Alex Rich (GLOW, True Detective) has been tapped as a lead, sharing the title role of Pablo Picasso with Antonio Banderas in the second season of National Geographic’s anthology series Genius. In addition, Clémence Poésy (Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire, In Bruges), Robert Sheehan (Fortitude, Misfits), Poppy Delevingne (Kingsman: The Golden Circle, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword), Aisling Franciosi (Game of Thrones, The Fall) and Sebastian Roché (Young Pope, The Man in the High Castle) are set for key roles.
Genius will chronicle the life and work of Spanish painter Picasso, one of the 20th century’s most influential and celebrated artists. The new season, set for a 2018 premiere, is from Fox 21 Television Studios, and will again be executive produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment, Madison Wells Media’s OddLot Entertainment and EUE/Sokolow. Showrunner, executive producer and writer Ken Biller returns for the new season. Production begins this month and will shoot in cities throughout Europe for the 10-episode anthology series.
Rich will play young Pablo Picasso. Poésy is Francoise Gilot, a French painter and best-selling author whose decadelong affair with Picasso yielded two children; Roché is Emile Gilot, Francoise’s tyrannical father; Sheehan plays Carlos Casagemas, a Spanish art student and poet who was one of Picasso’s closest friends; Delevingne portrays Marie-Thérèse Walter, a lover and muse of Picasso, who mothered his first daughter; and Franciosi is Fernande Olivier, a French artist and model who Picasso painted more than 60 portraits of.
They join returning cast members from the first season of the franchise, Samantha Colley (The Crucible) as Dora Maar, a French photographer and painter who was also Picasso’s lover and muse; T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy, The Catch) as Max Jacob, one of Picasso’s first friends in Paris; Seth Gabel (Salem) as Guillaume Apollinaire, one of the foremost poets of the 20th century and a frequent collaborator with Picasso; and Johnny Flynn (Lovesick), as French actor Alain Cuny.
Production begins this month and will shoot in cities all over Europe for the 10-episode anthology series.
“Working with a repertory company of versatile actors playing different roles in different seasons of a show has long been on my professional bucket list. To that end, bringing together many of our original Genius cast with an impressive roster of new international actors to tell the rich and provocative story of Pablo Picasso is truly a thrill,” said Biller, executive producer and showrunner, who will also direct the first episode.
Rich recently wrapped filming a supporting lead in the upcoming Lionsgate Digital and PopSugar feature Honored and was recently seen in a recurring role on GLOW. He’s repped by Ran Aubrey Frazier at Authentic Talent and Literary Management, and Weintraub Tobin.
Roché is repped by Abrams Artists Agency and Gladys Gonzalez.