Fiennes happy to reunite with Kristin Scott Thomas in 'The Invisible Woman'
Ralph Fiennes is photographed in a Toronto hotel room as he promotes the new movie "The Invisible Woman" during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Sunday, September 8, 2013 9:12AM EDT
TORONTO -- Ralph Fiennes' second film as a director, "The Invisible Woman," reunites the British thespian with Kristin Scott Thomas, who shared the screen with him so memorably in the 1996 Oscar-sweeping smash "The English Patient."
Of course, being directed by Fiennes required a different kind of patience.
"Kristin was incredibly generous," the two-time Oscar nominee said with a warm smile Saturday as he did the promotional rounds at the Toronto International Film Festival, where his movie had its world premiere.
"She tolerated (me). I think I was occasionally quite persistent in wanting something. I think she probably had to hold herself back from -- you know, revolution," the 50-year-old added, laughing.
The meticulously detailed period piece casts Fiennes, the star of "Schindler's List" and the "Harry Potter" franchise, in yet another weighty role: Charles Dickens.
However, the film focuses on the relationship that blossomed between the then-married legendary author and a young admirer named Nelly Ternan, portrayed with sad-eyed savvy 29-year-old British actress Felicity Jones, over the disapproving tittering of their peers in 19th-century Victorian England.
Dickens' single-minded pursuit of the young woman poses potentially dire consequences for both would-be lovers.
Scott Thomas portrays Ternan's discerning mother, who watches the relationship unfold with caution, knowing that being tangled with a married man -- especially one of such renown -- could spell doom for her unmarried daughter.
It was an important role, and Fiennes says he was thrilled to leave it in the hands of someone so capable. That it meant reuniting with his onscreen flame from so many years ago was merely a serendipitous bonus.
"We're very old friends," he said of Scott Thomas. "That was a pleasure to be with her."