Diane Keaton joins Jude Law in Sky Atlantic drama The Young Pope

The Annie Hall actress will play an American nun in the Sky/HBO co-produced mini-series about Law’s conservative Pontiff

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Diane Keaton is to play a nun in the new Jude Law drama The Young Pope.

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The Oscar winning actress’s character is an American called Sister Mary who is based at the Vatican. Law stars as fictional Pope Pius XIII in the eight-part series.

Law’s Pontiff is a modern-day Conservative cleric called Lenny Belardo who becomes the leader of the Roman Catholic Church because Vatican leaders want someone to stem the tide of liberal thinking in the organisation.

Law’s character is described as “complex and conflicted… so conservative in his choices as to border on obscurantism, yet full of compassion towards the weak and poor. He is a man of great power who is stubbornly resistant to the Vatican courtiers, unconcerned with the implications to his authority.”

Production on the Sky, HBO and Canal+ collaboration began this week, mainly in Italy but with additional locations to include the US, Africa and Puerto Rico. It is expected to air on Sky Atlantic later this year.

The series is directed by Paolo Sorrentino who won the foreign-language Oscar last year for The Great Beauty.

Sorrentino said it would examine “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.”

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Diane Keaton’s film roles include The Godfather Trilogy, Looking for Mr Goodbar, Annie Hall, Baby Boom, Father of the Bride and The First Wives Club. She received a Best Actress Oscar for Annie Hall and Academy Award nominations for Something’s Gotta Give, Reds and Marvin’s Room.