Jeremy Irons Calls 'Downton Abbey' the Ford Fiesta of Television

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Shock and awe! Not all tony British actors are enthralled with Downton Abbey! For one, Jeremy Irons thinks its crass, or that's at least what he implied during a Television Critics Association panel for PBS's Shakespeare Uncovered, a show in which Irons and other actors tease out the stories behind Shakespeare plays. Per The Wrap he said: 

What I'm really excited about with 'Shakespeare Uncovered' is we'll see some of the best British actors playing Shakespeare. What you can do is to open up to this huge American audience... show them that actually television doesn't end with 'Downton Abbey.' If you think that's good, then watch the Shakespeare productions. You'll see what real writing, what real stories, what real characters are about.

Burn. Downton, he explained, is like a Ford Fiesta: "A Ford Fiesta will get you there and give you a good time. But actually an Aston Martin..." Irons also targeted the French during the panel, just making sure we can stereotype him as a haughty Brit. (Though, thank you, Jeremy Irons for making us remember that you were the voice of Scar in The Lion King.) That said, he did give HitFix's Daniel Fienberg an idea:

Irons however, admitted that he actually has never watched Downton, and that he doesn't "watch very much television." Can someone please remind him about The Borgias?

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.