Ralph Fiennes Trivia: 13 Essantially Fun Facts About English Actor Ralph Fiennes
1. Ralph Fiennes was born in 1962, Ipswich, Suffolk, England.
2. Contrary to his English roots, his first name is pronounced Rafe and his surname is pronounced Fines.
3. He has 5 siblings, 2 of who are in the movie business. Sister Martha Fiennes is a director and Fiennes has starred in one of her movies. You probably heard of Ralph’s actor brother Joseph Fiennes.
4. He has been nominated for 0scar twice: Once for Best Actor in a Supporting Role as a Nazi soldier in the movie Schindler’s List and a second time for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his role in The English Patient.
5. Although he is a talented and diverse actor, he is mostly known for his roles as obsessed lovers in tragic love stories:
- In Wuthering Heights, he plays the classic character Heathcliff- an orphan who is taken to live with a family when the father takes pity. While he develops an instant friendship with the girl Cathy (Juliette Binoche), her brother treats him as scum. His friendship with (and mutual romantic feelings for) Cathy is what keeps him go on. But when he hears Cathy would rather marry a rich guy, he runs away from home. He comes back a rich, bitter and vicious man, who is determined to cause havoc for the brother, Cathy, her husband and sister-in-law. But of course he is still madly in love with Cathy. And Cathy was never over him.
- In The English Patient, he falls madly in love with a married woman (Kristin Scott Thomas). It is during World War 2, they are in the desert and when the husband (Colin Firth) leaves for a small business-related trip, we realize that the woman is also fascinated by this interesting character. But since the story is told in flashbacks, by a severely burnt man, we have a feeling this love story may not have happy ending…
- In The End of The Affair, he also plays a man who has an affair with a married woman (Julianne Moore).
6. His roles so far include obsessed lovers in tragic love stories, a quiz show contestant getting involved in fixed episodes, a Nazi soldier, an evil wizard (Harry Potter series), a senator, a professional gambler, 3 generation of sons (he played all three), a psychotic killer, a gay servant/best friend to a rich woman (Bernard and Doris), a hit man obsessed about principles, an ex-cop selling discs of other people’s real experiences, French writer Marcel Proust, British Agent John Seed (in the movie adaptation of the TV series The Avengers), a Russian Aristocrat, a mentally disturbed man, a lawyer defending a war criminal woman who he had a relationship with in his teenage years, a blind American diplomat, an idealistic soldier, a duke and a contactor working in Iraq.
7. His Female co-stars include Uma Thurman, Julianne Moore, Juliette Binoche (twice), Liv Tyler, Angela Bassett and Juliette Lewis, Rachel Weisz (twice), Kristin Scott Thomas, Kate Blanchett, Jennifer Ehle and Deborah Kara Unger, Kate Winslet, Glenn Close, Susan Sarandon (Bernard and Doris), Natasha Richardson, Jennifer Lopez, Vanessa Redgrave and Lynn Redgrave.
8. His male co-stars include Sean Connery, Jeremy Northam, Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley, John Turtorro, Naveen Andrews (Sayid from Lost), Colin Firth and Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton and Anthony Hopkins, Donald Sutherland, Ricky Gervais, Matthew Goode, Stephen Rea and Hank Azaria.
9. He is rather private about his personal life but he did provide 2 tabloid-worthy events: He once left his wife for a woman older than him (about 16 years)- the woman was an actress and they met while they were playing Hamlet at the theater. Ralph Fiennes was playing Hamlet and she was playing his mother. He also made news once again years later when he had sex on a plane with a flight attendant.
10. He has said on an interview on Inside the Actor’s Studio that he is extremely shy.
11. He worked with Oscar-winning female director Kathryn Bigelow twice: he starred in her 1995 sci-fi/thriller/romance Strange Days. His co-stars were Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Michael Wincott, Vincent O’Donofrio and Tom Sizemore. In 2008, he took a small role in Bigelow’s Oscar-winner The Hurt Locker- the movie that won 6 Oscars in 2010: Best Director, Best Film, Best Editing, Best Sound, Best Sound Editing and Best Screenplay.
12. He has directed Coriolanus, a drama/history/thriller movie. He plays the title character Coriolanus. His co-star is Scottish actor Gerard Butler. According to IMDB, the movie is currently in post-production.
13. He worked with the late actress Natasha Richardson and her family members: He co-starred with her husband Liam Neeson in Schindler’s List, he starred with her mother, actress Vanessa Redgrave and Natasha Richardson in The White Countess, where Richardson’s aunt Lynn Redgrave also co-starred. Vanessa Redgrave is also in the cast of Coriolanus.