TV Tango Search


|              FREE: Ask a TV Expert

National Geographic Channel GENIUS Q&A w Geoffrey Rush, Johnny Flynn, Emily Watson; Overview, Photos

Maj Canton - May 8, 2017



On Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 9pm ET/PT, National Geographic Channel premieres GENIUS, their first-ever scripted series, which is executive produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, with Howard making his scripted television directorial debut for the first episode. Based on the book from best-selling author Walter Isaacson, GENIUS stars Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein, Johnny Flynn as young Einstein, Samantha Colley as Albert Einstein's first wife Mileva Maric and mother to his three children and Emily Watson as Einstein’s second wife and first cousin, Elsa Einstein.


GENIUS is not the Einstein story that you think you know. Well before the theory of relativity, Albert Einstein was a brazen young man distracted by love, family and a strong desire not to conform. This is the story of the man behind the mind and it’s a smart, well-crafted, brilliantly acted production. Through ten episodes, GENIUS tracks Einstein’s rise from humble origins as an imaginative, rebellious thinker, through his struggles to be recognized by the establishment, to his global celebrity status as the man who unlocked the mysteries of the cosmos with his theory of relativity. Delving deeper, the series follows Einstein’s alternately exhilarating emotions and heartlessness in dealing with his closest personal relationships, including his children, his two wives and the various women with whom he cheats on them.


The series begins in Einstein’s teenage years, when he opposes his father and drops out of school in Germany to go to university in Switzerland. His love of women and passion for theoretical physics blossom after he breaks the heart of his first love, Marie Winteler, to pursue his mysterious and elusive fellow physics student Mileva Maric Their whirlwind romance puts them at odds with teachers and leads to an unexpected pregnancy, forcing both to set aside grand dreams and Einstein to take a mundane job as a patent clerk. Striving in earnest to break into the scientific establishment, Einstein publishes five original papers in one year, catching the eye of many, including the scientist who will go on to become his fiercest adversary, Dr. Philipp Lenard.


As World War I looms and his marriage begins to crumble, Einstein throws himself into an affair with his first cousin Elsa. Shifting global politics draw him into increasingly politicized scientific circles, causing friction with friends and fellow scientists like Fritz Haber and Max Planck. Taking a moral stand, Einstein refuses to support Germany’s war effort.


Einstein’s fortunes rise after the war when relativity is proved right. On the verge of becoming an overnight celebrity, Elsa demands he marry her to avoid the scandal such scrutiny will bring. Fighting with Mileva for a divorce, Einstein also has to contend with the roller coaster of fame.

He eventually escapes a rising tide of anti-Semitism and seeks sanctuary in the United States as an immigrant. Living and teaching in Princeton, New Jersey, Einstein continues to be besieged on all sides. His fractious relationship with his children and grandchildren weighs on him, he ends up in bed with Russian spy Margarita Konenkova and he must cope with J. Edgar Hoover’s personal vendetta to bring him down. He also faces possibly his biggest challenge ever: the pressure to set aside his lifelong pacifism in the hopes of stopping Hitler’s conquest of Europe. While his journey is far from easy, Einstein still manages to find hope and inspiration before his death, in the form of a young girl learning to understand the world. As Einstein famously said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”




Character Descriptions



Generally considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century, Albert Einstein was a German-born scientist who developed the special and general theories of relativity. He was also an eternally curious, sexually charged, impudent rebel who bristled against authority.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, younger (Johnny Flynn)

 In Einstein’s teenage years, he opposes his father and drops out of school in Germany to go to university in Switzerland. His love of women and passion for theoretical physics blossom after he breaks the heart of his first love, Marie Winteler, to pursue his mysterious and elusive fellow physics student Mileva Maric. Their whirlwind romance puts them at odds with teachers and leads to an unexpected pregnancy, forcing both to set aside grand dreams and Einstein to take a mundane job as a patent clerk at the urging of his close friend Michele Besso. Striving in earnest to break into the scientific establishment, Einstein publishes five original papers in one year, catching the eye of many, including the scientist who will go on to become his fiercest adversary, Dr. Philipp Lenard.

MILEVA MARIC (Samantha Colley)

Serbian physics student at Zurich Polytechnic who became Albert’s first wife. Mother of Hans Albert, Eduard and Lieserl. Passionate and driven, but also brooding and increasingly gloomy, she triumphed over many of the obstacles that then faced an aspiring female physicist. Divorced Albert in 1919.

