Young Pope Actor Jude Law Is Not Religious But Has Faith 'In All Sorts Of Things'

Jude Law during a break on the set of "The Young Pope", directed by Italian director Paolo Sorrentino.Reuters

Actor Jude Law has described himself as a "polytheist" who could find nothing in the Bible to help him play the lead in the new television series, The Young Pope.

Speaking to Radio Times at the Venice film festival about playing Pius XIII, who turns out to be anti-gay, anti-divorce and anti-abortion, Law confesses he himself is not religious. 

"I've never been a great believer. I'm a great believer in parameters, I'm not a great believer in rules and I would say that I am a believer in the natural order as opposed to imagined order. But it is an evolving thing for me, not something that has a lid on it," he said.

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Law, 43, who has five children by three different mothers, said he does have a faith, of sorts.

"I have faith in all sorts of things. I wasn't brought up in a particularly religious house but I reached out to all sorts of literature when I was a kid and continue to, whether it's Buddhist, Catholic or Islamic. I would say I was more polytheist than monotheist."

He did read the Bible for the part.

"I went back to the Bible, which I had only ever read as a schoolboy, but it didn't really feel I was learning anything that was going to help me play the part."

Law added: "I suppose in a way my relationship with the Bible reflects my relationship with Catholicism. There are moments of incredible clarity and inspiration and other moments of incredible frustration and fury."

Andrea Scrosati, head of Sky Italia, who commissioned the series, told Radio Times: "In this country we have had two shows about a pope every year for the past 30 years. They are all incredibly good popes that everybody loves, with nothing in their life to make them human.

"But remember we live in an era when, for the first time in 500 years, a pope has resigned and we have two popes. If that doesn't show you that popes have personal dilemmas too, what will?"

He said that many of the team who wrote the show were Catholic and they also had consultants from the Catholic Church.

Scrosati said: "I don't think they will find it offensive. They will find it challenging. Those who have the most sincere faith are the ones that constantly question… This is the story of the show."

Director Paolo Sorrentino said he had an idea for the show when he was a boy.

"It was an image that I didn't actually use in the series - about the pope dressed in white skiing down a mountain using crosses as ski poles."