His performance as Count Almásy in The English Patient (1996) garnered him a second Academy Award nomination, for Best Actor, as well as BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations.
The film hails from a hidden corner of the celebrated writer’s past in its story of a young actress, Nellie Ternan (Felicity Jones) who in the 1880s met the famous Charles Dickens and became his secret mistress.
The project, written by Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady) and based on the book by Claire Tomalin, reunites Fiennes with his The English Patient co-star Kristen Scott Thomas, who plays Nellie’s mother, and marks another difficult but ultimately satisfying labour of love for the actor-director.
“I think you learn about love continuously as you go on in life,” he says thoughtfully.
“In the cinema love is reduced to a set of clichés, but I think love is mutating and complicated and you learn about it as you live your life so you can experience moments of love that are unlike anything you might read in a book or see in a film.
Since 1999, Fiennes has served as an ambassador for UNICEF UK.