Ralph Fiennes doesn’t think he could ever be sympathetic to Republican politics

Is Ralph Fiennes the most charming and cultured man in the world? You decide. But I would make the argument that yes, he is. He has a lovely new profile in GQ to promote his third directorial effort, The White Crow, which is sort of a biopic of the ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev and his defection from the USSR to France. I love that Ralph Fiennes spends his filmmaking capital on making a period film about a ballet dancer. The entire GQ piece is worth a read because yes, Ralph really is that charming and cultured and he really does read a lot, and he really does read poetry in between scenes when he’s on set, and yes, he owns a “tiny farmhouse” in the Italian countryside where he just goes to read. At one point in this piece, I actually had to stop and just take him in: yes, there are still men out there in the world like this. Some highlights:

His work on In Bruges, The Grand Budapest Hotel, A Bigger Splash feeling like a pivot: “It did feel like that. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was when Wes asked me to be in the film. And when Martin McDonagh approached me to be a kind of London gang boss. Which is not my obvious casting bracket.… And then Luca came to me with that great part, and it felt exciting to me, that ‘Oh, great, I’m not being seen as, I don’t know, English intellectual or sort of cool, crisp bad guy.…’ The thing that people were responding to was the comedic, or the humorous, that was clearly in Wes’s script, and Martin’s, and in A Bigger Splash…”

How he feels about living & working in London almost his whole adult life: “I love London. I think London is a great city. I think it’s got fantastic things. I don’t know, I guess I’ve thought about elsewhere but haven’t done it, because if it’s working, why fix it? I’m at a funny time, and I keep wanting to make a shift in the way I, where I live or how I live. I live in London, I’ve lived in London all my adult life, I live in the East End Shoreditch area, before it became über-hip, I bought a place in 2000. I’ve got a very lovely place in New York, which I love going to. But most of the work I get tends to be based out of here. And the theater work… I keep going back, because I miss it, I miss that thing.”

He has friends in Russia: “I’ve formed over the years a handful of friendships in Russia, a handful who are very important to me, and I love going there. And I’m aware of the… I mean the authoritarian nature of their regime that’s in control of mostly all the press, and the creep of censorship and control, is very disturbing. But when I’m there, I sort of: There’s life going on. I see amazing theater plays, and I have friendships with people.… What interested me was the common humanity underneath the ideological, political fisticuffs.”

How he feels about the American Republican party: “I’m sure that, you know… I mean, nothing that I read about Republican politics makes me think I would ever be sympathetic…but I’m sure that I could go to a Republican community in America and be welcomed, and looked after, and treated with extraordinary generosity and decency and kindness, and those people might go support a Republican candidate the next day.”

[From GQ]

What struck me throughout this piece is just his sweetness, and his almost childlike ability to see the good in people, and to appreciate art in all its forms. I’m not saying he’s naive, but I do think he tries to make a conscious choice to try to understand where people are coming from and all of that. I think Republicans probably would welcome him and make him feel at home… because he’s a white guy from England. He’s the “right kind of immigrant” to them. Anyway, I really enjoyed this GQ piece. Ralph doesn’t give tons of in-depth interviews at this stage of his career, so they’re like these rare gems that we have to just sit back and appreciate whenever they come along.

Ralph Fiennes arriving at Global Radio Studios to promote his new Film 'The White Crow' - London

Photos courtesy of WENN, Instagram.

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16 Responses to “Ralph Fiennes doesn’t think he could ever be sympathetic to Republican politics”

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  1. Lightpurple says:

    If you have not seen In Bruges, watch it!

    And Grand Budapest Hotel is currently my 90 year old great aunt’s second favorite movie of all time, behind An Affair to Remember, so it’s running on an almost continuous loop in my house

  2. Rhys says:

    I love him talking about Russians as real humans, as opposed to some mass of drunk commies and aggressive brutes. It warms my heart because he is right. There’s so much appreciation for art, literature and theater in Russia that a lot of Westerners who think of themselves as civilized could never compare. Russians take pains to dress nicely when they are going out and pay attention to their spelling. It’s not an idyllic country that has a lot of problems but it is so much more than that.

    • Canber says:

      Meh. There’s as much appreciation of arts, etcetera in Moscow as one sees in Boston or Chicago. Not so much in Novosibirsk.

    • Lari says:

      Unless you ask Russians about Ukrainians or yhe Baltics…than humanity goes out the window and their big-brother mythocism comes creeping back in. Im sure he has russian friends and im sure theyre also far more wealthier and well connected than the average citizen. Hes very diplomatic though, and yes he is still very handsome in that english gentlemen style!!!

  3. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    He’s still so appealing.

  4. bobslaw says:

    I would 100% bone him in an airplane bathroom.

    • Nicole(the Cdn one) says:

      I lost valuable coffee reading this!!! Too funny.

      I will go to my grave believing that his portrayal in the English Patient is the epitome of sensuous.

      It’s not just the heart that is an organ of fire where he is concerned!

      • T1000 says:

        Haha agreed! I will go to my grave feeling the same way, and I hope he carries me there, English-patient style. The man looks fiiiine in the desert, reading Herodotus! 😍

  5. Anna says:

    Having been in both Chicago and Novosibirsk, I beg to differ…There is a sentimentality to Russians that I have never encountered in the US

  6. Ader says:

    Nor should he be sympathetic to Republican politics. Anybody who is still voting for that party is an evil asshole. In fact, I think he is being way too kind to them.

  7. TheRickestRick says:

    M. Gustave is one of my absolute favourite characters, if not my favourite character, of all time! I appreciated Ralph before but after Budapest Hotel I truly love him and would absolutely bone him in an airplane bathroom.

  8. Deepa says:

    He’s lovely! Very interesting!

  9. K.T says:

    Ha! I think he’s a bit of a naughty dog & kind of the British actor gent who’s on the prowl if he thinks it’s allowed. I used to know someone who had a little fling with him! But good on him for saying these things in interviews