Ralph Fiennes: “I have huge respect for J.Lo, she was terribly good”

Honestly, there are few actors who get me churned up like Ralph Fiennes. The English Patient had a profound effect on me when I was a teenager, and my residual attraction to Ralph lasts to this day. It’s the voice. It’s the eyes. It’s the talent. And he just seems like the kind of man who would ruin you and ruin himself just to be with you. That’s hot. Of course, Ralph is a bit older now – he’s 49 years old. He’s still incredibly sexy (to me), but he’s also witty, funny, eccentric and weird. Anyway, Ralph has two new interviews, likely to promote Coriolanus, and they amused me. I loved what he had to say about Maid In Manhattan!!! Here are some excerpts from his Details interview:

DETAILS: You reportedly indulged in some rock-star behavior [after the success of Schindler‘s List]. Did sudden fame go to your head?
Ralph Fiennes: I don’t think so. I think that what you call “rock-star behavior,” lots of people have indulged in. It doesn’t mean that you’ve let everything go to your head. You’re under pressure, you play, and it gets noticed and written about. When I read about quote-unquote “rock-star behavior” now, I think I was in the beginner’s category.

DETAILS: Did you ever hit a fallow period? That stretch when you did Maid in Manhattan?
Ralph Fiennes: I’ve never felt fallow in the sense that there’s been no work. People would say, “When are you going to play something lighthearted? You always play dark, serious types or bad guys.” Then Maid in Manhattan came along. I enjoyed making it and have huge respect for J.Lo, who was, I think, terribly good in it. But that sort of light comic thing is probably not my strength.

DETAILS: You have played a lot of villains. Do you get a kick out of that?
Ralph Fiennes: I don’t feel I’m playing villains all the time. I feel I’ve also played some very benign people. Voldemort in Harry Potter is kind of the high-profile villain. Of course the guy in Schindler’s List is a bad guy. No way around that one.

DETAILS: You once said you enjoyed it when a child on set who saw you dressed as Voldemort started crying.
Ralph Fiennes: I wasn’t trying to scare him, but he saw me—I didn’t look like the Voldemort on the screen, but the child cried. The little boy in me was happy to have scared someone. Not in a serious way—of course not.

DETAILS: Would you ever like to have kids?
Ralph Fiennes: Not at the moment, anyway. I haven’t made any firm decisions. But I can’t say right now that I have a huge parental urge.

DETAILS: Do you worry that being domesticated would put a damper on your creative drive?
Ralph Fiennes: I’m not very good at being domesticated. I’ve tried. The domestic life I find claustrophobic—the rituals and habits and patterns. I’m the eldest of six, and we’re all close in age, and that probably informs my reluctance to go there again. . . . This is a rather personal area. I don’t really want to be explaining the way I live.

DETAILS: This is very personal, but do you regret the 2007 Qantas incident, when you were caught leaving an airplane bathroom with a flight attendant?
Ralph Fiennes: I’m not going to comment on that. I’ve never commented on that.

DETAILS: Somewhere down the road you might become Sir Ralph. How would you feel about that?
Ralph Fiennes: I don’t know if actors should be Sirred up. I don’t know. . . . I’m leaving you with an ambivalent silence.

[From Details]

Ralph adores “J.Lo”. Did anyone else laugh because he actually referred to her as “J.Lo”? Not Jennifer. Not Miss Lopez. J. LO. Hilarious. Also – he doesn’t want to talk about the time that he boned a stewardess in an airplane bathroom. I know some of you were grossed out by that, but honestly, if Ralph wanted to bone you in a bathroom, wouldn’t you? I would.

Anyhoodle, Ralph also did the newest Proust questionnaire for Vanity Fair. This is also a lovely piece – you can read the full thing here. My favorite parts are when he cops to being “too controlling and a bit obsessive-compulsive” and his greatest regret is that he didn’t spend more time with his parents while they were alive (aw). His most marked characteristic is “Staring too hard and too long at people, but then zoning out midway through a conversation.” And he hates “Being late, being unprepared, junk food, Facebook, and Twitter.” It’s a good piece!

