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Top Hollywood actors to star in Vatican drama

By Sarah Mac Donald - 31 July, 2015

Television series explores inner struggle between the responsibility of being pope and the miseries of the man chosen as Pontiff.

The Young Pope actors, Jude Law and Diane Keaton.

The Young Pope actors, Jude Law and Diane Keaton.

Two of Hollywood’s top stars will star in a new television drama about a fictional Pope Pius XIII which is due to be broadcast next year.

69-year-old Oscar-winner Diane Keaton will play Sr Mary, an American nun living in the Vatican, while 42-year-old Jude Law will play the controversial American pontiff, formerly known as Lenny Belardo.

The eight-part series called ‘The Young Pope’ is a joint production between Sky, HBO and Canal + and filming is currently getting underway.

The drama is expected to air in 2016 and will focus on the life of Lenny Belardo, an Italian-American who becomes the leader of the Catholic Church.

Director Paolo Sorrentino said, ‘The Young Pope’, which focuses on the early part of Pius’ pontificate, would deal with “The clear signs of God’s existence. The clear signs of God’s absence.”

He explained that the series shows Pius XIII at risk of losing those closest to him and how he suffers from the “constant fear of being abandoned, even by God”.

According to the television director, “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.”

He added it would also explore 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.

It also looks at 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.

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