Ralph Fiennes

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Not to be confused with Ranulph Fiennes.
Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes 2013.jpg
Fiennes at the London Film Festival premiere of The Invisible Woman, October 2013
Born Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes
(1962-12-22) 22 December 1962 (age 51)
Ipswich, Suffolk, England
Occupation Actor, director
Years active 1985–present
Spouse(s) Alex Kingston
(m. 1993; div. 1997)
Partner(s) Francesca Annis
(1995–2006)
Parents Mark Fiennes
Jennifer Lash
Relatives Joseph Fiennes (brother)
Magnus Fiennes (brother)
Martha Fiennes (sister)
Sophie Fiennes (sister)
from the BBC programme Front Row, 20 November 2011.[1]

Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes (/ˈrf ˈfnz/;[2] RAYF FYNZ; born 22 December 1962), is an English actor. A noted Shakespeare interpreter, he first achieved success onstage at the Royal National Theatre.

Fiennes' portrayal of Nazi war criminal Amon Goeth in Schindler's List (1993) earned him nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor, and won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. His performance as Count Almásy in The English Patient (1996) garnered him a second Academy Award nomination, for Best Actor, as well as BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations.

Since then, Fiennes has been in The End of the Affair (1999), Red Dragon (2002), The Constant Gardener (2005), the Harry Potter film series (2005–2011), in which he played Lord Voldemort, The Reader (2008), and Clash of the Titans (2010). In 2012, Fiennes played Gareth Mallory and later M in the James Bond film Skyfall and Magwitch in Great Expectations.

In 2011, Fiennes made his directorial debut with his film adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy Coriolanus, in which he also played the title character. Fiennes won a Tony Award for playing Prince Hamlet on Broadway.

Early life and family[edit]

Fiennes was born in Ipswich, on 22 December 1962. He is the eldest child of Mark Fiennes (1933–2004), a farmer and photographer, and Jennifer Lash (1938–1993), a writer. He has English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry.[3][4] His surname is of Norman origin.[5] His grandfathers were industrialist Sir Maurice Fiennes (1907–1994) and Brigadier Henry Alleyne Lash.

Fiennes is an eighth cousin of the Prince of Wales, and a third cousin of adventurer Ranulph Fiennes and author William Fiennes. He is the eldest of six children, his siblings being actor Joseph Fiennes; Martha Fiennes, a director (in her film Onegin, he played the title role); Magnus Fiennes, a composer; Sophie Fiennes, a filmmaker; and Jacob Fiennes, a conservationist. His foster brother, Michael Emery, is an archaeologist. His nephew Hero Fiennes-Tiffin played Tom Riddle, young Lord Voldemort, in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

The Fiennes family moved to Ireland in 1973, living in West Cork and County Kilkenny for some years. Fiennes was educated at St Kieran's College for one year, followed by Newtown School, a Quaker independent school in County Waterford. They moved to Salisbury in England, where Fiennes finished his schooling at Bishop Wordsworth's School. He went on to pursue painting at Chelsea College of Art before deciding that acting was his true passion.[6]

Career[edit]

Fiennes trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art between 1983 and 1985. He began his career at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park and also at the National Theatre before achieving prominence at the Royal Shakespeare Company.[5] Fiennes first worked on screen in 1990 and then made his film debut in 1992 as Heathcliff in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights opposite Juliette Binoche.

1993 was his "breakout year". He had a major role in the controversial Peter Greenaway film The Baby of Mâcon with Julia Ormond, which was poorly received. Later that year he became known internationally for portraying the amoral Nazi concentration camp commandant Amon Goeth in Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List. For this he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.[5] He did not win the Oscar, but did win the Best Supporting Actor BAFTA Award for the role. His portrayal as Göth also earned him a spot on the American Film Institute's list of Top 50 Movie Villains. To look suitable to represent Goeth, Fiennes gained weight, but he managed to shed it afterwards.[7]

Fiennes later claimed that playing the role had a profoundly disturbing effect on him.[8] In a subsequent interview, Fiennes recalled,

Evil is cumulative. It happens. People believe that they've got to do a job, they've got to take on an ideology, that they've got a life to lead; they've got to survive, a job to do, it's every day inch by inch, little compromises, little ways of telling yourself this is how you should lead your life and suddenly then these things can happen. I mean, I could make a judgment myself privately, this is a terrible, evil, horrific man. But the job was to portray the man, the human being. There’s a sort of banality, that everydayness, that I think was important. And it was in the screenplay. In fact, one of the first scenes with Oskar Schindler, with Liam Neeson, was a scene where I'm saying, "You don't understand how hard it is, I have to order so many-so many meters of barbed wire and so many fencing posts and I have to get so many people from A to B." And, you know, he's sort of letting off steam about the difficulties of the job.[9]