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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52 Responses to “Ralph Fiennes: “I have huge respect for J.Lo, she was terribly good””

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  1. someone says:


  2. MsGoblin says:

    J.Lo “terribly good”? At what?

  3. TheOriginalKitten says:

    I think maybe he just meant that J Lo was terrible, not “terribly good”.

    • Maya says:

      I don’t know.
      Upper middle class English toffs tend to use annoying adverbs to modify. Things are ‘frightfully good’ or ‘terribly good’ or ‘refreshingly alive’ and it goes on.

      • Madpoe says:

        Ok – cos I initially thought that was an oxymoron comment. To say something good and bad in one sentence.

    • Romia says:

      A synonym for “terrible” is “extreme,” although its use is considered informal now.

      Stating that something is “terribly good” makes complete sense to me, but I blame my collection of late 20th century novels for that…the word “terrible” mutated sometime around 1930.

      Oddly enough, the exact opposite occurred to “tremendous.” Used to mean “terrible” as in “tremble” or even “tremor,” I think. Now it’s used when referring to something awe-inspiring.

      Not intended as a lecture and certainly not to Maya; etymology is just one of my grand oddball passions. For that matter, so is Ralph Fiennes…although I second all the airplane bathroom gross-out opinions here. Really. Gross.

      • gg says:

        Also overused is “terrific” as in “of great size” rather than “good”. Also I’ve heard Brits use the word “wonderful” more as “full of amazement/wonder” or “mysterious” rather than “good”.

  4. Maya says:

    What strikes me as ironic is the fact that his guy has a hoity toity background, but has only appeared in one critically acclaimed film (that many thought sucked, including myself), The English Patient. Beyond that, he faded, then reappeared as Voldemort and before that, at least in Australia, he was more famous for having sex with the flight attendant (who milked the story for as long as she could).
    He isn’t that fantastic an actor. Day-Lewis runs rings around him, so does Fassbender, and I could go on.
    Maybe if this actor didn’t think with his penis, he’d have made more films.

    • Mr.Smurf says:

      He does not have a privileged background. His family was poor, and I remember reading somewhere that his Father always regretted not providing enough for his kids when they were young. He’s a very good actor, the only thing I haven’t liked that he was in was Avengers….I’m just going to say that he was a huge fan of it when he was young and that’s why he did the movie.

    • mln76 says:

      You’ve never seen The End of the Affair or Oscar and Lucinda I gather? Poor thing. This man is always gonna be sexy.

      • Naye in VA says:

        The End of the Affair is one of my FAVE movies. My heart breaks every time Julainne Moore drops to her knees to pray

      • gg says:

        Good gravy, those are the ones I cannot stand him in. He’s ALWAYS playing the miserable, whiney, put-upon ex-lover being dumped that won’t go away and leave the woman in peace.

        Loved him in Schindler’s List, but after that, he got all wimp roles. Because he is a WIMP! And his hairline is not helping his looks at all. He needs a rug.

    • Romia says:

      Oh wow. He made a lifetime fan out of me with his portrayal of Amon Goeth in Schindler’s List. Just to clarify, however, I did not become a fan Goeth.

      Eh, but I’ve never seen “The English Patient” or “Harry Potter,” so…

      • gg says:

        He’s actually pretty good in those movies. Not that Voldemort was a very dimensional character that required great acting chops or anything.

    • mia girl says:

      Maya – It’s fine if you don’t like him, but you are obviously much more familiar with that one sex incident than with his background or career. To say that he has been in only one critically acclaimed film is just well, wrong… Here are some you might have heard of (all of which received nominations for all kinds of prestigious awards)
      Schindler’s List
      Quiz Show
      The End of the Affair
      Oscar and Lucinda
      The English Patient
      The Constant Gardener
      In Bruges
      The Reader

      Fiennes himself has won a Tony Award for playing Hamlet on Broadway and has been nominated twice for an Academy Award. Not to mention BAFTAs, London Critic’s awards, SAGs, etc. etc.

      Funny enough, it’s Daniel Day-Lewis who comes from what you might consider a “hoity-toity” background (with a poet laureate for a dad). I suppose you could debate who is the most talented DDL or Fiennes, but I prefer to enjoy both of these amazing actors. Maybe you should too.

