Ralph Fiennes’s Hidden Ambition – to Be a Punk!
We all know and love Ralph Fiennes for his role as Voldemort in the Harry Potter series, along with his work in other successful films such as Skyfall, Spectre, The English Patient, and a whole lot more. Not only that, but he’s also a well-known stage actor, particularly known for starring in Shakespearian plays. What you may not have known is that earlier in life, there was one thing Fiennes aspired to be… a punk!
In a new interview for the Guardian’s This Much I Know section – a feature in which celebrities reveal more about themselves and lessons that life has taught them – Fiennes admits that he wanted to be a more rebellious teenager:
I wish I’d been more of a punk. At 15, a large part of me wanted to cut loose and be rebellious. I pogoed at a Stranglers gig in Southampton, and my mother cut my hair into a semi-mohican mess. My father got very cross. But it’s not in my DNA to be truly anarchic; I still wanted my parents’ approval.
He goes on to reveal more about his childhood and his school days, including why academia was not his forté and his experiences of being “the new kid”:
Academic work was not my strength. At school I was happiest in the art room, and all the other subjects fell away – I was hopeless at sciences, mathematics. Although I was reasonably at ease if I had to get up and read something, I was hopeless at A-level English, too.
I was the new boy at school. I moved many times when I was young [the family moved to Ireland and then Salisbury, doing up houses and selling them on], and it was quite traumatic: the upheaval and getting to know new people. But having to relocate makes you good at surviving. It also helps you know quite quickly which people you’re going to connect with.
He also talks of how he prefers the lifestyle of not being recognized as a famous actor, saying,
Barely being recognised at all is a great relief. Recently, I went to India, and nobody knew who I was. I travelled third class on a train, where there was no air conditioning and lots of odours: food, bodies, feet, spices. It was great.
He describes how acting in front of a live audience helps him learn and who in his life gives him hope:
The people I am close to give me hope. Hope comes when I see or hear of acts of generosity and kindness, tolerance and forgiveness and people’s endeavouring to connect with each other and support each other in small ways. The love of my parents was my first experience of a forgiving and benign force.
It’s in front of an audience that I start to really learn what I’m doing. You rehearse, but a play grows over time. I feel sad that we don’t have a system of adjusting and changing things after the first night.
As well as all of that, he also reveals something equally as deep… his favorite food:
I like buckwheat, the occasional steak and really dark chocolate. But I could happily live without all of them if I had to. I can cook a simple meal reasonably well, but I can’t do fancy-schmancy stuff.
You can now see Fiennes at the Old Vic in London, starring in The Master Builder, and his new film, A Bigger Splash, hits UK theaters on February 12.