Ralph Fiennes with Eddie and Gloria Minghella at the 2011 Minghella Film Festival

In 1994, he portrayed American academic Charles Van Doren in Quiz Show. In 1996 he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the World War II epic romance The English Patient in which he starred with Kristin Scott-Thomas.[5] Fiennes' film work has ranged from thrillers (Spider) to animated Biblical epic (The Prince of Egypt) to campy nostalgia (The Avengers) to romantic comedy (Maid in Manhattan) to historical drama (Sunshine).

In 1999, Fiennes starred in the legendary role of Eugene Onegin in Onegin, a movie which he also helped produce. His sister Martha Fiennes directed and brother Magnus composed the score.

The Constant Gardener was released in 2005 with Fiennes in the central role.[5] The film is set in Kenya, dealing in part with real people in the slums of Kibera and Loiyangalani. The situation affected the cast and crew to the extent that they set up the Constant Gardener Trust to provide basic education for children of these villages. Fiennes is a patron of the charity.[10]

He is also a patron of the Shakespeare Schools Festival, a charity that enables school children across the UK to perform Shakespeare in professional theatres.[11]

Fiennes portrayed Lord Voldemort in the 2005 fantasy film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. He kept the role for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and both Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Part 2.

Fiennes' 2006 performance in the play Faith Healer gained him a nomination for a 2007 Tony Award. In 2008, Fiennes worked with frequent collaborator, director Jonathan Kent, playing the title role in Oedipus the King by Sophocles, at the National Theatre in London. In 2008, he played the Duke of Devonshire in the film The Duchess, and played the protagonist in The Reader.

Fiennes meets young journalists in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in 2003 during his visit as a UNICEF UK ambassador.

In February 2009, Fiennes was the special guest of the Belgrade's Film Festival FEST. He filmed his version of Shakespeare's Coriolanus in the Serbian capital of Belgrade.[12]

Fiennes reunited with Kathryn Bigelow for her Iraq War film The Hurt Locker, released in 2009, appearing as an English mercenary. They had previously worked together on Strange Days (1995). In April 2010, he played Hades in Clash of the Titans, a remake of the 1981 film of the same name. In 2012, he starred in the twenty-third James Bond film, Skyfall, directed by Sam Mendes. He will replace Dame Judi Dench as M in future Bond films.[13]

Though he is not noted as a comic actor, in 2014 he made an impression for his farcical turn in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Said one critic about the film, "In the end it's Fiennes who makes the biggest impression. His stylized, rapid-fire delivery, dry wit and cheerful profanity keep the movie bubbling along."[14]

Personal life[edit]

Fiennes is a UNICEF UK ambassador and has done work in India, Kyrgyzstan, Uganda and Romania.[15]

Fiennes met English actress Alex Kingston while they were both students at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. After dating for ten years, they married in 1993 and divorced in 1997.[16]

In 1995, Fiennes began an affair with Francesca Annis, whom he met when she played his mother Gertrude in the play Hamlet.[17] After 11 years together, the couple separated in February 2006.[17]

Work[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1990 Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia, AA Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia T. E. Lawrence Television film
1991 Prime Suspect Michael (a victim's boyfriend) Television series
1992 Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights Heathcliff
1993 Baby of Mâcon, TheThe Baby of Mâcon Bishop's son, TheThe Bishop's son
1993 Schindler's List Amon Göth
1994 Quiz Show Charles Van Doren
1995 Strange Days Lenny Nero
1996 The English Patient Count László de Almássy
1997 Oscar and Lucinda Oscar Hopkins
1998 Avengers, TheThe Avengers John Steed
1998 Prince of Egypt, TheThe Prince of Egypt Rameses II
1999 Sunshine Ignatz Sonnenschein/Adam Sors/Ivan Sors
1999 Onegin Evgeny Onegin Also executive producer
1999 End of the Affair, TheThe End of the Affair Maurice Bendrix
2000 Miracle Maker, TheThe Miracle Maker Jesus Christ Voice role
2002 Spider Dennis "Spider" Cleg
2002 Good Thief, TheThe Good Thief Tony Angel Uncredited
2002 Red Dragon Francis Dolarhyde
2002 Maid in Manhattan Christopher Marshall
2005 Chumscrubber, TheThe Chumscrubber Mayor Michael Ebbs
2005 Chromophobia Stephen Tulloch
2005 Constant Gardener, TheThe Constant Gardener Justin Quayle
2005 Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit Lord Victor Quartermaine
2005 White Countess, TheThe White Countess Todd Jackson
2005 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Lord Voldemort
2006 Land of the Blind Joe
2007 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Lord Voldemort
2008 Bernard and Doris Bernard Lafferty
2008 In Bruges Harry Waters
2008 Duchess, TheThe Duchess William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire
2008 Reader, TheThe Reader Older Michael Berg
2009 Hurt Locker, TheThe Hurt Locker Contractor Team Leader
2009 Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Lord Voldemort
2010 Cemetery Junction Mr. Kendrick
2010 Clash of the Titans Hades
2010 Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang Lord Gray
2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Lord Voldemort
2010 Wildest Dream, TheThe Wildest Dream George Mallory
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Lord Voldemort
2011 Page Eight Alec Beasley
2011 Rev. Bishop of London Television series
2011 Coriolanus Coriolanus Also director and producer
2012 Wrath of the Titans Hades
2012 Skyfall Gareth Mallory/M
2012 Great Expectations Magwitch
2013 The Invisible Woman Charles Dickens Also director
2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel M. Gustave
2014 Turks & Caicos Alec Beasley
2014 Salting the Battlefield Alec Beasley
2014 Mesyats v derevne Post-production
2015 Unnamed James Bond film M Pre-production
2015 Two Women Post-Production

Stage[edit]

  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare (1985) – Role: Curio – Directed by Richard Digby Day – New Shakespeare Company – Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park, London
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare (1985) – Role: Cobweb – Directed by Toby Robertson – New Shakespeare Company – Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park, London
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare (1986) – Role: Lysander – Directed by David Conville and Emma Freud – New Shakespeare Company – Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park, London and New Shakespeare Company's European Tour
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (1986) – Role: Romeo – Directed by Declan Donnellan – New Shakespeare Company – Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park, London
  • Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello (1987) – Role: Son – Directed by Michael Rudman – National Theatre's Olivier Theatre, London
  • Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev (1987) – Role: Arkady Nikolayevich Kirsanov – Directed by Michael Rudman – National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre, London
  • Ting Tang Mine by Nick Darke (1987) – Role: Lisha Ball – Directed by Michael Rudman – National Theatre's Cottesloe Theatre, London
  • Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare (1988) – Role: Claudio – Directed by Di Trevis – Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
  • The Plantagenets: Henry VI, The Rise of Edward IV, Richard III His Death by William Shakespeare (1988–1989) – Role: Henry VI, ghost of Henry VI – Directed by Adrian Noble – Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon and Barbican Theatre, London
  • King John (1989) by William Shakespeare – Role: Dauphin – Directed by Deborah Warner – The Other Place Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon and The Pit Theatre, London
  • The Man Who Came to Dinner by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman (1989) – Role: Bert Jefferson – Directed by Ron Gene Saks – The Royal Shakespeare Company – Barbican Theatre, London
  • Playing with Trains by Stephen Poliakoff (1989) – Role: Gant – Directed by Ron Daniels – The Royal Shakespeare Company – The Pit Theatre, London
  • Troilus and Cressida by William Shakespeare (1990) – Role: Troilus – Directed by Sam Mendes – The Royal Shakespeare Company – Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
  • King Lear by William Shakespeare (1990) – Role: Edmund – Directed by Nicholas Hytner – The Royal Shakespeare Company – Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare (1991) – Role: Berowne – Directed by Terry Hands – The Royal Shakespeare Company – Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon and Barbican Theatre, London
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare (1995) – Role: Hamlet, with Francesca Annis as Gertrude – Directed by Jonathan Kent – The Almeida Theatre Company – Hackney Empire, London and Belasco Theatre on Broadway, NY
  • Ivanov by Anton Chekhov translated by David Hare (February–April 1997) – Role: Ivanov – Directed by Jonathan Kent – The Almeida Theatre Company – Almeida Theatre, London
  • Coriolanus by William Shakespeare (2000) – Role: Coriolanus – Directed by Jonathan Kent – The Almeida Theatre Company – Gainsborough Film Studios in Shoreditch, London and BAM Harvey Theatre in Brooklyn, New York City
  • Richard II by William Shakespeare (2000) – Role: Richard II – Directed by Jonathan Kent – The Almeida Theatre Company – Gainsborough Film Studios in Shoreditch, London and BAM Harvey Theatre in Brooklyn, New York City
  • The Play What I Wrote by Hamish McColl, Sean Foley and Eddie Braben (2001) – Role: Sir Ralph Fiennes – Directed by Kenneth Branagh – The Duo The Right Size – Wyndham's Theatre, West End
  • The Talking Cure by Christopher Hampton (2003) – Role: Carl Jung – Directed by Howard Davies – National Theatre's Cottesloe Theatre, London
  • Brand by Henrik Ibsen (2003) – Role: Brand – Directed by Adrian Noble – The Royal Shakespeare Company – Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon and Theatre Royal Haymarket, West End
  • Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare (2005) – Role: Mark Anthony – Directed by Deborah WarnerBarbican Centre, London & tour
  • Faith Healer by Brian Friel (2006) – Role: Frank Hardy – Directed by Jonathan Kent – Gate Theatre, Dublin and Booth Theatre on Broadway, New York City
  • First Love by Samuel Beckett – Sydney Festival 2007
  • God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza (2008) – Role: Alain Reille – Gielgud Theatre, West End
  • Oedipus the King by Sophocles (2008) – Role: Oedipus – National Theatre, London
  • The Tempest by William Shakespeare (2011) – Role: Prospero – Theatre Royal Haymarket, London

Selected television credits[edit]

Selected other projects, contributions[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1993 Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Best Supporting Actor Schindler's List Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated
New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Supporting Actor Won
1994 Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated
BAFTA Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Best Supporting Actor Won
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards Best Supporting Actor Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Nominated
MTV Movie Awards Best Breakthrough Performance Nominated
National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Supporting Actor Won
1996 Saturn Awards Best Actor Strange Days Nominated
1997 Academy Awards Best Actor The English Patient Nominated
BAFTA Awards Best Actor in a Leading Role Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Nominated
Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards Best Actor Nominated
1999 Annie Awards Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production The Prince of Egypt Nominated
Razzie Awards Worst Actor The Avengers Nominated
Worst Screen Couple (shared with Uma Thurman) Nominated
2000 BAFTA Awards Best Actor in a Leading Role The End of the Affair Nominated
Genie Awards Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Sunshine Nominated
2003 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Liplock (shared with Jennifer Lopez) Maid in Manhattan Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor Red Dragon Nominated
2005 British Independent Film Awards Best Actor The Constant Gardener Won
2006 Annie Awards Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production The Curse of the Were-Rabbit Nominated
BAFTA Awards Best Actor in a Leading Role The Consteant Gardner Nominated
MTV Movie Awards Best Villain Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Nominated
2008 British Independent Film Awards Best Supporting Actor In Duchess Nominated
In Bruges Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Bernard and Doris Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
2009 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture The Duchess Nominated
Gotham Awards Best Ensemble Cast The Hurt Locker Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Bernard and Doris Nominated
2012 BAFTA Awards Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer Coriolanus Nominated
MTV Movie Awards Best Fight (shared with Daniel Radcliffe) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Fight (shared with Daniel Radcliffe) Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ralph Fiennes". Front Row. 20 November 2011. BBC Radio 4. http://bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01772hm. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Person Page 18418". thePeerage.com. 6 April 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2008. 
  3. ^ "Ralph Fiennes Biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2008. 
  4. ^ Ralph Fiennes – Biography – IMDb
  5. ^ a b c d e James Lipton interview with Ralph Fiennes on Inside the Actors Studio
  6. ^ Ralph Fiennes on Veritaserum.com
  7. ^ Cagle, Jess (1994-03-04). "It's Pronounced 'Rafe Fines'". Ew.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  8. ^ 09:00 – 09:45 (31 October 1999). "Desert Island Discs – Castaway: Ralph Fiennes". BBC. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Voices on Antisemitism | Transcript". Ushmm.org. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  10. ^ "Constant Gardener Trust – Patrons". UNICEF. Retrieved 10 April 2008. 
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ Coriolanus (2010) at IMDb
  13. ^ "Skyfall, James Bond, review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 29 October 2012
  14. ^ Noveck, Jocelyn (2014-03-05). "Review: Fiennes shows comic chops in Anderson film". Boston.com. Retrieved 2014-05-25. 
  15. ^ "Ralph Fiennes, UNICEF UK Ambassador". UNICEF. Archived from the original on 14 February 2007. Retrieved 10 April 2008. 
  16. ^ Ellen, Barbara (7 July 2002). "Intensive care". The Observer (UK). Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  17. ^ a b "Ralph Fiennes Splits from Longtime Partner". People. 8 February 2006. Retrieved 7 April 2011. 

External links[edit]