, almost as if he didn’t want to make too big a deal about it for fear of breaking the spell.
Arnaud is perfect for the multicultural mix that is The Borgias. The set is a blend of Brits, Canucks and Hungarians. The Irish creator of the series, Neil Jordan, wanted all the actors to speak in a vaguely British accent. “In Rome, everybody spoke very posh. He didn’t want that,” says Arnaud, who also speaks Spanish and speaks English with little trace of his natural french accent. “I had English speaking friends since childhood. I’m really bad at a lot of things but language isn’t one of them.”
Asked what he meant by being bad at certain things, Arnaud said he’s not one of those actors who can also sing and dance. “God didn’t bring Glee on my path,” he says. “It might be a really good thing.”
For more on Arnaud, follow this link to the story I wrote yesterday for The Canadian Press.