Actor Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein in the series' final episode. Actor Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein in the series' final episode. Actor Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein in the series' final episode. (Photo: Dusan Matincek / National Geographic)

Geoffrey Rush nominated for best actor for role as Einstein

Golden Globes honor Australian actor's performance in National Geographic's 'Genius' series.

Fans of the National Geographic "Genius" series, produced by Academy Award winners Ron Howard and Brian Grazer about the life of Albert Einstein, know that we kind of geeked out about the show. To the point where we stayed up late at night to pen weekly episode recaps. Einstein's life made for must-see TV, and it's getting the recognition it deserves.

Australian actor Geoffrey Rush, who portrayed Einstein in his later years, was nominated for a Golden Globe award for lead actor in a limited series or TV movie. If he wins, it would cap an extraordinary year of Einstein-related news.

Rush is up against some serious competition in that category: Robert De Niro ("Wizard of Lies"), Jude Law ("The Young Pope"), Kyle MacLachlan ("Twin Peaks") and Ewan McGregor ("Fargo"). Rush – as well as the series itself – was nominated for 10 Emmy Awards earlier this year but walked away empty-handed that night.

The 66-year-old Rush has already won the Triple Crown of Acting: the Academy Award, the Primetime Emmy Award and the Tony Award for previous roles. (All he would need is a Grammy to be one of the rare entertainers with all four, collectively referred to as an EGOT.)

In an interview with Deadline, the actor said his goal was to humanize Einstein. "We know from letters... that this was a man who could weep," Rush explained. "This was a man who could laugh, this was a man who could cut himself off from his family, or the world. This was a man who could embrace big causes."

The series, which wrapped up its 10-episode run in June, was based on Walter Isaacson’s seminal biography “Einstein: His Life and Universe." Besides the Isaacson book, the show's creators worked with the Einstein archives on the Jerusalem campus of Hebrew University, and tried to incorporate many of Einstein’s actual words into the script. “The writing staff wanted to stay as true to the story as possible," said executive producer Noah Pink. "Not only because we were doing it for National Geographic but we felt the story was so powerful and intriguing that we saw no need to stray too far from the truth."

The show was billed as National Geographic's first scripted series. A second season of "Genius" will premiere in April and star actor Antonio Banderas as Spanish artist Pablo Picasso.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Golden Globes ceremony, and NBC will be airing a special this Wednesday at 9 p.m. to honor the organization. The awards themselves will take place Jan. 7 in Hollywood.

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Related Topics: Albert Einstein, TV