  5. podzol says:

    Ouch, so many passive-aggressive dissing questions from the Details reporter, one after the other! And I (along with almost the whole female population) also adored him in The English Patient! I reckon that’s what we still picture in our heads whenever we now see his receding hair…

    • KaitX says:

      I agree, they were passive- aggressive questions, and he answered them with class unlike so many other actors would have done. It’s refreshing to see an
      actor be firm but polite when choosing not to answer a question, unlike, say what Daniel Craig would have done!

  6. Happymom says:

    I read his answers in VF-and I was touched by what he said about his parents. Sort of off-topic, but I also liked how thoughtful Matt Damon and George Clooney were with their answers. I give a gigantic eye roll to Daniel Craig who had to throw off “humorous” answers. He looked like a complete douche compared to Damon and Clooney.

  7. Asli says:

    I’ll always see Voldemort when I see him so his hotness will always be overshadowed by creepyness for me. Though that top photo almost makes me forget – No, I can’t. It’s just tooo creepy.

  8. lucy2 says:

    Loved him in the English Patient.

    Wow, finally a MALE actor is asked about having kids!

  9. M says:

    “but honestly, if Ralph wanted to bone you in a bathroom, wouldn’t you?”. Abso-fkn-lutely. 🙂

    I’ve always like Jennifer Lopez as an actress. Just not as a singer.

  10. MK Martin says:

    He didn’t ‘fade’ anywhere. As for that POS Mess Harry Potter, even Johnny Depp sold out eventually. When it’s your job to act, you have to take something that will allow you to be underpaid for more insightful projects.

  11. Handsome guy…am flummoxed by his J-Lo comment…and you know, hot as he is, an airplane BATHROOM??? They’re disgusting. How romantic. Not.

  12. Lisa says:

    I adore this man as an actor…for me…he has the same stage presence as Jermey Irons…that same type of piercing intellect…that same “crazy killer man” vibe…which for me is so enchanting…

    I have seen ALL of his films…and I gotta say…when it comes to “The English Patient”…I share the same views that Elaine did in that “Seinfeld” episode…

  13. Lindy says:

    Kaiser, I could totally agree with every single thing you wrote–about the impact of the English Patient and RF’s residual hotness. Also his turn in The End of the Affair–wow! He and Julianne Moore were amazing and so hot.

    Also, for me–while I do enjoy some genuine man candy–I need a guy to be very smart, very witty, and very interested in the world around him (politics, art, history, reading etc.) in order to be really turned on. I get that vibe from RF. Though I think he’s probably kind of bitchy and hard to live with.

    Definitely the guy you’d want to bone here and there but not marry or live with!

    • iseepinkelefants says:

      Lindy, total agree with you. Intelligence drives me. Looks is secondary. However the problem with [some] intelligent men is that they end up being bores, cold, know it alls and/or hard to please. As much as I like Fiennes, I think he lands in that catagory, which is a shame.

      Oh and yes to the End of the Affair. My favortire of his work. Such a great [underrated] film. He was his hottest in English Patient though.

  14. Katherine says:

    First class airplane bathrooms are not usually “gross.”

    I have certainly enjoyed Jennifer Lopez in a few films. She projects a real sweetness in her rom-coms and I really liked her in that George Clooney film. They were a hot couple. Hmmm. She’s not being asked to do Shakespeare but in her films she usually delivers a good performance. I have no idea about her music.

    Ralph is a very fine actor. It seems Maya’s film experience is a bit limited because he’s been in any number of critically acclaimed if sometimes obscure films: Schindler’s List, Oscar and Lucinda, The English Patient, The End of the Affair, Spider, Quiz Show (a fave of mine), Sunshine, and now Coriolanus. Besides he does a lot of theater – he won a Tony for Hamlet.

    He is a very sexy man.

    • M says:

      First class airplane bathrooms are not usually “gross.”

      Yes they are.

    • Nev says:

      Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney need to do another movie.

    • Claire says:

      Yes! J’Lo and George sizzled onscreen together. It was the best movie she has ever been in. Wonder what George thought of her?

      • Ally says:

        I was a big Ralph Fiennes fan at the time J.Lo’s maidstravaganza came out, but have never been able to sit all the way through it. It’s so cringe-inducing, it’s painful.

