EMILY WATSON TO STAR AS ELSA EINSTEIN IN "GENIUS" FROM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL, IMAGINE TELEVISION AND FOX 21 TELEVISION STUDIOS
MICHAEL MCELHATTON, SETH GABEL, SAMANTHA COLLEY, RICHARD TOPOL AND VINCENT KARTHEISER ALSO JOIN CAST
GROUP JOINS PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED CAST OF GEOFFREY RUSH AND JOHNNY FLYNN AS OLD AND YOUNG EINSTEIN
PRODUCTION BEGINS NEXT MONTH ON 10-EPISODE ANTHOLOGY SERIES WITH ACADEMY AWARD-WINNER RON HOWARD TO DIRECT FIRST EPISODE
(WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 29, 2016) Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated actress Emily Watson ("Theory of Everything," "The Book Thief") is set to join National Geographic Channel's upcoming global anthology series GENIUS, from Fox 21 Television Studios ("Homeland," "The People v. O.J. Simpson"), Imagine Television ("24," "Empire"), OddLot Entertainment and EUE/Sokolow. She'll play Elsa Einstein, the second wife - and first cousin - of the enigmatic scientist Albert Einstein, to be played in his elder years by Geoffrey Rush and in his younger years by Johnny Flynn, as was previously announced.
Also joining the cast are Michael McElhatton ("Game of Thrones") as physicist Dr. Philipp Lenard, an early role model for a young Einstein, who evolved into his longtime adversary - both inside and outside the laboratory; Seth Gabel ("Salem," "Fringe") as Einstein's longtime friend and confidant Michele Besso; Samantha Colley ("The Crucible") as Mileva Maric, a fellow student of Einstein's during his university years in Zurich, who later became his first wife and mother to his three children; Richard Topol ("Covert Affairs," "Elementary") as Fritz Haber, a brilliant chemist and close colleague of Einstein's who held some nontraditional and controversial political views; and Vincent Kartheiser ("Mad Men," "Saints & Strangers") as Raymond Geist, a consulate official in Berlin.
British actress Emily Watson has been an acclaimed performer for two decades, and received her first Academy Award nomination for her first feature film, "Breaking the Waves," in a role for which she also received Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations. Her second Academy Award nomination came a short two years later for "Hillary and Jackie," and she quickly developed a reputation as one of Hollywood's most reliable talents, with starring roles in the Frank McCourt adaptation "Angela's Ashes," the Hannibal Lecter series "Red Dragon" and the ensemble cast of "Gosford Park." GENIUS will also mark an on-camera reunion with Rush, with whom she starred in the Emmy-winning television movie "The Life & Death of Peter Sellers." Watson is represented by United Talent with Independent in London and attorney James Adams.
Michael McElhatton is a multi award-winning actor best known as Lord Roose Bolton from the last three seasons of HBO's hit television series, "Game of Thrones." He will next be seen in "Justice League" directed by Zack Snyder, Guy Richie's "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword," "The Zookeeper's Wife" with Jessica Chastain, "Jadotville" with Jamie Dornan and Mark Strong, and "The Autopsy of Jane Doe" with Emile Hirsch. Other credits include "Ripper Street" and "The Fall," both for BBC, as well as "Mammal" with Rachel Griffiths. He has an extensive list of theater credits and works often as a writer. McElhatton is represented by Gersh, Lisa Richards Agency in Ireland, and Curtis Brown, Ltd. in London.
Seth Gabel can currently be seen as Cotton Mather on the widely successful television series "Salem," which earned him a highlight in The Hollywood Reporter's Emmy issue in 2014. Prior to "Salem," he played Count Vertigo on "Arrow" from Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg. Gabel is best known for playing Agent Lincoln Lee on "Fringe" and has also appeared on such hit shows as "American Horror Story," "United State of Tara," "Dirty Sexy Money" and "Nip/Tuck." On the big screen, Gabel was the lead in "Allegiance," playing a lieutenant in the U.S. National Guard, and in "Forever," from the writers of "Walk the Line." He also appeared in the film version of Dan Brown's novel "The Da Vinci Code," directed by Ron Howard. Gabel is represented by Management 360, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment and attorney Eric Suddleson.
Samantha Colley trained at the Oxford School of Drama, graduating in 2014. She went on to make her professional debut at the Old Vic Theatre, playing Abigail in "The Crucible" directed by Yaél Farber, alongside Richard Armitage. Colley has also performed at the Young Vic Theatre and the Southwark Playhouse. Her television credits include ITV's "Endeavour" directed by Oliver Blackburn and "Victoria" directed by Tom Vaughan. She is represented by Jane Epstein of Independent Talent Group.
