I Know This Much Is True TV Series Overview


I Know This Much Is True is an American television miniseries written and directed by Derek Cianfrance based on the 1998 novel of the same name by Wally Lamb.

Mark Ruffalo stars in two roles, identical twin brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey.


Middle-aged Dominick Birdsey recounts his troubled relationship with Thomas, his paranoid schizophrenic twin brother, and his efforts to get him released from an asylum.


  • Main:
    • Mark Ruffalo as Dominick and Thomas Birdsey.
    • Melissa Leo as Ma, Dominick and Thomas’ mother. It is later revealed her full name is Concettina Ipolita Tempesta Birdsey.
    • John Procaccino as Ray Birdsey, Dominick and Thomas’ stepfather
    • Rob Huebel as Leo[3], Dominick’s best friend.
    • Michael Greyeyes as Ralph Drinkwater, a former classmate from Dominick and Thomas’ youth whose life intersects once again with Dominick.
    • Gabe Fazio as Shawn Tudesco, a weightlifter down at hard-bodies. Fazio also played Dominick and Thomas Birdsey as a stand-in for scenes where both of them would appear.
    • Juliette Lewis as Nedra Frank, a self-absorbed grad student hired by Dominick.
    • Kathryn Hahn as Dessa Constantine, Dominick’s ex-wife.
    • Rosie O’Donnell as Lisa Sheffer, a social worker for unit two at the Hatch Forensic Institute.
    • Imogen Poots as Joy Hanks, Dominick’s live-in girlfriend.
    • Archie Panjabi as Dr. Patel, Thomas’ newly appointed psychologist.
    • Philip Ettinger as Young Dominick and Thomas Birdsey.
    • Aisling Franciosi as Young Dessa
    • Bruce Greenwood as Dr. Hume.
    • Marcello Fonte as Domenico Onofrio Tempesta, Dominick and Thomas’ maternal grandfather from Sicily.
    • Harris Yulin as Father LaVie.
  • Recurring:
    • Donnie Masihi as 8-Year Old Dominick Birdsey.
    • Rocco Masihi as 8-Year Old Thomas Birdsey.
    • Joseph Ragno as Henrey Rood.
    • Laura Esterman as Ruth Rood.
    • Annie Fitzgerald as Miss Hanker.
    • Irene Muscara as Prosperine Tucci (“The Monkey”), Ignazia’s best friend and lover, loathed by Domenico Tempesta.
    • Matt Helm as Young Leo.
    • Agatha Nowicki as Angie Constantine, Dessa’s sister.
    • Tatanka Means as Nabby Drinkwater.
    • Achakos Johnson as Penny Ann Drinkwater.
  • Guest:
    • Brian Goodman as Al (“One”).
    • Guillermo Diaz as Sergeant Mercado (“One”).
    • Laura Silverman as Kristin (“One”).
    • Joe Grifasi as Steve Falice (“Four”).
    • Felix Solis as Nurse (“Four”).
    • Sue Jean Kim as Dr. Yup (“Four”).
    • Roberta Rigano as Ignazia Tucci Tempesta (Violetta d’Annunzio), Dominick’s grandmother from Pescara. (“Five”).
    • Simone Coppo as Vincenzo Tempesta, youngest brother of Domenico Tempesta. (“Five”).
    • Zaria Degenhardt as Concettina Tempesta, Dominick and Thomas’ mother as a young girl (“Six”).


  • In June 1998, it was announced that 20th Century Fox had acquired film rights to I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb, with Clinica Estetico producing, and Jonathan Demme potentially directing.
    • In July 2000, it was announced Matt Damon would star in the film, with Jim Sheridan directing from a screenplay by Richard Friedenberg.
    • In July 2004, it was announced Gina Prince-Bythewood would direct and re-write the film.
    • The film rights expired and reverted back to Lamb, who thought the novel would be better adapted into a miniseries rather than a film. Being a fan of Mark Ruffalo’s work, Lamb suggested Ruffalo should play the role of the twins.
    • Ruffalo was sent the book and wrote an e-mail to Lamb confessing his love for the novel, stating he definitely wanted to be involved.
  • Ruffalo had been interested in working with Derek Cianfrance, and reached out to see if Cianfrance would be interested in directing and writing the series.
    • Lamb told Cianfrance and Ruffalo to make the material their own, and did not ask to see the scripts.
    • In October 2017, it was announced HBO would produce and distribute the series, with Ruffalo starring and executive producing, Cianfrance directing writing, executive-producing alongside Lamb, with FilmNation Entertainment producing the series.
    • In October 2018, the series was greenlit.
  • Ruffalo first shot all of his scenes as Dominick, requiring him to lose 15 lb (6.8 kg).
    • After finishing his scenes as Dominick, Ruffalo took a six-week break to gain 30 lb (14 kg) and then shoot his scenes as Thomas.
    • Gabe Fazio portrayed the roles of both Dominick and Thomas.
    • He is the same height as Ruffalo and lost thirty pounds to play Dominick when Ruffalo shot his scenes as Thomas.
    • Production concluded in October 2019.
  • The members of the Psychiatric Security Review Board in Episode 4 are played by some local officials in Dutchess County, New York, where most of the series was filmed: State Senator Sue Serino, sheriff Butch Anderson, and his wife Danielle, president of the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie.
  • Principal photography began in April 2019, in New York’s Hudson Valley.
    • On 09 May 2019 a fire erupted on the set of the series at a used car dealership in Ellenville.
    • The building, film equipment and 20 vintage cars were destroyed.
    • There were no injuries but it put filming on hold.

I Know This Much Is True Series

Production & Filming Details

  • Narrator(s): Mark Ruffalo and Marcello Fonte.
  • Director(s): Derek Cianfrance.
  • Producer(s): Wally Lamb, Anya Epstein, Ben Browning, Glen Basner, Lynette Howell, Taylor, Gregg Fienberg, Mark Ruffalo, Derek Cianfrance, and Jeffrey T. Bernstein.
  • Writer(s): Derek Cianfrance and Anya Epstein.
  • Music: Harold Budd.
  • Cinematography: Jody Lee Lipes.
  • Editor(s): Ron Patane, Jim Helton, Malcolm Jamieson, Dean Palisch, and Nico Leunen.
  • Production: Willi Hill and FilmNation Entertainment.
  • Distributor(s): HBO.
  • Release Date: 10 May 2020 to 14 June 2020.
  • Running Time: 59-80 minutes (per episode).
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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