If one show is going to get a lot of eyeballs coming its way this year, that´s Da Vinci´s Demons. And now, our coverage on this show is starting with the lead cast; British actor Tom Riley will play a young Leonardo da Vinci in the upcoming Starz original series “Da Vinci’s Demons.” Riley’s casting is the first announced for the series.
“Da Vinci’s Demons,” written by David S. Goyer, is a historical fantasy, following the ‘untold’ story of the world’s greatest genius during his turbulent youth in Renaissance Florence. Brilliant and passionate, the twenty five-year old da Vinci is an artist, inventor, swordsman, lover, dreamer and idealist. As a free thinker, with intellect and talents that are almost superhuman, he struggles to live within the confines of his own reality and time. He begins to not only see the future, but invent it.
Goyer commented, “Given that da Vinci was the model for the ‘Renaissance Man,’ these were incredibly large shoes to fill. Leonardo had to be smart, witty, and incredibly confident – without coming across as arrogant. He also had to be tormented, because, as a true visionary and polymath, he was ostracized for his ideas as much as he was celebrated. Tom came in and was able to effortlessly combine all of those elements. As soon as he finished his audition, we knew we’d found our man.”
Carmi Zlotnik, Managing Director at Starz, said “Da Vinci is a near mythic figure in history that fascinates people to this day. It is quite an undertaking to bring to life a role that comes with so many pre-conceived notions. Tom showed us that there are many dimensions to this man yet to be explored, and, at the same time, make him believable, surprising and unique to a world-wide audience.”
Jane Tranter, Head of BBC Worldwide Productions, said, “Tom is a fabulously charismatic, intelligent and versatile actor. His audition displayed an unabashed energy that we are excited to see unleashed in his performance as a reimagined artistic genius in 15th century Florence!”
Tom Riley has received wide critical acclaim in the UK for his performances in theatre, film and on television. A regular at London’s Royal Court Theatre, Riley has starred in multiple productions since 2005 including “The Vertical Hour” and “The Woman Before.” On Broadway, he was nominated by the Drama Desk Awards for his performance as Septimus Hodge in “Arcadia,” a 2011 Tony Award nominee for Best Revival of a Play. Most recently, Riley starred in the Stephen Poliakoff play, “My City,” at London’s Almeida Theatre. On television, he is best known for his role as Laurence Shepherd on ITV’s drama series “Monroe,” as well as roles on “Bouquet of Barbed Wire” and “Lost in Austen.” His lead film roles include, “A Few Days In September,” “I Want Candy” and “Happy Ever Afters.”
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