ELSA EINSTEIN (Emily Watson)

Elsa is Albert's second wife, first cousin, and fierce protector. As World War I loomed and his marriage began to crumble, Albert threw himself into an affair with his first cousin Elsa. His fortunes rose after the war when relativity was proved right, and on the verge of becoming an overnight celebrity, Elsa demanded he marry her to avoid the scandal such scrutiny would bring.

Q&A Interview with Cast & Executive Producers at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour 2017

This past January at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter Press Tour, Nat Geo presented a GENIUS panel that included stars Geoffrey Rush Samantha Colley, and Johnny Flynn and director/executive producer Ron Howard. Here are a few highlights (edited for clarity and readability) from that panel.


Johnny Flynn (left) and Geoffrey Rush (right) as Albert Einstein.

Question: Mr. Rush and Mr.Flynn the both of you are playing Albert at different ages. Did you have to, compare notes on, physicality and that sort of thing?

Geoffrey Rush: Yes, we did on Skype because I was in Melbourne when I was in preparation and he was working in London. Then I went to London and we hung out together, and we did a lot of chatting about being doppelgangers, where he plays,16 quite convincingly, up until about the mid-30s, and then I rather dangerously take over, from my early 40s until Einstein was in his mid-70s. So, there was a lot to look at because the scale of the series is quite vast. We sort of interviewed each other, you know, what would it be like to talk to your younger self. That opened up stuff that was not actually in the text, but it was a good exercise.

Johnny Flynn: We did a workshop together in London, and we had the same dialect coach who was working with us. And that was a huge help because Geoffrey had worked with her before. She was a medium for us to communicate and get a sense of this person physically and vocally, and kind of combine our ideas and work together like that.

Ron Howard behind the scenes of GENIUS.

Question: One of the things about the book, there were so many misconceptions, things we thought we knew about Einstein all these years that were totally wrong. Are you sort of playing those out over this series, and was there something that really surprised you?

Ron Howard: It was very exciting to learn more about the complexity of the man because I'm like most people in that I sort of thought of the brilliant old guy sticking his tongue out and the theory of relativity and that was about it. And what Walter Isaacson's book gives us, offered so much dimension and so many surprises, and a kind of complexity not only in the character but the times in which he was living. And so, as a director, it just suggested so many ideas, both cinematic and also very emotional, and a chance to do my very favorite thing as a director and work with world-class actors facing challenging material. I really wanted it to be a psychological study. And so, I felt that as much as we could use Einstein's perspective on the world, and also the key people, particularly the women in his life and their perspectives of him. So, these were sort of the two pulls that I kept working off of visually, and then, in that immersive way, tried to be as visual as we could.

Geoffrey Rush as Einstein.

Question: Because of whether it's the hair or the mustache or the accent, Einstein has probably been more played for comedy successfully on screen necessarily than for drama. And both of you make sure that you have comedic moments within the performance, but obviously you're playing him as a real person. Talk about Einstein as a funny person, but not as a comedy figure.

Geoffrey Rush: You know, I think the Einstein catalog of films is quite small. There was a biopic made in the late ‘40s called the "Beginning of the End." And then I had seen Walter Matthau many years ago in a very good Fred Schepisi film called "I.Q." and then "Young Einstein." There's not much else in the catalog. But I suppose when I first read the script I was not only looking at the definition of what is genius. I didn't want to go down a kind of IQ intelligence quotient path of study. So, I started doing some private research, and just looking into what defined genius. But when I read the script,I wanted to think outside of him being a scientist because that's a given. That's what he devoted his life to across a very big epoch.

Geoffrey Rush (continued): And, as I'm reading it, I'm thinking, I can hear Groucho Marx delivering these lines, and I can see Harpo visualizing some of these lines. There's a kind of deep-rooted Yiddish spirit or level of wit that he was obviously very good at because when you see some of the footage of when he first went to America or Britain and he got off the boat, within seconds he'd have a group of newfound friends or reporters cackling pretty seriously. So, his optimism and sparkle is very present in his humanitarian outlook, and he seemed to work a lot off of comic presence.

Johnny Flynn: I think the nice thing about exploring the younger section of his life for me, which, then, obviously feeds into the section where Geoffrey is playing him, is, yes, he did have that kind of comedic and slightly kind of twinkly lunar to the sense of the world and rhythm, but to see some of the things that in his personal life, with him as a young man and the tragedies that he went through and these huge world events,the two World Wars and everything that was going on in Europe in the early 20th century and his personal stuff, to see the humor in the context of that is really important, and that's not what you know of him, you know, as a layman. That's not what I knew of him before embarking on the project.