Richard Topol has made Broadway appearances in "Fish in the Dark" with Larry David, the Tony winning revivals of "The Normal Heart" and "Awake & Sing," "The Merchant of Venice" with Al Pacino, "The Country Girl" directed by Mike Nichols, and "Julius Caesar" with Denzel Washington. He just closed Paula Vogel's new play "Indecent" off-Broadway. His film and TV credits include "Lincoln," "Indignation," "Mickey Blue Eyes," "Great Gilly Hopkins" (upcoming), "Yinz" (upcoming), "Billions", "The Good Wife", "Elementary", "Person of Interest", all the "Law & Order" series, "Gilmore Girls", and recurring roles on "The Practice", "Covert Affairs" and "Perception". Topol is represented by Bret Adams, LTD.
Vincent Kartheiser was recently nominated for the 2016 Critics Choice Awards for his portrayal of William Bradford in National Geographic Channel's "Saints & Strangers," and is currently appearing in season two of the Golden Globe-nominated comedy "Casual," executive produced by Jason Reitman. Kartheiser is best known for his incredible portrayal of Pete Campbell in the multi award-winning, critically acclaimed AMC series "Mad Men." He starred in David Wain and Michael Showalter's short film "The Second Sound Barrier" alongside Juliette Lewis. Most recently, Kartheiser can be seen in Brownstone Productions' "The Most Hated Woman in America" opposite Melissa Leo. He also starred as the lead villain in Andrew Niccol's "In Time" opposite Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried and Cillian Murphy and more recently in Zoe Cassavetes' independent feature "Day out of Days." Kartheiser is represented by Untitled Entertainment and Paradigm.
Each season of GENIUS will dramatize the fascinating stories of the world's most brilliant innovators. The first season will be based on Walter Isaacson's critically acclaimed book "Einstein: His Life and Universe," adapted by writer Noah Pink. Through 10 episodes, GENIUS will chart how an imaginative, rebellious patent clerk, who couldn't get a teaching job or a doctorate, unlocked the mysteries of the atom and the universe. Each episode will explore Einstein's extraordinary scientific achievements, along with his volatile, passionate and complex personal relationships. The first episode will be directed by Imagine's Ron Howard, his first time directing a scripted prime-time drama. Production begins next month in Prague, and will air in 2017 on the National Geographic Channel in 171 countries and 45 languages.
The series will be executive produced by Imagine's Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Francie Calfo, and co-produced by Anna Culp; from OddLot Entertainment, Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane will executive produce and Melissa Rucker will co-produce; and Sam Sokolow and Jeff Cooney from EUE/Sokolow will also executive produce. Pink will also co-executive produce alongside showrunner Ken Biller. For National Geographic Channels, Carolyn G. Bernstein is executive vice president and head of global scripted development and production.
For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com or our press site www.foxflash.com, or follow us on Twitter using @NGC_PR.
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About National Geographic Channel
The National Geographic Channels (The Channels) form the television and production arm of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between 21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society. As a global leader in premium science, adventure and exploration programming, the Channels include: National Geographic Channel (NGC), Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo People and Nat Geo MUNDO. Additionally, the Channels also run the in-house television production unit, National Geographic Studios. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society's commitment to exploration, conservation and education with entertaining, innovative programming from A-level talent around the world, and with profits that help support the society's mission. Globally, NGC is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages, and Nat Geo WILD is available in 131 countries and 38 languages. National Geographic Partners is also a leader in social media, with a fan base of 250 million people across all of its social pages. NGC contributes over 55 million social media fans globally on Facebook alone. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com and www.natgeowild.com.
About Fox 21 Television Studios
Fox 21 Television Studios is a production unit housed within Fox Television Group devoted to making creatively ambitious scripted and unscripted series for all distribution platforms. Fox 21 Television Studios is responsible for the sensation from Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson, "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story" (with FX Productions); the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning "Homeland" starring Claire Danes and
Mandy Patinkin; the critically acclaimed "The Americans" (with FX Productions) starring Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell; Brannon Braga and Adam Simon's "Salem"; and Howard Gordon's "Tyrant." New series include Fox 21 TVS' "Dice," from Scot Armstrong, Sean Furst, Bryan Furst, Richard Shepard, Bruce Rubenstein and Andrew Dice Clay; "Queen of the South," from M.A. Fortin, Joshua John Miller, David T. Friendly and Pancho Mansfield; and "Chance" from Kem Nunn, Alexandra Cunningham, Lenny Abrahamson, Michael London and Brian Grazer.
About OddLot Entertainment
OddLot Entertainment is a Los Angeles-based film and television production company that develops, produces, finances and arranges distribution for quality commercial properties for the U.S. and international markets. In addition, OddLot CEO Gigi Pritzker is part of a consortium that launched the next-generation film studio STX Entertainment founded by producer Robert Simonds. OddLot has produced the Academy Award-nominated drama "Rabbit Hole" starring Nicole Kidman; "The Way, Way Back" starring Steve Carell; "Drive" starring Ryan Gosling; the futuristic sci-fi film "Ender's Game"; and Jon Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."