Fiennes collared by TV’s big screen
JOSEPH Fiennes isn’t the kind of man you’d expect to be an enthusiastic lover of those big screen, mega-plasma televisions.
But as the Shakespeareantrained, American Horror Story actor explains, the bigger the ‘‘ small’’ screen, the better the television productions on it have become.
Picking up a mobile phone, used to record this interview with the British star on the Paramount Studios lot where AHS is filmed, Fiennes says: ‘‘ This is the small screen, and when I grew up television was the small screen and cinema was that gorgeous big screen that, every Saturday night, you went to watch if you were lucky enough.’’
Raised on a diet of Hitchcock and Kubrick, he says ‘‘ it was kind of sacrilege’’ to watch their masterpiece storytelling ‘‘ on any other kind of format’’.
‘‘ But that has changed and television has certainly reinvented itself. I think that’s because of the writing and the fact that plasma screens are enormous.’’
Leading that revolution is AHS creator Ryan Murphy and his writing team, who have arguably played out their greatest experiment with this series and drawn some of the best film and television actors of this generation (Oscarwinner Kathy Bates was this week tipped for season three).
Fiennes says he wasn’t looking for a TV gig after the axing of Seven’s Flash Forward, but how he got the role in AHS, as Monsignor Timothy Howard, will go down as another chapter of Murphy folklore.
‘‘ I was chasing down somebody’s email and Ryan had the contact, but then he segued off to American Horror. I still never got that email contact.’’ American Horror Story, Eleven, Monday, 9.30pm
True believer: Joseph Fiennes, in American Horror Story, says television has come of age.