“I do get interested in characters that are rich in ideas, and if there’s any common thread it’s they tend to be creative people,” reveals Geoffrey Rush about choosing his latest role as Albert Einstein in “Genius.” During our recent interview (watch the exclusive video above), he chats about many of his real-life characters, adding, “The Marquis de Sade was a writer; Peter Sellers was a performer; Trotsky was a political theorist. I really enjoy the world that they opened up, the landscape and the time period that these people exist in. I love the emotion intellectually and kinetically finding out how they tick as a human being within their own sphere”
Based on the book “Einstein: His Life and Universe” by Walter Isaacson, the 10-part program stars Rush as the older Einstein and Johnny Flynn as the college version. Oscar winner Ron Howard (“A Beautiful Mind”) executive produced the project with Brian Grazer and directed the first installment. Other stars include Emily Watson, Samantha Colley, Nicholas Rowe, T.R. Knight, and Vincent Kartheiser.
On his reasons for taking this role, Rush says, “As a now much older character actor, there’s a responsibility I think that comes with that. For someone who’s as treasured in the public’s imagination as Albert Einstein, you have to honor the gift you’ve been given that role to play. I got a friend who’s a very good Photoshop person… to make a photo 15% of Einstein and 85% of me. I just wanted to see it as a makeup test for me, and the results were pretty good because my face is a different shape.”
Another true-life role, pianist David Helfgott, won Rush a slew of awards including the Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and SAG for the 1996 film “Shine.” He has also had Academy Awards nominations for “Shakespeare in Love” (1998), “Quills” (2000), and “The King’s Speech” (2010). He is an Emmy Award winner for “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers” (2005) and a Tony champ for “Exit the King” (2009). In our chat, we discuss what project he might take on to win at the Grammys and complete the EGOT.
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