What’s In a Name? Ralph Fiennes Talks About The Origin of His Name

Shakespeare puts it best when he said, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

But why then do actors change their names or use stage names? Maybe it’s because an actor’s name is one of the ways in which they market themselves. I’m sure we still would have loved Western movies if they starred Marion Morrison, but it’s hard to deny that John Wayne has a little more flair. Certainly Samuel L. Jackson would be the same great actor if he was just Samuel Jackson, but now that the L. has been engrained into our brains, there’s no changing it.

Ralph Fiennes, noted for his countless performances in films like The English Patient (1996) has dealt with a few problems regarding his name. Fiennes portrayal of the villain Voldemort from the Harry Potter films has introduced him to a new generation of moviegoers, but it can be hard for fans and interviewers to say his name correctly. His name is pronounced RAYF FYNZ.  In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Fiennes shared that he was named after his step-grandfather, who pronounced his name the same way. While he feels changing the spelling of his name could have saved him some grief, he feels connected to his name and figures at this point it’s too late to change it.

Fiennes who has played in film and on the stage brings the both together. The actor stars and directs his latest film Coriolanus (2011), a tragedy by William Shakespeare. He stages the film in the present day with all of the visual special effects we have come to expect in cinema, but he keeps the words of Shakespeare. Fiennes told THR that he felt strongly about the drama and the role. He feels that directors have inspired him in the past to the point where he really wanted to experience directing for himself.

Watch the video below

Leave a Reply

Alicia Silverstone on ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’ and Working on Broadway
"My agent called and said, 'You need to go on this thing. It’s worth it. You should start preparing immediately" - Alicia Silverstone
Denzel Washington on ‘Roman J. Israel, Esq.’ and Why He Keeps Coming Back to Broadway
"I’m interested in different challenges, and challenging myself and just trying to get better." - Denzel Washington
Chadwick Boseman on Playing Black Panther: “I love him because the fantasy of playing a ruler – you never get to do that”
Boseman talks about portraying T'Challa's unique background on screen.
Willem Dafoe: “I don’t think you can keep doing the same thing as an actor and be free”
"All performing is about control and discipline versus abandon and just letting go." - Willem Dafoe
Mandy Patinkin: “I love doing research for any part that I do. That’s one of the most fun parts of being an actor to me”
Patinkin why he specifically sought a comedic project, the dedication he brings to his performances, and when his parents were finally convinced he could make a living as an actor.