Joseph Fiennes - Rotten Tomatoes

Joseph Fiennes



With outrageously long-lashed brown eyes and darkly sensuous looks, Joseph Fiennes has joined his older brother Ralph as the English embodiment of sex for scores of women the world over. After years of working in his brother's shadow, Joseph emerged in 1998 as one of the movie industry's hottest properties, thanks to roles in two back-to-back hits, Elizabeth and Shakespeare in Love.



Born May 27, 1970, in Salisbury, England, Fiennes and his twin brother, Jacob, were the youngest of six children, Ralph being the eldest. The son of a photographer father and a novelist mother who went under the nom de plume of Jennifer Lash, Joseph and his siblings had a fairly nomadic upbringing, moving 14 times over the course of the actor's childhood. His parents had strong artistic leanings, something they encouraged among their children, and so Fiennes grew up in a very creative atmosphere. After leaving art school, he began working with the Young Vic Theatre Company and then trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He made his first professional stage appearance in A Month in the Country, in which he performed opposite Helen Mirren.



After two seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Fiennes was cast in a cameo role in the 1991 television drama A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia, in which Ralph played the titular hero. Joseph's next role of any importance was in the British TV series The Vacillations of Poppy Carew, which cast him opposite Tara Fitzgerald. Following this, Fiennes made his feature debut in Bernardo Bertolucci's 1996 film Stealing Beauty, in which he had a fairly small part but was able to act in the company of individuals such as Jeremy Irons, Sinéad Cusack, and Liv Tyler.



It was 1998 that proved to be Fiennes's breakthrough year. With consecutive roles as Cate Blanchett's lover in Elizabeth and as William Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love, he commanded the audience's attention with performances that were marked by a mix of intensity, charm, and brooding charisma. The fact that he didn't look ridiculous in tights also helped, and by the end of the year, with both films having garnered a score of awards (including seven Oscars for Shakespeare alone), it looked as though Fiennes had finally emerged from behind his brother's shadow, proving that talent, as well as a favorable gene pool, were common currency among his family members.



Though Fiennes worked in several films throughout the early 2000s (Dust, Luther, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas), he wouldn't find success similar to that of Shakespeare in Love until he took on the role of Bassiano in director Michael Radford's The Merchant of Venice (one of Shakespeare's most celebrated comedies) in 2004. Following a lead role in Running with Scissors (2006), an adaptation of Augusten Boroughs' biography of the same name, Fiennes played tough guy Lenny in The Escapist (2008), a cerebral thriller following a group of criminals seeking to free themselves from the confines of prison. The actor also enjoyed success on the television screen, including the ABC science-fiction series FlashFoward (2009-2010), and Camelot (2011), a 10-part miniseries from Starz.

Photos

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
51% Risen
  • Clavius
2016
No Score Yet The Last Race
  • Eric Liddell
2016
40% Strangerland
  • Matthew Parker
2015
60% Hercules
  • King Eurystheus
2014
40% The Games Maker
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet Vivaldi (Antonio Vivaldi)
  • Antonio Vivaldi
2013
No Score Yet Against the Current
  • Paul Thompson
2009
No Score Yet Man To Man
  • Actor
2009
20% The Red Baron (Der rote Baron)
  • Captain Roy Brown
2008
67% The Escapist
  • Lenny Drake
2008
No Score Yet Spring 1941
  • Artur Planck
2008
No Score Yet Goodbye Bafana
  • James Gregory
2007
44% Color of Freedom
  • James Gregory
2007
31% Running With Scissors
  • Neil Bookman
2006
25% The Darwin Awards
  • Michael Burrows
2006
37% The Great Raid
  • Maj. Gibson
2005
No Score Yet Man to Man
  • Jamie Dodd
2005
72% William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice
  • Bassanio
2004
44% Luther
  • Martin Luther
2003
46% Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas
  • Proteus
2003
0% Killing Me Softly
  • Adam Tallis
2003
21% Dust
  • Elijah
2003
43% Leo
  • Stephen
2002
54% Enemy at the Gates
  • Danilov
2001
No Score Yet Rancid Aluminum
  • Sean Deeny
2001
33% The Very Thought of You
  • Laurence
1999
33% Forever Mine
  • Manuel Esquema/Alan Riply
1999
92% Shakespeare in Love
  • William Shakespeare
1998
82% Elizabeth
  • Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
1998
53% Stealing Beauty
  • Christopher Fox
1996
No Score Yet The Vacillations of Poppy Carew
  • Actor
1994

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
2009-2014
  • Guest
No Score Yet Shakespeare Uncovered
2013-2015
  • Host
The Handmaid's Tale
2017
  • Commander Fred Waterford
Camelot
  • Merlin
44% Camelot
2011
  • Merlin
77% American Horror Story
2012
  • Monsignor Timothy Howard
89% FlashForward
2009-2010
  • Special Agent Mark Benford Mark Benford

Quotes from Joseph Fiennes' Characters