Renaissance Man: Colm Feore channels a 15th-century zealot and a comic book baddy in two flashy new gigs

Renaissance Man: Colm Feore channels a 15th-century zealot and a comic book baddy in two flashy new gigs

Headshot of Colm Feore
Colm Feore is a master of the double life. The country’s supreme leading man has tackled theatre’s most demanding roles at Stratford (Hamlet, Cyrano, Macbeth) and some of our most iconic national figures onscreen: in 1993, he broke out as neurotic, ecstatic Glenn Gould in François Girard’s Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould; a decade later, he won a Gemini for playing our playboy PM in the CBC miniseries Trudeau. But he has also graced deliciously campy productions with his supporting characters, from Lord Marshal in The Chronicles of Riddick to Assistant District Attorney Harrison in Chicago. This spring, Feore stars in The Borgias, a big-budget historical soap opera so sumptuous that its decadence rivals that of the famously corrupt Renaissance clan. Feore is Cardinal Giuliano Della Rovere, the nemesis of the profligate patriarch Rodrigo Borgia (played by Jeremy Irons)—who, through a masterful web of bribery, is elected to the papacy. As the austere cleric, Feore is all steel and self-possession—his eyes are cold and his shoulders stiff—the perfect picture of melodramatic restraint against Borgia’s excess. Through the actor, piety becomes zealotry; morality, menace. Channelling Ymir, the King of the Frost Giants, in the new comic book adaptation Thor (directed by a fellow Shakespearean-who’s-slumming-it, Kenneth Branagh) requires significantly less nuance: the only thing the blue colossus wants is to cause destruction with a frozen club. Juggling a 15th-century ecclesiastic and a hopped-up super-villain? No sweat—four hours in the makeup chair aside.

TV
The Borgias
Premieres April 3, Bravo
FILM
Thor
In theatres May 6