Jude Law has heard about the #YoungPope meme, and now he even knows what a meme is.
After a week of nonstop promotion for Sunday's U.S. debut of The Young Pope on HBO, Law couldn't help but learn that social media was having a field day with the show's irresistible title. "But I was also unaware at the beginning of the week what a meme was," he told reporters Saturday during the Television Critics Association's winter meetings.
Law, who appeared with the show's creator, Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino, plays the title character, a fictional American named Lenny Belardo, whose elevation to the papacy sets off shock waves at the Vatican.
Lenny, an unexpectedly conservative pontiff who quickly proves to be a disruptive force in the Vatican, may be seen as emblematic of international trends, including the political rise of president-elect Donald Trump, but Sorrentino said he began work on the series years ago and it really is about the clergy.
Still, "great creative minds have an antennae that reads what is in the ether," Law said, even though "I wouldn't say we were necessarily a direct comment on what's happening."
It does include "the idea of what voting in the unknown can lead you" to, he said.
And that cuts both ways.
His character "imagined that getting the top job, he would get a direct line [to God]...but the line is busy," Law said..
Although HBO has been billing The Young Pope, which will run at 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday for five weeks, as a 10-episode limited series, a second season is reportedly in the works, meaning this meme will likely go on.