Weekly Crush.

François Arnaud

How You Know Him: 

In a bunch of French Canadian stuff… but really just as Cesare in Showtime’s lush ‘historical’ drama The Borgias.

Why He’s Crushworthy: 

Given the fact that I’ve decided it’s necessary to illustrate this series I think it’s fair to say I’m really sort of digging The Borgias. I suppose it’s not particularly surprising given my penchant for these sorts of things and a rather unhealthy appetite for conniving and murder. I wrote about this show in another post, but I’ll admit, I did so more because I’d already written a quasi-review of Starz’s Camelot and I thought it was only fair to rib on something I had been looking forward to rather than stumbled upon (and I have been looking forward to The Borgias since they announced it’s existance after the final episode of The Tudors) and planned to do the same for Game of Thrones (which I am not looking forward to as much as I feel I should be). But then, after I wrote my Borgias post I found something strange happening. I started realizing that I really love this show. And probably about a fourth of that goes down to the amazingness that is Arnaud.

I battled, briefly, over whether or not I should name my Weekly Crush as the actor or the character. It’s certainly his portrayal of Cesare Borgia that’s won me over entirely, but I can’t quite put down the character name without drawing to mind the actual historical person. Who was… not the greatest of dudes. I admit, I didn’t know much about Cesare before this show started (a somewhat deliberate attempt on my part) apart from the way he’s portrayed in a book I hated with the passion of a thousand living suns. Meaning, of course, Gregory Maguire’s Mirror Mirror, a retelling of Snow White casting Lucrezia Borgia as the evil queen and treacherous Cesare as catalyst. But what’s captured me about Arnaud’s portrayal on Showtime’s series is that it’s like watching a notorious figure before they’re notorious. Before they’ve done the truly awful things you know they’ll do, before they hurt the people they love and turn out rather, well, sadistic. And he does it so well. This boy can smolder like no one’s business. He carelessly commands the deaths of powerful people, but retreats into shadows when he doesn’t think the victim actually deserves their death. And I suppose it goes back to the first episode when he dramaticly professes, in a confessional no less, that if god will not protect his family than he will. But then there are the softer scenes, dare I say the downright adorable scenes with Cesare and Lucrezia (I’m totally going to hell for thinking they’re adorable together but then he nose bumps her and I don’t really care, and let’s face it; I was heading there anyway) where they’re rolling around in the grass or he’s comparing them to Abelard and Héloïse (really now?). While looking through photos to post I had a hard time finding one of him smiling when Lucrezia wasn’t smack in the middle of the picture (which I relented and posted at the bottom because he’s too adorable there). So instead I went with a rather more encompassing photo. Ridiculous hat? Check. Smirk? Check. Adorable monkey? Check. Purple clerical robes that wouldn’t look sexy on anyone else on the planet? Check.

And then let’s talk about chemistry. Besides Holliday Grainger playing Lucrezia, he has chemistry with everyone. Everything. He can be laying on a pillow eating an olive and I can’t avert my gaze. And I need to take a moment of appreciation for the way he says dinner knife.

Okay this is bordering on fangirling so I’ll just stop right now. I’m the first to admit that most of my Weekly Crushes aren’t even crushes in the common sense of the term but this one… oh it is.


About Lindsay

I have a C'est Moi page, you should probably just read that.
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3 Responses to Weekly Crush.

  1. Teena says:

    oh and I thought I was the only one… for weeks now I’ve been feeling really bad because I actually totally dig Cesare Borgia (I’m supposed you’re not to, looking at the historical figure..)
    I had more or less stumbled upon the show but having a sof spot for opulent costume dramas, and being partial to ruthless and cunning characters 😉 I await every episode with excitement and curiosity. Certainly not the most accurate, historically, but very easy on the eye (and we’re not even talking Francois Arnaud… I had to google him)
    he is – apart from brilliant Jeremy Irons – the main reason for watching the show.
    I can’t wait for Cesare to chuck in this cardinal business and get out of the red robe and back into more of those cute costumes….
    shallow? Me? naaaah..
    BTW – I totally adore your illustrations – makes me giggle and want to re-watch the episodes at once. Thanks so much 😉

  2. kittenkaboom says:

    It’s funny I was so excited that Jeremy Irons was in this show because I love him and I kinda have a crush on him… but OH MY GOD Francois Arnaud or Cesare Borgia either way you slice it he is HOT and as you know I always love the bad boy 🙂

  3. Lindsay says:

    I was completely preoccupied with Jeremy Irons before this aired, but Cesare is my favorite part of this show. And Lucrezia, I love her too, but I expected to love her. Cesare I was not expecting. But he RULES. Also, really freaking hot. GUH.

    And, Teena, thanks for much for a) commenting and b) liking the illustrations. They crack me up and that’s all that really matters, but it’s nice to hear that someone else is appreciating them too.

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