Veteran actress Michelle Pfeiffer has been cast in the HBO series Wizard of Lies, the tale of former NASDAQ chairman and swindler Bernie Madoff. Pfeiffer will play the role of Bernie’s wife, Ruth Madoff, opposite Robert De Niro, who will take on the lead role, EW confirms. The TV project, that has been in the works for several years, will take viewers “behind the scenes at Bernie Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme, how it was perpetrated on the public and the trail of destruction it left in its wake, both for the victims and Madoff’s family.”
The upcoming TV movie is based on the book by the same name by Diana Henriques, as well as drawing material from Truth and Consequences from Laurie Sandell. Pfeiffer’s role as Ruth Madoff will bring the longtime actress back to TV after more than two decades. Pfeiffer’s character, now 74-years-old, currently resides in Connecticut. She married Bernie Madoff at the young age of 18-years-old and served as her husband’s bookkeeper, as well as the director of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities up until the time she and her husband were exposed in 2008. Madoff was convicted of stealing over $80 billion in what has been deemed the largest scheme in U.S. history. He is currently serving a 150-year prison sentence in North Carolina.
Alessandro Nivola (American Hustle) has signed onto the project as Mark Madoff, the son of the Bernie and Ruth, Zap2It reports. Mark committed suicide in 2010 on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest. He was found dead in his apartment. Casting for the role of the couple’s other son, Andrew, who died of lymphoma on September 3, 2014, has yet to be announced.
HBO’s Wizard of Lies was written by Sam Levinson and John Burnham Schwartz. Barry Levinson will serve as both the director and executive producer. The HBO feature has not announced a premiere date.
Michelle Pfeiffer’s recent acting credits include The Family, People Like Us, Dark Shadows, and New Year’s Eve.
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