Jonathan Pryce was “the obvious choice” to play Pope Francis in The Two Popes, director Fernando Meirelles told the Director Roundtable. “There were a lot of pictures of [Francis] next to Pryce because they look alike, and then I watched an interview with him, just him being himself, and I felt he was so humble and funny. He has the same kind of energy of the Pope.”
Known for City of God and The Constant Gardener, Meirelles considers himself a Hollywood outsider, as he chooses to live in Brazil and routinely directs in Portuguese. “For me, it’s been easier,” he told the roundtable. “I don’t have the involvement. I don’t have to make people like me. I’m finding very good producers that support what I want to do. I’m being very independent in whatever I want to do.”
“There’s a very good thing about being an outsider, and wanting to be an outsider.” I have very deep roots in Brazil, family, and I like to direct in Portuguese. I understand English, but I don’t feel English.” Meirelles has one career Oscar nomination for directing City of God.
Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Fernando Meirelles (The Two Popes), Lulu Wang (The Farewell) and Todd Phillips (Joker) joined for the annual Director Roundtable. The full roundtable is set to air Jan. 5 on SundanceTV, Follow all the Oscar-season roundtables at THR.com/Roundtables.