Ron Howard on the set of GENIUS.

Question: People might think because of the subject matter and because it's on National Geographic that this is going to be a history lesson that's more academic than thriller. Can you guys talk about approaching what could be a egghead subject and making it a popcorn movie?

Ron Howard: I think that the suspense comes from the fact that in retrospect, you look at how close society came, the world came, to not benefitting from Albert Einstein. Sometimes it was his own doings, sometimes it was his own foibles, but, very often, it was society, it was old, rigid thinking, and sometimes, plain bigotry that was, threatening to prevent the world from having what this remarkable individual had to offer. So, I think that does create a kind of suspense. I have found that, honest portrayals of fascinating characters, including, scientists and mathematicians, actually offers a lot of human drama and even danger, emotional and sometimes physical.

Johnny Flynn as Einstein.

Question: When you're portraying somebody with such a celebrated professional life and such a flawed personal life, how do you balance that as an actor?

Geoffrey Rush: You know, from all the great classical writing that's ever been in the theater or in the cinema, you have a central protagonist who has to shift and change as events around them push them into greater levels of survival. And that happened to Einstein, always, through his life, and was also tempered by the fact that he had a personality that was very anti-authoritarian. He was a glass half full kind of guy. He always saw the better side of humanity, but then had to confront the development of atomic weaponry as a way of defeating someone else, that if they had it in their hands, it would be devastating to their enemy. So, he's placed very dramatically in the center of the drama.

Johnny Flynn: When you play a character, any character, you're building bridges between you and them. And the whole process for me is to find reasons for why you do certain things, some event in the script. And luckily, the writing filled a lot of those gaps, in terms of showing us what might have happened in the breakdown of a marriage or, the things that might have gone wrong there, or why he did certain things. So, the wonderful thing about him, his celebrated celebrity, to play that against the things that are going wrong in his life, that's been a kind of fantastic point of tension for me during the younger part of his life.

Samantha Colley: I think that makes him more beautiful as well as human being, that seeing all of the personal stuff that makes him more real, rather than the Albert Einstein the icon with the funny hair and the tongue sticking out, that it's the real Albert Einstein.

One-on-One Interview with Star Emily Watson, who Portrays Elsa Einstein
(Courtesy of National Geographic Channel)


Emily Watson as Elsa Einstein.

Question: Why do you think this story is relevant for audiences today?

Emily Watson: Where to start? Our understanding of the universe we owe to this man Einstein and his work and his particular nature. Had Elsa and his family not taken the steps to leave Nazi Germany, he would have been lost to us and exterminated, and the resonance of history is strong. I am not saying it is close to what is happening now, but the language used now is so resonant to the language of that era. These are exactly the stories we should be telling and teaching our children, not as a “never forget, may it never happen again,” but as “it is happening and we must be awake.”

Geoffrey Rush (L) and Emily Watson (R) as Albert and Elsa Einstein.

Question: How did the relationship develop between Elsa and Albert?

Emily Watson: He was in the throes of the end of his relationship with Mileva and Elsa was a breath of fresh air. It just sparked between them in a way that it should not have, but it just did and he fell very ill and she saved him. She nursed him back to health and then he was totally dependent on her.

At first she was comfortable with living with him and not being married. She tolerated it. When he became famous she was not able to do so, and insisted he had to get divorced. They needed to get married as they would be under an incredible amount of scrutiny. There is a transition in the script from battling to get a divorce from Mileva to standing at his side when relativity has been proved, and it is a real moment of triumph for her. Sadly, it did not last that long because she only lived a short while later and died in 1946.

Question: How was Elsa different from Mileva?

Emily Watson: Elsa is not interested in physics and not in any way Einstein’s intellectual equal. But she makes no pretense to be. She is a nurturer, carer and provider, and astute with people and how to work your way through life, which Mileva was not. She is quite a political person and adept at managing. I think in her time she was probably frowned upon as a modern, forward-thinking woman.

Question: What qualities do you see in Elsa?

Emily Watson: Elsa is very strong and grasps what she wants: and she wants to be Mrs. Albert Einstein and run the show. She does this successfully and she is also very aware of the dangerous political situation in a way that Albert is possibly not.