        For those unfamiliar with his work, I highly recommend Quiz Show — a gorgeous, smart film set in 1950s New York with wonderful actors & Ralph at his handsome best.

        I’m sorry that now he is starting to look like the painting in the attic. It’s not just age and receding hair, it’s the insecurity and sleaze demonstrated by that airplane debacle.

  15. Jayna says:

    He was great. But the English Patient was a horrible movie. I am proud to be in the company of Elaine on Seinfeld where she faked loving it and finally cracked in the second viewing screaming, just die already.

    • Trek Girl says:

      Ha! I remember that episode of seinfeld. I was really little when I saw it, but that is one of my favorite scenes from the whole series.

  16. Spugz says:

    I get confused which one of the fiennes’ is gay? Either way I’d bang both of them to next Monday!

  17. Trek Girl says:

    I don’t like Jennifer Lopez, but I’ve got to give credit where credit is due. There was a period of time where Jennifer was making really entertaining movies.

    “Angel Eyes”, “Maid in Manhatten”, “Monster In-Law”, and “The Cell” were good movies. Heck, “The Cell” was a great movie; not just because of her, mind you, but she definitely did a great job, especially when you consider the fact that she worked with Vincent D’Onofrio and had great chemistry with him.
    You know, I don’t like Romantic Comedies, but if I ever had to choose one to watch, I would most likely go with one of hers…or “As good As it Gets” – I love that movie.

    • Taksi says:

      I have no opinion of Jennifer Lopez as a person but as an actress I think she’s very good. Not Oscar good but she brings a real naturalness and warmth to her roles.

  18. Reel Wheel says:

    maybe it’s a King’s English to American translation issue…lol

  19. lrm says:

    I agree! i love J. Lo in most of her films. She’s a good comedic actress, too. I think she’s bettern than JA, for sure.

    I think J Lo should steer clear of singing and do more films, personally. And, she can play diverse characters [even with a limited range]. she isn’t completely typecast as ‘latina woman’. I liked her with ralph fiennes and also with matthew m in that cheesy rom-com, as well as richard gere [god that was a bad movie, tho’]

  20. lrm says:

    wait, one of the fiennes is gay? i though joseph got married or was engaged? anyway, i had the total hots for joseph after shakespeare in love. but he never ‘made it across the pond’ in a big way, after that….he’s a great actor, too, IMO.

  21. Violet says:

    “I have huge respect for J.Lo, she was terribly good”

    Translation: She gives awesome head.

  22. Sara says:

    Omg Ralph is the greatest actor EVER! He is stil incredible to look iat and has a great but shypersonality in interviews. I would have thought there was something wrong if she didn’t bone him in the bathroom . Anytime, anywhere!!!

  23. Madrid says:

    I´m in the same team (guess similar age) of wanting to be boned by RF in a plane or similar. I still have his photo inside my wardrobe in my parents house, it´s been sticked since I watched the English Patient back in the …1999?. But all the remained hotness is off with that fugly haircut.
    I cannot stand JLo she bugs me, she is a phoney.

  24. whatevs says:

    he used to be so angelic!

  25. ViktoryGin says:

    I’m glad that he’s aware that he’s dreadful at comedy. I love you, Ralph. Now, stay in your lane.

  26. iseepinkelefants says:

    Didn’t they have an affair on set?

    Any way as much as I love Ralph, he’s deinfitely not “long term” material. True he has amazing eyes, but if he’s that intense on screen, imagine him IRL? Aparently he’s just as awkward and shy IRL. Oh and he’s a theater geek (retch). Not to mention the Proust questions just confirm what I’ve thought all along, that’s supremely cold (the gretaest love of his life is a work of art).

    I did find it funny that they asked him about children. I mean asking Ralph Fiennes about domestic stuff, what the? He’s deinifetly not the type to have children (plus his partners are always older than him) so I wish he would have said “no not going to happen”. Why do people still feel ashamed to admit they’re just not the type who wants children?

  27. Robin says:

    Ralph could “bone” me anywhere and anytime! Just give me a call, Ralph! Sexiest man in the world!