Alex Rich Interview: ‘Genius: Picasso’
For the first major role of his career, Alex Rich auditioned to play Pablo Picasso on his iPad. The video was sent to London and caught the attention of showrunner Ken Biller. After a Skype call with him, he then met in person with Fox, Imagine Entertainment and NatGeo before getting the part in what he calls a pretty “painless” process.
The limited series “Genius: Picasso” is now airing on NatGeo and follows a successful Emmy-nominated run of last spring’s “Genius: Einstein” which starred Geoffrey Rush as the older Albert Einstein and Johnny Flynn as the younger version.
In this second project, Rich portrays the famous painter as a younger man while Antonio Banderas plays the Spanish legend older. In our recent interview (watch the exclusive video above), Rich says that the two men compared notes and plans in their preparations: “Having Antonio on set and we were traveling together around Europe. We were able to spend a lot of time talking and discussing and crafting the character. And if he was shooting, usually so was I, but if I ever had a day off we could see how we were portraying Picasso as each other.”
Rich reveals that he not only learned about playing Picasso from Banderas but also about acting in general and life. He says, “It was so nice to see such an established actor be so open and generous and kind. And to see him in Malaga (Spain) with his friends and how normal everybody was, sitting around a table eating and hanging out… having that type of grounded life given how much success he’s had.”
For this summer’s Emmy ballot, Rich will compete as a limited series supporting actor while Banderas is in the lead category. Others in these episodes include Clemence Posey, Poppy Delevingne, Robert Sheehan, Aisling Franciosi, Sebastian Roche and T.R. Knight.