Most people are aware that multilevel marketing companies are a scam, but Keith Raniere took that stereotype to a whole new level with his company, NXIVM. For more than 20 years, Keith traveled the world doing seminars and within a few years of starting the company allegations began to circulate that it was actually a cult. Rumors also began to circulate that the organization was involved in sex trafficking and Despite a less than stellar reputation, countless people were still interested including several celebrities and socialites. Unfortunately for Keith, his NXIVM empire came crashing down in 2018 when he was arrest on several charges including sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit forced labor.
Keith was found guilty on all charges in the summer of 2019 and was sentenced to 120 years in prison. Keith’s story has been getting lots of attention and there is already talk of making a biopic based on his life. With that being said, what better network for a made for TV biopic than Lifetime? While no plans for a movie have been released at the moment, we thought it would be fun to come up with a list of actors who we think would be perfect for the role. Keep reading for 5 actors who should play Keith Raniere in an eventual Lifetime movie.
1. Sean Bean
Sean Bean may seem like an unlikely pick for a role like this, but throughout his career he has proven that he can play any kind of character. He has been acting professionally for well over 30 years and he has appeared in a wide variety of TV shows and movies. Not only does Sean have the look to pull of playing Keith, but he also has the acting chops to explore the complexities of Keith and his story. He also has experience playing real life characters, so he has a good understanding of the work that goes into playing a person who actually exists.
2. Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Realistically, it would probably be pretty difficult to get Jeffrey Dean Morgan to do a Lifetime movie, but he would still be a great fit for this role. On top of that, sometimes the right opportunity can entice people to want to be a part of the project. Jeffrey had a lot of experience playing characters who have a gritty side to them. After all, we’ve seen him do his thing on The Walking Dead for four years now. Jeffrey isn’t afraid to explore different sides of people so he could easily bring Keith’s story to life and give viewers a glimpse into the NXIVM leader that they may not have otherwise gotten.
3. Eric Bana
Eric Bana may not have as long of a resume as some of the other actors on this list, but we still think he could be a great fit for the role. In 2018, he portrayed John Meehan in the TV series, Dirty John. While John was never accused of being a cult leader or trafficking any humans, he and Keith did share some similarities and were both deemed very shady people by the law and the general public. If Eric could tap into those Dirty John vibes to play Keith, he could give us one of the most authentic representations.
4. Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes has had a very successful career that includes dozens of on screen appearances, theater work, and an Academy Award nomination. His wide range of experience could prove to come in very handy for playing Keith Raniere. It’s also a plus that Ralph has already done a few made for TV movies so working on a project like this wouldn’t be anything new for him. He’s also no stranger to playing roles based on real people which adds an extra layer of confidence that he would be able to do a great job in this role.
5. Eric Dane
Playing someone like Keith Raniere would be a bit of a departure from the types of roles that Eric usually plays. Most of us are used to him playing the good looking and charming characters such as Dr. Mark Sloan on Grey’s Anatomy. However, his recent role in the HBO series Euphoria helped solidify the fact that Eric can also play people who have a very dark side. With that in mind, it would be interesting to see what he could do with a role like Keith. Out of all of the people on the list, he might just be able to give the most unique depiction of Keith and his story.