NatGeo Genius, star Geoffrey Rush says, “Deep-rooted Yiddish spirit or level of wit”

Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein iPhoto by Dusan Martincek)

Premiere, the private life of the 20th century’s icon Albert Einstein, on April 25th, 2017, at 6pm PT, 9pm ET, on DirecTV

By Gabrielle Pantera

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Stars) 2017/04/25 – “When I read the script, the early episodes that I was reading, I wanted to think outside of him being a scientist because that’s a given,” says Genius star Geoffrey Rush. “That’s what he devoted his life to across a very big epoch. And, as I’m reading it, I’m thinking, I can hear Groucho Marx delivering these lines, and I can see Harpo visualizing some of these lines.”

There’s a kind of deep-rooted Yiddish spirit or level of wit that he was obviously very good at because when you see some of the footage of when he first went to America or Britain and he got off the boat, within seconds he’d have a group of newfound friends or reporters cackling pretty seriously. So, his optimism and sparkle is very present in his humanitarian outlook, and he seemed to work a lot off of comic presence.

 

“I had seen Walter Matthau many years ago in a very good Fred Schepisi film called I.Q. and then Young Einstein,” says Rush. “There’s not much else in the catalog. But I suppose when I first read the script I was not only looking at the definition of what is genius. I didn’t want to go down a kind of IQ intelligence quotient path of study. So, I started doing some, you know, private research, and just looking into what defined genius, and I came across, fortunately, this very good quote from Schopenhauer…a German philosopher…. He says, ‘Talent hits a target correctly,’ or something like that, ‘A genius hits a target that no one can see.’ And that meant a lot for me.”

In Genius, Johnny Flynn is young Albert Einstein. He opposes his father and drops out of school in Germany to go to university in Switzerland.

Shannon Tarbet is Marie Winteler, she is his first love. He breaks his heart to pursue one of his students.

Samantha Colley is Mileva Maric, a fellow physics student. Their romance puts them at odds with teachers and other students. It leads to pregnancy. His marriage begins to crumble.

Seth Gabel is Michele Besso, Einstein’s friend. Besso finds a job for him as a patent clerk.

Geoffrey Rush is adult Albert Einstein. He publishes five original papers in one year. He catches the eye of many. World War I looms. Global politics draw him into politicized scientific circles. It causes friction with friends and fellow scientists.

Michael McElhatton is Dr. Philipp Lenard, Einstein’s adversary.

Emily Watson is Elsa Einstein, Einstein’s first cousin. He throws himself into an affair with Elsa. She demands he marry her to avoid the scandal. He fights Mileva for a divorce.

Einstein refuses to support Germany’s war effort. When war descends, the borders are shut down. He is prevented from going to his sons in Switzerland. After the war relativity is proved right. He has to contend with the roller coaster of fame.

Vincent Kartheiser is Raymond Geist, a consulate official that interviews him. Einstein eventually escapes a rising tide of anti-Semitism. He seeks sanctuary in the United States as an immigrant. He settles in New Jersey. He teaches in Princeton.

Ania Bukstein is Margarita Konenkova, a Russian spy  who he ends up in bed with. Einstein faces a challenge, set aside his pacifism to stop Hitler’s conquest of Europe.

T.R. Knight is J. Edgar Hoover, he has a personal vendetta to bring him down.

Ten-episode series  follows Einstein’s rise from humble origins, his struggles to be recognized by the establishment, to his global celebrity status with his theory of relativity. In his personal life, his relationships with his children, his two wives and various women he has affairs with.

Genius is based on Walter Isaacson’s book Einstein: His Life and Universe. Geoffrey Rush interviewed at Television Critics Association press tour.

Genius cast:

A Fox 21 Television Studios, Imagine Television and OddLot Entertainment production. Executive produced by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Gigi Pritzker.

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP) is a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox.

Twitter: , , #GeoffreyRush, @TR_Knight‏, @sethgabel@NatGeoChannel

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