BFI London Film Fest

Anthony McCarten – The Two Popes #LFF2019

Play Podcast
5 min. and 12 sec.

Screenwriter Anthony McCarten told us about his inspiration for The Two Popes.

Play Podcast
5 min. and 12 sec.

PODCAST | Sarah Bradbury interviews Anthony McCarten, screenwriter of the film The Two Popes.

To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture

Screenwriter Anthony McCarten told us about his inspiration for writing The Two Popes, directed by Fernando Meirelles, from the red carpet at the BFI London Film Festival. He shared his experience of working on the film, how his writing has provided roles for many actors later in their careers – and earned many of them Academy Awards.

The Two Popes: Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce tussle over the future of the Catholic Church in this thrillingly cinematic two-hander from Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener). Travelling from the streets of Buenos Aires to the hallowed halls of the Vatican, Jorge Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) has become disillusioned with the direction of the Catholic Church, even though he’s a contender for the top job. So when it’s Joseph Ratzinger (Anthony Hopkins) who gets the gig, becoming Pope Benedict XVI, Bergoglio is relieved. However, the institution faces a reckoning with itself. And when the two men are brought together for a few days over one summer, their clash of ideologies – forward-looking and progressive versus a stubborn adherence to tradition – makes for passionate debate. Terrific writing from Anthony McCarten (Bohemian Rhapsody, Darkest Hour) showcases the chemistry between Hopkins and Pryce, who relish the rich dialogue that crackles with humour. Director Fernando Mereilles’ technical bravura depicts – with rich textures – compassion, self-doubt, shame and pride as the intimate debate between these two powerful men progresses. And whatever your stakes in religion, Pryce and Hopkins are a joy to watch together on screen. Hallelujah!

  • Reporter
    Sarah Bradbury
  • Guest
    Anthony McCarten
  • Interviewee role
  • Film title
    The Two Popes
  • Festival section
    Strand Gala
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