Fiennes at the London Film Festival premiere of The Invisible Woman, October 2013
|Born||Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes
22 December 1962
Ipswich, Suffolk, England
|Alma mater||Royal Academy of Dramatic Art|
|Occupation||Actor, director, producer|
(m. 1993; div. 1997)
|Relatives||Martha Fiennes (sister)
Magnus Fiennes (brother)
Sophie Fiennes (sister)
Joseph Fiennes (brother)
Jacob Fiennes (brother)
When she was younger, my mother was quite committed to Roman Catholicism. But she got disillusioned with it and moved closer to something like Buddhist beliefs near the end of her life.
I was only interested in my scene, and I had to go through thousands and thousands of other scenes. I got my scene and I read it many, many, many, many, many times. That was my research.
In the best material, you always should be able to somehow make a case for a story to be transposed to any other time.
I never studied anything about film technique in school. Eventually, I realized that cinema and theater are not so different: from the gut to the heart to the head of a character is the same journey for both.
I was grateful to have two weeks to shoot this one scene in Harry Potter. It's a big, big scene, but they have to deliver. And they have high expectations.
And although I've been very fortunate in the film work that's come my way, I need to get back to the stage. If I'm away for a maximum of two years, I feel something's wrong.
There is a tension in relationships between wanting to return to the womb, but also wanting to be free. Because sometimes the woman's attentions can be overly maternal, and you want to go, 'Ahhhh!'
You feel yourself working to show something. I've learned to distrust that feeling.
So much of movie acting is in the lighting. And in loving your characters. I try to know them, and with that intimacy comes love. And now, I love Voldemort.
God is not anything human. God is a force, God is chaos, God is unknown. God is terror and enlightenment at the same time.
I can't go and shoot people in the back of the head because It's a kids' movie, which is actually quite a good test because you haven't got the overt threat of a knife in the face.
I admire the world of the books and the characters that she's created, but I'm not an addict of Harry Potter. I don't feel possessive about it.
The sets were fantastic. The Harry Potter sets are brilliant. You do get transported for a second.
Actors use who they are to be someone else, but I would hate to ever think I'm playing myself. It's imagining being someone else that is the key motivating thing for me. So when people want to know about me, it makes me a bit unnerved.
I think Shakespeare is like a dialect. If I heard a broad Scots accent, I'd probably struggle at first but then I'd start to look for words I recognise and I'd get the gist. I think Shakespeare is like that.
There's a challenge to playing these fantasy figures because they are fantasy figures. You have to enter into this sort of imaginative world of the writer.
You have to just dive over the edge. You haven't got time to mess about.
Going to the movies was a big event in my youth. My father would be the initiator – he'd have me put on a jacket to see a film.
I don't feel particularly comfortable about actors using whatever power they may have to push their beliefs, unless they're extremely well informed.
There are those moments when you shake someone's hand, have a conversation with someone, and suddenly your all bound together because you share your humanity in one simple moment.
Most films are rooted in a book or a comic strip, but I don't go out there saying I want to do adaptations.
I veer away from trying to understand why I act. I just know I need to do it.
He's really sort of the devil. He's completely emotionally detached. He has no empathy. You find that in psychopaths. It's about power with Voldemort. It's an aphrodisiac for him. Power makes him feel alive.
Being an actor means asking people to look at you. I guess I accept that. But it's a profession in which the job is to show another world and other people. You may access it through bits of yourself, and your imagination and experience, but actually, in the end, you're not playing yourself.
If I had a gun to my head and I had to choose between theater and film I'd choose theater.
I couldn't get as big as a bodybuilder. I tried to put on as much weight in the right places as I could. My weightlifting was impressive for me, but not for some of the guys I see down at the gym.
I'm not very good at being domesticated. I've tried. The domestic life I find claustrophobic – the rituals and habits and patterns.
As an actor, there's a bit of you that's decided you want to be looked at and watched, but there's a paradoxical bit that wants to run away.
I went out to Mount Kilimanjaro, which I thought was very beautiful, but there were a lot of people there.
You're meant to be playing the distillation of evil, which can be anything.
I have a lot of stuff I want to talk about and offer up. It would be odd not to have ideas about something.
In the studio system, things are expected of a film. By the first, second, third act, there's a generic language that comes out of the more commercial system.
There is a humanitarian impulse that one aspires to and there are days when one doesn't do it very well.
I don't plan a career. That doesn't work for me. I just have to go with my gut.
There's a lot of people who feel there's a tabloid journalist who had it coming.
Gardeners are good at nurturing, and they have a great quality of patience, they're tender. They have to be persistent.
I got to read some writings by serial killers, and they got inside my head. They were quite disturbing. I read disturbing stuff about that very detached way of manipulating people to do things.
The tensions between authority and the people need to be heard, especially when they are suffering and they can't eat.
We'd all like to believe that perhaps people could stop killing each other.
When theater becomes a soothing middle-class thing, when it's packaged as the Night Out, then that's the death of it.