Back to IndieWire

‘The Young Pope’s’ Jude Law: Why Those Memes Give Him Hope

TCA: The actor also explains how wearing those papal robes were transformative.

Jude Law and Silvio Orlando, "The Young Pope"

Jude Law and Silvio Orlando, “The Young Pope”

Gianni Fiorito/HBO

Jude Law would never have imagined he’d play the Pope.

“If you asked me two years ago, I would’ve laughed at the idea,” the actor said at the Television Critics Association press tour for HBO’ “The Young Pope” on Saturday. “But I was keen to work with [director Paolo Sorrentino] and I would’ve jumped at the opportunity.”

Fortunately, Sorrentino felt that the papal robes fit, and now that Law is doing press for the show, he’s embraced everything about it whole-heartedly, including how “The Young Pope” has taken social media by storm. The memes and imaginative song lyrics inspired by “The Young Pope” have taken over Twitter as the show nears its premiere.

READ MORE: ‘The Young Pope’ Review: Jude Law Rules with Old Testament Authority in an HBO Series That’s Set to Surprise

“Having spent the last week here [in Los Angeles] doing lots of press, I’ve become very aware [of the memes],” Law said. “But I was also, at the beginning of the week, completely unaware of what a meme was. Having become educated and now shown them, I’ve become very aware. I love them. they’re very funny, very imaginative.”

Law isn’t bothered by the comedic nature of the memes, but thinks they could be a good sign (from above?).

“I hope it will just provoke and prompt interest and intrigue,” he said.  “One of the most exciting facts I think, from the screenings in Europe, was the high number of young people that got involved. I don’t know if meme trends are reflective of young people’s interests, but if it is, then I’m very excited.”

Time spent embodying His Holiness had an effect on Law: He confessed that “I wasn’t brought up in a particularly religious household, but I’ve always been curious about the faith. It encouraged me to question and look into that a little bit more.”

Those papal robes also had a transformative effect on the actor. “Twenty-something years ago when I was starting out, I underestimated the power of costume as an actor,” he said. “In this role, almost unlike any other, the potency of the daily white robes or more formal robes of ritual had great impact and was incredibly helpful although uncomfortable. Also, a huge amount of reveling and feeling the status of someone in that position was helped by the reaction of others. To be carried in by 12 men in a golden throne in bejeweled robes helped a lot.”

“The Young Pope” premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO, with an additional new episode on Monday, January 16 at the same time. New episodes will air on back-to-back nights throughout the first season.

Stay on top of the latest TV news! Sign up for our TV email newsletter here.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox