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Sebastian Roché on Why ‘Young Pope’ Might ‘Create A Little Controversy’

Sebastian Roché stars in two very different TV shows: Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle,” in which he plays Reichsminister Martin Heusmann, and HBO’s “The Young Pope,” in which he dons the robes of Cardinal Michel Marivaux. He spoke to Variety about the HBO series, which debuted in Europe on Oct. 21 — and about his experiences traveling the world for six years on a sailboat.

What is it like to work with Paolo Sorrentino on “Young Pope?”

I’ve been a great fan of his since “The Consequences of Love” and the “The Great Beauty.” It’s always a dream to work with a master.

What do you think the reaction to the series will be?

I think it’s going to create a little controversy. It’s not completely radical, but it’s sort of in the vein of what Pope Francis is doing: reforming the church, being accountable for its mistakes, and bringing it into the 21st century.

How do you view the Catholic Church?

I was born a Catholic. I remember going to church in the village where I grew up outside of Paris and thinking how solemn and boring and uneventful and lacking in humor a Catholic mass was. My family and I traveled around the world for six years on a sailing boat, going to Africa, seeing different cultures, and often seeing the effect the Church has had on different cultures. Sitting on the boat, you didn’t have anything else, so you read books. I read the Bhagavad-Gita, the Quran, the Bible, and any other book by well-known atheists — and you form your opinion.

Is sailing around the world something you would recommend as a replacement for school?

I think man is incredibly adaptable. At first I was terrified of being on the boat, but I adapted, and I found it one of the richest times in my life. I didn’t grow up with school and peer pressure, so I was more at home and more comfortable with people of an older generation. It really focuses you toward a knowledge of life. I think that’s the best school there is.

How did this experience apply to your career?

It gave me much more confidence and made me adaptable to any situation. I think life experience is one of the truly important things as an actor. It’s important to search and be challenged to become a richer individual and therefore a better actor.

What you didn’t know about Pamela Adlon
AGE: 52; Born: Paris; Nationality: Half French, half Scottish; Languages Spoken: English, French, Spanish, Italian KINDEST ACTOR HE’S WORKED WITH:: Jude Law

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