Question: Behind every great man …

Emily Watson: Is an Emily Watson! I think Elsa gave Albert the space he needed to do the work he wanted to do. She created a life where he had room to be himself. He had lovers and she gave him the space to do that. She had very clear rules about it but she also knew when he needed to work and made that OK for him. She made sure he did not become ill, and allowed that mind of his to do what it did best. She was a manager in a way. But also, they loved each other very much. She guided him through a worldwide celebrity not easy to navigate, and she did it for him.

Emily Watson as Elsa Einstein.

Question: Did you make specific choices to portray her?

Emily Watson: I tried to embody her strength. A lot of the space Geoffrey and I occupy together has been natural. We have very different energies: He is in reflective thinking space, and I am full-on energetic, which is very different. I really like that. Often, when playing scenes with another actor, it bleeds into one and I love that we are playing it separately. I think as a character I try to earn places where I can be very still. A lot of the time Elsa is trying to drive things but there are moments where she is still and strong.

Question: What research did you do?

Emily Watson: There was a big fat book that I read and I did a bit of research on the internet, garnering various things. What I find fascinating is the psychology of the man. As a young man, Albert rejected everything and was totally free thinking and had no respect for authority. Because of that, his mind could clear away everything and see the scientific truth of things. If he had not had that character trait of being very rebellious, he would not have made the scientific discoveries that he did. I feel akin to that as I have a mistrust of authority and religion and all things like that, and the fact that someone who had the greatest scientific mind because he rejected people telling him what to do … I love that.

Geoffrey Rush (L) and Emily Watson (R) as Albert and Elsa Einstein.

Question: Have your perceptions about Albert Einstein changed?

Emily Watson: Yes, I did not know much about him and only had the image of him as a relatively old man. I had no idea of the nature of the beast he was as a young man and how he flunked his entrance exams. I find that charming.

Question: What should audiences expect in GENIUS?

Emily Watson: I did not know what to expect but the sense of this exciting idea of a young man on his own, and without our sense of the modern realm, making these immense discoveries and being right at the center of unfolding history. He is right there in the thick of it as the 20th century unfolds. It is quite exciting and I hope the audience finds it exciting as well.

One-on-One Interview with Star Johnny Flynn, who Portrays Young Einstein
(Courtesy of National Geographic Channel)


Johnny Flynn as young Albert Einstein.

Question: How would you describe Einstein’s personality?

Johnny Flynn: Einstein’s personality is a conflicted one in that from a young age he knew he had potential in the way he saw the world, and was buzzing with ideas. As a young boy, he was given a compass and he trembled with excitement as it represented an unseen world in the laws of physics, and those things excited him more than the average person. He has a sense of nonabsolutism and nothing was cut and dried. He challenged every idea presented to him. This put him in good stead with physics, but in terms of his personal relationships it presented a series of problems. Playing him has been interesting and a fantastic challenge. He is compelled to do the things he does, which are, in fact, rejecting other beliefs. He is constantly conflicted and confused but always curious and interested in understanding the world around him. Some of the lovely things about him have to do with his certainty that he does not want to be part of any faction, group, nationality, ideology or set of beliefs. His driving force is rejecting inherent ideas.

Question: How did his Jewish heritage influence his life?

Johnny Flynn: Everyone is born with a set of human codes: Einstein was born to liberal Jewish parents in Germany and moved there a few generations back. Jews in Europe at the time, long before Nazi Germany, were a very identified group of people throughout history. It was part of his heritage and he was keen to not necessarily identify as a Jew because he did not hold dogmatic beliefs and did not want to be categorized, but, of course, later, when things got heavy in terms of the Jewish situation in Europe, he championed Jews and identified with them.

Johnny Flynn as young Albert Einstein.

Question: Tell us about how you got the role.

Johnny Flynn: In normal life, you cannot find someone who looks less like Einstein than me. I very nearly did not audition. I was doing a different series and telling a friend about this show but that I did not think I would do it and she said I was insane. She made me do the tape and sent it off and then Ron Howard wanted to Skype with me. I had a chat with him in the U.S. and me in Glasgow, and just at the end I asked what Einstein meant for him and he had a whole vision of what the story could be. I immediately saw the potential for this human story and how we could strip away the idea of who we think he is. Einstein was kind of revolutionary and lived through extreme times and was at the heart of it all and suffered tragedies. All this made him fascinating to play.

Question: What are the similarities between you and Einstein?

