Chatting at the Television Critics Assosciation panel for PBS’s "Shakespeare Uncovered," Irons used the opportunity to take a swipe at the network's hit show. “What I’m really excited about with 'Shakespeare Uncovered' is we’ll see some of the best British actors playing Shakespeare,” Irons enthused. “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.”
He then takes the comparison between Shakespeare's works and the pen of 'Downton' writer Julian Fellowes by adding: “A Ford Fiesta will get you there and give you a good time. But actually an Aston Martin…” Zing.
Reached for comment, Irons' publicist tried to clarify what happened to Entertainment Weekly. “What he said was 'Downton Abbey,' terrific; Shakespeare, the best. I think there would be few who would dispute the point,” she explained. Irons later told The Wrap he's actually never seen an episode of the show. Uh, okay.
But we'll leave it to you. Did Irons truly burn 'Downton' or was it harmless enough? Fun fact: Irons co-starred with Fellowes in Louis Malle's "Damage." [via ONTD]