Tuesday, January 7, 2020

‘The New Pope’ Looks a Lot Like John Malkovich

By Phoebe Reilly
The creator of “The New Pope,” Paolo Sorrentino, said that much of the inspiration for Malkovich’s character came from Malkovich himself: “elegant, suave and ironic, at once light and profound. Gianni Fiorito/HBO
LOS ANGELES — Oddballs, schemers and psychopaths: In the course of his long career, John Malkovich has convincingly played them all. But whether this makes him an unusual, or unusually perfect, choice for the role of Supreme Pontiff in HBO’s “The New Pope,” he would rather not consider. “I don’t think about how I’m perceived,” Malkovich said. “It’s not my business. You like Jackson Pollock? I’m good with ‘The Night Watch.’ We all have preferences.” The series’s creator, Paolo Sorrentino (“The Great Beauty”), on the other hand, was unequivocal in his enthusiasm for Malkovich as Sir John Brannox, an English aristocrat and former punk musician who reluctantly takes over for Jude Law’s Pope Pius XIII on Jan. 13, when the show returns after a three-year hiatus. [More]