Bri­tish heart- throb takes a new di­rec­tion.

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

Even ex­pe­ri­enced ac­tors can suf­fer per­for­mance anx­i­ety when work­ing on both sides of the

cam­era, writes Marie- Chris­tine Sour­ris MAK­ING your di­rec­to­rial de­but op­po­site one of the great­est ac­tresses of all time, Vanessa Red­grave, is enough to in­tim­i­date any man. Even Ralph Fi­ennes. ‘‘ I didn’t want to f--- up, re­ally,’’ the star of

laughs. De­spite know­ing Red­grave for many years, thanks to his close friend­ship with her late daugh­ter Natasha Richard­son and Natasha’s hus­band Liam Nee­son, he was in new ter­ri­tory on the set of

Merely repris­ing the lead role and adapt­ing it for screen wasn’t enough ( Fi­ennes last tack­led the leg­endary Ro­man leader who falls from grace in a 2000 stage pro­duc­tion in London).

No, the 50- year- old heart- throb chose to cut his film­mak­ing teeth be­hind the cam­era at the same time.

‘‘ I’d run, do a scene, rush back to check it, dis­cuss it with the di­rec­tor of pho­tog­ra­phy, and go back again,’’ Fi­ennes says.

‘‘ I was ex­hausted, but adrenalin is

The English Pa­tient

Co­ri­olanus. a weird thing. It was kind of ex­cit­ing.

‘‘ When I was on I re­mem­ber the ter­rific in­spi­ra­tional en­ergy that Steven Spiel­berg car­ried. I never for­got that. I haven’t re­ally ever been on a set since that’s had that level. ‘‘ My arse was saved so many times on

by [ cin­e­matog­ra­pher] Barry Ack­royd and my de­sign­ers and par­tic­u­larly by my ed­i­tor. They were crazy days. At the end of the week, I couldn’t move.’’

Fi­ennes has cre­ated a visu­ally im­pres­sive retelling – orig­i­nal text spo­ken in a mod­ern­day set­ting with a Ser­bian lo­ca­tion,

style ac­tion se­quences and de­li­cious drama from co- stars Red­grave, Ger­ard But­ler and Jes­sica Chas­tain.

‘‘ Ger­ard is per­ceived in the me­dia as the hunky guy with the ripped torso in an­cient Greece, or he’s the hunky dude in a rom­com,’’ Fi­ennes says.

‘‘ But of course, like lots of ac­tors, they want to flex their mus­cles in other gen­res. His act­ing’s very good [ here].’’

But it is Red­grave who coolly steals the show as Co­ri­olanus’ mother Vo­lum­nia.


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