So, from the time I was a sophomore in high school, until I was about a junior in college, I was absolutely OBSESSED with Ralph Fiennes. 🙂 It all started with a little movie called Quiz Show. My brother had rented it for a class he was teaching on morality (he’s a high school religion teacher), I watched it with him, and I immediately became infatuated with the dude playing Charles Van Doren. I was such a little Anglophile in high school, and Ralph Fiennes was the non-bumbling epitome of hot Britishness in 1995 (for the bumbling version, see: Hugh Grant). When I went to school the week after I saw Quiz Show, my English teacher raved to us about a wonderful Broadway production of Hamlet that she’d just seen starring Ralph Fiennes in the title role. What?! He’s playing Hamlet?! I thought. Of course, the run was sold out…and I was a broke high school student, so a) affording it, and b) getting into Manhattan from Long Island were problems.
Then, I saw Schindler’s List for the first time on VHS, and couldn’t believe that the same actor who’d played crisp, clean Charles Van Doren played a bloated, Nazi, embodiment of evil. I was hooked, and this man was a genius.
I used to spend New Years Eves with my sister in her apartment when I was in late high school and early college, because I was too young to go out on the town, and her husband was a cop who worked the overnight shift. It was always a great time and those holidays make up some of my favorite memories with my sister…but one of THE best memories was the New Year’s Eve that we went to see The English Patient in the movie theater.
Yes, when I was a high school senior, I saw The English Patient in the movie theater AND LOVED IT. What’s more, I looooooved Ralph Fiennes as Count Almasy.
As we were watching it, there was an elderly couple behind us who wouldn’t stop talking, which would’ve been annoying if they weren’t so hilarious to listen to. The guy kept confusing Juliette Binoche with every other J-named actress in the world (“Is that Julia Roberts? No! It’s Julianna Marguelies.” “She doesn’t do movies.” “Oh, you’re right – it’s Julia Ormond!”), and he couldn’t wrap his head around the flashback device used in the film until about halfway through when he blurted out “Oh! I get it! The old guy is the young guy!” (Actually, the “old guy” is actually a burned guy, but whatever. Points for trying, dude.)
To this day, “Oh! The old guy is the young guy!” is Jusino Sister shorthand for figuring out something really, really obvious. 🙂
Anyway, my flame of desire burned bright for Ralph Fiennes until it was summarily replaced by an actor named Liev Schreiber, whom I’d heard was in the Scream movies, but with whom I fell in love after seeing him in a 2001 production of Hamlet in the Public Theater in the title role, eventually going back and watching every movie of his I missed, and never missing everything he did after that. I nearly made my friend Dayna accompany me in trying to follow him home after a performance of Hamlet…but that’s an embarrassing stalker story for another day.
There’s just something about hot guys playing Hamlet in tight black pants, knawwamean?
Anyway, my late teens were pretty much defined by my love of Ralph Fiennes, which you can see in these photos of my freshman dorm room at NYU, which was pretty much a shrine to Fiennes, particularly The English Patient, save for some milk ads, which I also really liked collecting for some reason.
And yes, I was super-happy when he was cast as Voldemort.
I’m such a fucking weirdo.