British actor Jude Law hit the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival, where the first two episodes of his new mini-series ‘The Young Pope’ by Italian director Paolo Sorrentino were premiered.
The 10-hour series marks the first time Sorrentino has worked in TV. It tells the story of orphan Lenny Belardo, played by Law, the youngest man and first American to ascend the papal throne. He turns out to be a somewhat unconventional pontiff, who smokes, drinks American filter coffee and breakfasts on Cherry Coke Zero.
Asked what he thinks the Vatican might make of his production, Sorrentino urged them to watch the series to the end before passing judgment.
“We simply tried to work with curiosity and honesty, as best we could, because 10 hours is not enough to probe into such a complex world, but we wanted to investigate the contradictions and difficulties, and the fascinating aspects of the clergy,” said Sorrentino during the news conference in Venice.
“What worried me initially was the idea of playing a pope, this title, this role, this public role,” said Law. “And Paolo reminded me constantly that really it was a piece about a man, who happened to be the pope. And so, for me, the challenge and joy was being able to play a complicated, multi-layered character. And then, on top of that, a character playing a character, because, in a way, like me playing Lenny, Lenny was playing the Pope.”
Also starring Diane Keaton as his chief adviser, French actress Ludivine Sagnier, Spain’s Javier Cámara and Italy’s Toni Bertorelli, ‘The Young Pope’ is out on HBO this autumn.