In the HBO mini-series The Young Pope, the Vatican chooses a new pontiff that they really don’t know well. Pope Pius XIII (formerly known as Lenny Belardo) is a young American who wants the church to be prohibitive again, mysterious. There are three characters from his past who witness Lenny’s transformation as Pope — the nun who raised him in an orphanage, Sister Mary (Diane Keaton), a fellow orphan now Cardinal Andrew Dussolier (Scott Shepherd), and Lenny’s mentor, the former Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Michael Spencer.
Cardinal Spencer is portrayed by James Cromwell. He’s known for his roles on Murder in the First (Warren Daniels), Boardwalk Empire (Andrew W. Mellon), American Horror Story (Dr. Arthur Arden), 24 (Phillip Bauer), and Six Feet Under (George Sibley), among many others. Cromwell is also well recognized for his roles in the films W. (George H.W. Bush), The Green Mile (Warden Hal Moores), L.A. Confidential (Dudley Smith), I, Robot (Dr. Alfred Lanning), The Artist (Clifton), and Babe (Farmer Arthur H. Hoggett), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. The Young Pope airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO.