Great British Hopes: Rising Stars In The
The Times - April 1, 1995
by Kate Bassett
--Where Have We Heard That Name Before?--
Fiennes was in the West End a year ago with Helen Mirren in "A
Month In The Country". His Belyaev was judged to have "just
the right gangly charm."
--Is That It?--
Before that, he was lifted out of drama school to play the arrogant
Actor in the two-hander hit, "The Woman In Black."
--Isn't There Something Else?--
He is about to score his West End hat trick in, "A View
From The Bridge", transfering to the Strand Theatre. Fiennes
is the gently lovable Rodolpho who inspires dangerous jealousy.
--But That Surname?--
Oh, all right, Joseph is Ralph Fiennes' brother.
--Did Ralph, seven years older, inspire him to act?--
"Not as such." He has been acting since primary school.
Moreover, far from romanticising an actor's life, he "knew
the reality. And I probably didn't want to embarass Ralph,"
he adds with light frankness. He went through art school before
taking the theatrical plunge. "Really my mother inspired
us all. We had a large library--lots of books and paintings,"
he says, recalling growing up as the youngest child of his photographer
father and the novelist-artist mother, Jini.
--Just how many Fienneses Are There?--
He has six siblings, including his twin: Jake, a gameskeeper
The rest are in the arts. Magnus has a
recording studio. Martha is involved in film direction. Sophie
works in production (with Peter
Greenaway among others). Roll over the Redgraves. The future
is Fiennes Family Films.
--Would He Like To Act With Ralph?--
"Well," he says with genuinely startled modesty, "It
hadn't crossed my mind."
--What Parts Would He Like To Play?--
"Thousands. With as many dimensions as possible," he
says with lively seriousness. "One ideal is to juggle the
different media. But employment is a wonderful goal, to pay the
"I know more about the characters I play. That's awful,
isn't it? I seem to be able to invest more time in dissecting
others' thoughts and motivations than in looking at my own. But
maybe, in doing that, I can reveal parts of myself."
--Sorry To Go On About It, But What Is It Like Being Ralph
"It's like being all my brothers' and sisters' brother.