Johnny Flynn: I like that we share a birthday and this gives me a tiny bit of a sense of synchronicity that I am supposed to be here — not just some blond, blue-eyed guy who has been scrubbed up and has the right to impersonate him or channel him. I strongly identify with a lot of the feelings he had about belonging or not belonging to any dogmatic sect or group of beliefs or nationality. I have always felt the same way and do not identify with any nationality. Like him I got to move around a lot as a young kid and lived in several different countries and did not want to be identified with any of them. I completely get that and feel the same way about conflict in all its forms. There is a more elegant way of resolving conflict and the more enlightened way is to sit and talk about things. In a broad way, he did have a sense of a creator, or kind of divine hand in the universe, and so his version of God, which he never dropped and in fact got stronger later in life, I relate to. I feel that way about a sense of harmony. Everything he was doing was trying to draw or channel that into beautiful equations to give to humanity allowing him and us to marvel at how elegant the world is.

Question: Does playing the violin help you get into character?

Johnny Flynn: We both play the violin. It features in the show and I have learned the pieces that he is on record as saying he loved, and I love them as well. I have had a chance to scrub up my violin playing and it is me playing on camera. I have my own violin here, and I go home and play the pieces because I read that he would be working on a theory and at a certain point would go play for a couple of hours and this would allow his mind to reveal another part of the theory. It is a game for me to get into character.

Behind the scenes of GENIUS with Johnny Flynn.

Question: What has been your favorite scene to shoot?

Johnny Flynn: There are too many to call a favorite, but I hugely enjoyed the moving and challenging ones to do, like when his father died. We had that scene with Robert Lyndsay, who plays Albert’s father, and it was very moving and, as an actor, it was thrilling and challenging. I quite enjoyed the funeral scene in a synagogue in Prague. We had about 100 extras and it was very powerful. It has also been fun to do the thought experiments, as these are seminal moments in history where he realized something that changed the universe. We did a scene where we recreated a series of four lectures in 1914 when he was in a race to write up the equations for general relativity. To challenge himself, he did the four lectures in front of a crowd and it nearly drove him mad and sick, so with a crowd of extras cheering as I wrote the final equation, I could imagine what that would be like, and it was fun.

Albert Einstein (in real life).

Question: If you could ask Einstein one question, what would it be?

Johnny Flynn: There is no question that he has not tried to answer — and baffle me while doing it. One of the coolest stories about him is that when he settled in the USA he became concerned with civil rights and wrote essays on how African Americans needed to be treated fairly and how he identified with them as an outsider. He said, “I cannot call myself an American while these people are treated so badly.” I am in awe of the scope of his thinking. His curiosity was boundless.

Question: What do you most admire about Einstein?

Johnny Flynn: As a musician and artist it is encouraging to hear and affirm the belief I have, which is that he was a scientist more in line with a philosopher or artist. He was interpreting a way of seeing the world and was brave enough to abandon what he was taught. He thought science was stuck in antiquated knowledge and disregarded that to make such huge leaps that we are still learning from today.

Question: Do you have a favorite Einstein quote?

Johnny Flynn: He said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge,” and “Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity and I’m not sure about the universe.

One-on-One Interview with Star Geoffrey Rush who Portrays Professor Einstein
(Courtesy of National Geographic Channel)


Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein.

Question: How much did you know about Einstein before you started working on GENIUS?

Geoffrey Rush: I was four years old when Einstein died, so there was not a huge amount of overlap. Everything I know is from the legend of who he was, because he was one of the most idiosyncratic figures of the 20th century. He was a cult figure, he was as famous as Charlie Chaplin; in a precelebrity world, they were household names. Chaplin for being an amazing filmmaker and clown, and Einstein for being a complex theoretical physicist who wrote a theory that toppled all the existing orthodoxy that had been around for 300 years. He toppled the early era of science with Galileo and Copernicus with his theory of relativity, which no one knows what it means.

Question: What were you most surprised to learn about Einstein?

Geoffrey Rush: I suppose how open and gregarious and truly childlike he was for a man with such complexity of ideas. Some people have tried to classify him as somewhat autistic, but I don’t think it is true, because he loved sailing and intellectual company. He came out of a flourishing Jewish societal world in early 20th century Germany and he would hang out with his friends and they would play music. I don’t know how good he was; there is no record of that. Eventually he loved to travel and he had an expansive personality and I was lucky enough to get a lot of footage of him visiting Britain and the USA, and he seemed to greet press like Groucho Marx. He had people laughing and was kind of clownlike with his naivete. Rumor has it he was thought of as dopey and a slow starter but he was just daydreaming, and that ended up being his greatest strength.

