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Jude Law has been enjoying the Roman life since working on Paolo Sorrentino’s upcoming eight-hour television series The Young Pope, a joint production of Sky, HBO and Canal+. Law plays Lenny Belardo, the fictional Pope Pius XIII, the first American pope in contemporary times, and a very conservative one at that.
Law spoke on stage at the 10th Rome Film Fest with artistic director Antonio Monda about his upcoming role and how he came to work with Sorrentino.
“I, like so many others, followed and adored Paolo’s work after La Grande Bellezza. He was someone I mentioned to everyone I worked with that I would love to work with this man. And within a month, I had this script sent to me,” he said. “And so obviously I leapt at the chance. I’ve been here since August filming mostly in and around the center of Rome. It’s going very well.”
While Law wouldn’t reveal too many details on the production — under strict Sorrentino orders — Monda did press him on the most difficult aspect of playing a pope.
“At the moment, it’s that I can only sit on a very uncomfortable sort of stool because they don’t want my papal robes to get creased,” said Law. “So I have to sort of hitch them up and put them over the stool and perch. So once I put the robes on, I usually spend the day, 14 hours, whatever, unable to sit. So I look great, but I’m very uncomfortable.”
And what is clear is that Law has brushed up on his Vatican history. Over the course of the evening he shared that he has pinpointed his growth as an actor from the point when he went from strictly following directors’ orders to immersing himself in research surrounding a role — even to the point of it being excessive.
“The best part of the job,” he said, “is this opportunity to educate yourself and teach yourself and submerge yourself in the world, in the facts, the history, background, skills, whatever it may be, of the character you’re playing.”
The Young Pope releases across Sky, HBO, and Canal+ next year.
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