Actor turned director Ralph Fiennes premiered his second film as a director over this past week at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
The Invisible Woman is based off of Claire Tomalin’s biography of Nelly Ternan. Abi Morgan wrote the script for the film. It follows the prominent English novelist Charles Dickens (Fiennes) and his secret affair with aspiring actress Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones).
Fiennes told the Hollywood Reporter that he initially just wanted to direct the film. He had the option to both act and direct when the BBC came to him with the film.
As he became more involved with the film and worked on the script with Morgan, he became more interested in the role.
“I became more and more curious in the end and wanted to have a go at it. I did approach one actor to do it and that didn’t go anywhere. I think after that I became more excited with the idea of playing him,” Fiennes explained.
The Academy Award nominee also described the film as “a portrayal of love and of celebrity and the restrictions fame can put on personal freedom. It explores the fact that we are all capable of keeping a secret past or other lives and in some cases we aren’t able to take about it. We keep the intimacies of past relationships, whether it is with friends, lovers, family, brothers, sisters, inside us. These things sort of mark us, and I think we carry them with us and we often don’t get to talk about them more and get to understand what they mean — in some cases they can leave a sort of wound.”
This film exposes that life Dickens and Ternan held.
This is the second film Fiennes has directed and acted in a film, the first being Coriolanus which also premiered at TIFF back in 2011. When asked if he would direct and star in another film again, he ruled out the idea.
Time will only tell if that will hold true but he revealed that he “would love to experience directing a film and not be in it.”
Fiennes also had a few great things to say about his female co-stars. “The Invisible Woman has strong performances from women,” he raved. He’s definitely a fan of Felicity Jones. When Joanna Scanlon first read for the part of Catherine Dickens, he was moved by her portrayal.
The Invisible Woman also stars Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Hollander and Michelle Fairley. The film will make its way to the New York Film Festival this October.
Don’t forget to read the full interview here!