Question: What were some of his quirks?

Geoffrey Rush: I noticed in early footage, in his teenage years, that he was very rebellious and anti- authoritarian and he hated the German militaristic sensibility. He was quite outspoken and forthright and sometimes lacking in confidence, and I noticed that when Johnny was playing the younger Einstein, he was licking his lips because he hadn’t quite found the assurance and authority that he later did I thought I would incorporate that and I saw that in his speech-making in his later years. I noticed Einstein had this tasting in his mouth of the simplicity of what he needed to say. Johnny and I are the same height and I wanted to create the silhouette shorter. I played Einstein short so my natural ectomorph becomes more rounded and stocky.

Question: Did you know Einstein was such a ladies’ man?

Geoffrey Rush: I didn’t know about that, but I suppose if you put that equation together, he had a lot of celebrity. I think he had many young lovers because he moved around a lot. He gave up his German passport and was a bit of a gallivant. He was bright, and some women find that deeply attractive. And he had humor. He liked a partner in his life and he found that with Elsa, after his sad and awkward failure of a first marriage to Mileva Maric. There were numerous women in his life, but Mileva and Elsa were the two main ones. He knew his gift functioned only if he lived a well-ordered and coordinated life. He was fortunate with Elsa to find someone happy to be that person. She didn’t match his intellect like Mileva did. Mileva was brilliant but Elsa was happy to be his manager, mother, organizer, PR person, and that marriage was one of deep friendship but not particularly passionate. She gave him license to have affairs. They were radical progressives on that level.

Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein.

Question: Had you played the violin before?

Geoffrey Rush: No, but I quite like these different tasks. Like, I did a film where I was a tailor and I had to chalk and cut up a suit. I don’t think anyone would want to wear it. I liked the time it took to learn how to sword fight in “Pirates of the Caribbean.” I thought I would need to be pretty savage with a blade if I wanted to be credible. And I learned to look like I was playing the piano and accordion for roles. With the violin, I think most people who play it well have done over 10,000 hours of practice probably when they were age 5. It takes a lot of skill and precision to get the quality of tone and notes. There are no chords, and if you miss by a nanomillimeter it is the worst sound in the world. I have major movie magic assistance to be as good as Einstein could have been.

Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein.

Question: Why did you choose to play this role?

Geoffrey Rush: I’m in my mid-60s. I am a character actor and this is one of the great parts and the scale is so big. The whole series is about an epoch and a tumultuous one and global concepts, even if someone had invented this guy. He is the one who journeys through massive social and political forces, with so much pushing through this brilliant brain. The role has four dimensions, not three.

Episode Guide


If you want to know nothing about the episodes at all, skip this section. Provided by National Geographic Channl, this episode guide includes general episode descriptions and specific plot details.


Chapter One
Debut: TUESDAY, APRIL 25 at 9pm ET/PT
As anti-Semitism reaches a fever pitch in 1930s Germany, famed physicist Albert Einstein (Geoffrey Rush) wrestles with the decision to seek refuge in America with his second wife, Elsa (Emily Watson), or to stay in solidarity with fellow Jewish academics. The struggle evokes memories of his first days as a headstrong student (Johnny Flynn) at Zurich Polytechnic, during which he meets the first love of his life, Mileva Maric (Samantha Colley).

Chapter Two
Debut: TUESDAY, MAY 2 at 9pm ET/PT
After butting heads with Mileva Maric (Samantha Colley), the only girl in his class at Zurich Polytechnic, Albert Einstein (Johnny Flynn) falls in love with this determined fellow student. While the passionate affair fans the flames of their mutual curiosity and love of science, their reckless abandon doesn’t go unnoticed by Einstein’s strict physics teacher, Professor Weber.

Chapter Three
Debut: TUESDAY, MAY 9 at 9pm ET/PT
Recent university graduate Albert Einstein (Johnny Flynn) struggles to make ends meet while trying to land an academic post in a scientific world rigid with tradition and protocol. After finally securing various tutoring jobs, he moves one step closer to being able to provide for his pregnant wife, Mileva (Samantha Colley), when tragedy strikes.

