‘Genius’ Director: I Wanted Jude Law to Be ‘as Dangerous as Possible’

Nicole Kidman Jude Law Laura Linney
Marion Curtis/StarPix/REX/Shutterstock

The star-studded cast of “Genius,” including Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Laura Linney, attended the film’s New York premiere at MoMA on Sunday.

The film — about the developing friendship between author Thomas Wolfe (Law) and his editor Maxwell Perkins (Colin Firth) — was penned by John Logan based on A. Scott Berg’s book “Max Perkins: Editor of Genius.”

Director Michael Grandage told Variety that he wanted to push the actors of the biographical drama to their limits. “I was really about getting two actors who were up to it to go as far as they dare,” he said. “Particularly with Jude, to encourage him to be as dangerous as possible.”

Law said he was concerned about being too dangerous.

“At times I was just worried that I was going too far,” he said about his portrayal of the writer. “He was famously raucous, loud, demonstrative, drunken, lecherous.”

Firth did not attend the premiere due to a filming conflict, but Berg celebrated the actor. “Colin Firth was my dream choice for Maxwell Perkins for years, even before he won his Oscar for ‘The King’s Speech,’” he said. “When we were talking about casting this movie, I thought, ‘Boy, this guy is really of an age where he could do it.’ We fought for him, and we got him.”