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Actors from across Europe and the US, including James Cromwell, join the cast of The Young Pope, the Paolo Sorrentino-directed miniseries co-produced by Sky, HBO, and Canal+.

James Cromwell
James Cromwell © Glenn Francis, PacificProDigital.com (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Following the announcements that two-time Academy Award® nominee Jude Law had boarded the miniseries in the title role, and Academy Award winner Diane Keaton had signed on as the female lead, additional details about the cast have been revealed.

As noted in this post, Jude Law will star as Pope Pius XIII, and Diane Keaton will play Sister Mary, a nun from the US.

Joining them are: Italian actor Silvio Orlando (The Caiman) as Cardinal Voiello, the Secretary of State; American Scott Shepherd (Side Effects) as Cardinal Dussolier from South America; Belgian Cécile de France (Hereafter) as Sofia, head of marketing in Vatican City; Spanish actor Javier Cámara (Talk to Her) as Cardinal Gutierrez, the Master of Ceremonies of Vatican City; French actress Ludivine Sagnier (Swimming Pool) as Esther, the wife of a Swiss guard; and Italian Toni Bertorelli (Romanzo Criminale) as Cardinal Caltanissetta.

Oscar® nominee James Cromwell (L.A. Confidential) will play Cardinal Michael Spencer, Lenny’s mentor.

Additional cast members include: Guy Boyd (Foxcatcher), Andre Gregory (My Dinner with Andre), Sebastian Roché (Beowulf), Marcello Romolo (A Children’s Story), Ignazio Oliva (Stealing Beauty), Vladimir Bibic (The Interpreter), and Nadie Kammalaweera.

The Young Pope tells the controversial story of the beginning of Pope Pius XIII’s Pontificate. Born Lenny Belardo, the complex and conflicted Pope is so conservative in his choices that he borders on obscurantism, yet he is also full of compassion toward the weak and poor. He is a man of great power, stubbornly resistant to Vatican courtiers and unconcerned with the implications to his authority.

During the series, Belardo will face losing those closest to him as well as the constant fear of being abandoned, even by his God. However, he is not afraid of undertaking the millennial mission of defending that same God and the world representing Him.

Production on the series, a joint production of Sky, HBO and Canal+, began last week. All eight episodes will be directed by Paolo Sorrentino, director of the Academy Award-winning film The Great Beauty and the upcoming Youth.

In describing the series, Sorrentino said, “The clear signs of God’s existence. The clear signs of God’s absence. How faith can be searched for and lost. The greatness of holiness, so great as to be unbearable when you are fighting temptations and when all you can do is to yield to them. The inner struggle between the huge responsibility of the Head of the Catholic Church and the miseries of the simple man that fate (or the Holy Spirit) chose as Pontiff. Finally, how to handle and manipulate power in a state whose dogma and moral imperative is the renunciation of power and selfless love towards one’s neighbour. That is what The Young Pope is about.”

The Young Pope is being produced by Wildside, and co-produced by Haut et Court TV and MEDIAPRO. Executive Producers for Wildside are Lorenzo Mieli (In Treatment) and Mario Gianani (1992) with John Lyons. Executive Producers for Haut et Court TV are Caroline Benjo (The Returned), Carole Scotta (The Class), and Simon Arnal (Coco Before Chanel).


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The Young Pope: International Actors Join Jude Law, Diane Keaton in Italian/French Miniseries
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