EXCLUSIVE: British actor Tom Riley has landed the lead in Starz’s new original series Da Vinci’s Demons, from David S. Goyer and BBC Worldwide Prods. Riley will play a young Leonardo da Vinci in the drama, described as 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 who begins to not only see the future, but invent it. “Given that da Vinci was the model for the ‘Renaissance Man,’ these were incredibly large shoes to fill,” Goyer said of the search to cast the role. “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.” Tom Riley, whom BBC Worldwide Prods. head Jane Tranter called “a fabulously charismatic, intelligent and versatile actor,” is a regular at London’s Royal Court Theatre. 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 TV, he is best known for his role as Laurence Shepherd on ITV’s drama series Monroe.
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