'Pushing Daisies' Vet Anna Friel to Co-Star in Showtime's 'Vatican'

Anna Friel - P 2013
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Anna Friel is headed to the Vatican.

The Pushing Daisies alum has closed a deal to co-star opposite Kyle Chandler in Showtime's drama pilot The Vatican from executive producer Ridley Scott, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The Vatican is a contemporary thriller about spirituality, power and politics set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic Church. The series would explore the relationships and rivalries in addition to the mysteries and miracles behind the institution.

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Friel will play Kayla Duffy, the younger sister of Cardinal Thomas Duffy (Chandler). Unlike her brother, Kayla is a sexually active, hard-partying New Yorker. She is darkly witty and openly rebellious against all norms and institutions, including the Church. While Kayla and Duffy are close, honest and loving siblings, she is always a complication and, at times, a liability for a man of the cloth who is one of the public leaders of the Catholic Church.

Friel joins a cast that also includes Matthew Goode as Papal Secretary Bernd Koch and Sebastian Koch as Cardinal Marco Malerba. Friel's casting comes one day after Pope Benedict XVI officially left office.

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Paul Attanasio (House, Donnie Brasco) wrote the script, with Scott (Prometheus, Gladiator) making his TV directing debut on the pilot. Attanasio, Scott and David Zucker (The Good Wife) will serve as executive producers on the Sony TV project. Production will begin this year.

Repped by UTA and Ken McReddie Associates, Friel is best known as Charlotte "Chuck" Charles on ABC's Pushing Daisies. Her feature film credits include You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Limitless, Land of the Lost, Timeline and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

It's been a good few weeks for veterans of Pushing Daisies. Friel's co-star Lee Pace snagged a lead role in AMC's 1980s drama pilot Halt and Catch Fire, and Feb. 14, NBC announced Daisies creator Bryan Fuller's Hannibal will debut April 4.

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