Chapter Four
Debut: TUESDAY, MAY 16 at 9pm ET/PT
While working a day job at the Bern patent office, Albert Einstein (Johnny Flynn) burns the candle at both ends supported by his new wife, Mileva (Samantha Colley), fueling four papers, among them the theory of special relativity, in what will historically be considered his “miracle year.” One of the papers catches the attention of notable theoretical physicist Max Planck.

Chapter Five
Debut: TUESDAY, MAY 23 at 9pm ET/PT
With new teaching duties, Albert Einstein (Johnny Flynn) finally begins to experience the academic life he long coveted as he develops his theory of general relativity. Enjoying his first taste of acclaim among the most renowned scientific minds of Europe, including Carl Jung and Marie Curie, Einstein falters in his familial responsibilities. His only relief comes from a visit to extended family, where he is reintroduced to his cousin Elsa.

Chapter Six
Debut: TUESDAY, MAY 30 at 9pm ET/PT
After moving his family to Berlin for work, and to be closer to his new love Elsa (Emily Watson), Albert Einstein (Johnny Flynn) sets out to prove his theory of general relativity. He enlists the help of an astronomer to photograph a solar eclipse in Russia, but the expedition goes awry. Einstein’s affair becomes less secret than he and Elsa had hoped, and with her reputation at stake, Elsa forces an ultimatum: divorce Mileva or lose her forever.

Chapter Seven
Debut: TUESDAY, JUNE 6 at 9pm ET/PT
Exhausted and worn out, Albert Einstein’s (Geoffrey Rush) attempt to make scientific history is put to the test as he begins to experience serious health issues. Meanwhile, sweeping patriotism in the wake of the war has corrupted one of his closest friends, Fritz Haber (Richard Topol), pitting them against each other in a battle of ideals. In the German war effort, Albert is the lone scientist to refuse the call to arms.

Chapter Eight
Debut: TUESDAY, JUNE 13 at 9pm ET/PT
Attempting to flee to the United States in response to the ascension of the Nazis, Albert Einstein (Geoffrey Rush) and his wife Elsa (Emily Watson) find that their visas have been blocked for entry by the U.S. State Department because Einstein’s politics placed him on the radar of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover (T.R. Knight). With just days before his departure, Einstein must convince the U.S. Consul in Germany that he is no threat to the country.

Chapter Nine
Debut: TUESDAY, JUNE 20 at 9pm ET/PT
Albert Einstein (Geoffrey Rush) and Elsa (Emily Watson) settle into America while trying to save those he left behind. Although quantum physics continues to vex him, his focus is diverted by the splitting of the atom in Nazi Germany. When tragedy strikes, Einstein seeks comfort in the arms of a Russian woman whose intentions are unclear.

Chapter Ten
Debut: TUESDAY, JUNE 20 at 10pm ET/PT
After the atomic bomb is dropped and WWII ends, Albert Einstein (Geoffrey Rush) assumes the role of world citizen in his elder years. Having been linked to nuclear weapons, he drowns in guilt and refocuses his efforts to prevent further wars while continuing his quest to make a full and complete picture of the laws of physics. Inspiration strikes when a young neighbor asks him for homework help, reminding him of the joy that science once brought.



  • He didn’t wear socks.
  • He was rumored to have had an affair with Marilyn Monroe. But he didn’t.
  • He was slow to begin to talk. Was called “the dopey one” by his family.
  • A college math professor called him a “lazy dog”.
  • He enjoyed sailing and classical music (Mozart was his favorite but he also loved Bach).
  • He played the violin.
  • He didn’t drink (called beer the recipe for stupidity).
  • His brain was removed on the morning of his death and kept in a jar for many years by a pathologist at the Princeton University Hospital.
  • His eyes remain kept in a safe box in New York.
  • He considered himself an agnostic rather than an atheist.
  • His greatest breakthroughs came from visual experiments in his head rather than experiments in a laboratory.
  • The money he received from winning his Nobel Prize went to his ex-wife Mileva Maric as a divorce settlement.
  • He was offered the presidency of Israel, which he politely declined.
  • He never owned a car and never learned to drive.
  • In 1930 he patented a fridge. But it never became a consumer product.
  • He was among several prominent Jews to sign a petition calling on Germany to overturn its ban on homosexuality.
  • He made his ex-wife, Mileva Maric, agree to a contract which stated she would agree to leave the room or stop talking if he told her to.
  • The then-FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, suspected he was a communist.
  • Einstein’s eyes and wrinkles helped inspire Yoda’s wise countenance in Star Wars.