Holy Fa­ther

TV Times - - Interview - The Young Pope THURS­DAY / SKY AT­LANTIC / 9.00Pm Sarah hughes

Jude Law on play­ing a rev­o­lu­tion­ary young pope who hides a trou­bled past in a con­tro­ver­sial new drama...

DRAMA ude Law is tak­ing on one of the most chal­leng­ing roles of his ca­reer this week in the ti­tle role of The Young Pope, Sky At­lantic’s am­bi­tious drama set in the Vat­i­can’s cor­ri­dors of power.

Di­rected by the Os­car-win­ning Ital­ian di­rec­tor Paolo Sor­rentino, the 10-part se­ries fea­tures Jude as Lenny Be­lardo, a fic­tional char­ac­ter who be­comes the first Amer­i­can to be elected supreme pon­tiff and the youngest to hold the of­fice in mod­ern times.

Un­con­ven­tional Lenny – who takes the name Pope Pius XIII – re­veals both a rad­i­cal agenda and a will of iron, as well as a fond­ness for chain-smok­ing and drink­ing Coke Zero at break­fast.

Here, Jude, 43, tells us more about his con­tro­ver­sial take on the role of the Holy Fa­ther…

JWhat’s it like to play the Pope? Ini­tially I got in­volved be­cause of the op­por­tu­nity to work with Paolo and then it sud­denly hit me like a ton of bricks that I would be play­ing the Pope. I re­ally didn’t know how to do that in a be­liev­able way.

Then you pulled on the robes… Yes, ac­tu­ally do­ing that was ex­tra­or­di­nary. It was a very spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence just putting on the white gown, even af­ter six months it would still be amaz­ing walking on set be­cause of the rev­er­ence the out­fit brings. Did the robes help in other ways? Ab­so­lutely. Lenny pulling on the robes is al­most like him start­ing to play the part of the Pope and that felt very fa­mil­iar to me as an ac­tor. I was play­ing Lenny and he is play­ing at be­ing Pope. There was a sort of echo. One of the most fas­ci­nat­ing as­pects is that Lenny’s very au­thor­i­tar­ian and God-fear­ing. Did that sur­prise you? Oh, yes. My ini­tial re­ac­tion was that it would be about a guy who’s caught scan­dal­is­ing the good Catholics with his be­hav­iour, but the story is taken in the other di­rec­tion. It’s more about some­one who’s com­ing to terms with his call­ing and is also very dog­matic. The se­ries has al­ready been dubbed House of Car­di­nals be­cause of all the schem­ing and dou­ble-cross­ing. Are you wor­ried about the re­sponse it may gen­er­ate? I hope I’m right about this, but I don’t think it’ll of­fend peo­ple. As we made the se­ries, it didn’t feel as if we were be­ing dis­re­spect­ful to the Catholic Church, just that we were lift­ing the lid and hav­ing a good look at the dy­nam­ics un­derneath. We were ex­am­in­ing the core na­ture of faith.



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