Joseph Fiennes


  1. Joaquin Phoenix, Quills, 2000.    Considered for the Abbe du Coulmier. “I know that I only got Shakespeare in Love because someone else turned it down.  It’s a very small marketplace.”
  2. Val Kilmer, Red Planet, 2000.   In talks about Robby Gallagher, circa 2056-2057 – before Kilmer was seen as a film saver. No, really!
  3. Linus Roache, Blind Flight, 2003.    As John McCarthy in a compelling film about UK journalists Brian Keenan and McCarthy held hostage in  Lebanon for four years.
  4. Adrian Brody, The Pianist, 2002.    He  preferred to be Edward II on-stage.  Brody won an Oscar.  “Well, that’s his journey. So it would feel weird to say, ‘Oh, yeah I could have been there on Oscar night’, because the whole chemistry of the film is built around that particular actor.  Who knows if it would have had the same effect with a different cast.  It’s a mercurial world of alchemy.”
  5. Stephen Campbell Moore, A Good Woman, 2004.    No contest. Gave up Oscar Wilde’s Lord Darlington in Lady Windermere’s Fan, re-set in 1930s New York and the Italian Riviera for Shakespeare’s Bassanio opposite Al Pacino’s Merchant of Venice.  In a 2016 tele-film, Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon – with Stockard Channing as Liz Taylor and Brian Cox as Brando – Fiennes won his most unexpected role a tele-film called – Michael Jackson!
  6. Ewan McGregor, Stars Wars: Episode 1The Phantom Menace,1997.
  7. Stephen Campbell Moore, A Good Woman, Italy-Luxembourg-Spain-UK-US, 2003.  Fiennes turned down Lord Darlington.  He had something better – Bassanio opposite Al Pacino’s Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.
  8. Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain, 2004. Hollywood was not keen on Annie Prouix’s 1997 short story – two gay shepherds in Wyoming, get outa here! – until directors (more than actors) queued to make it. Ang Lee, Joel Schumacher – but first in line was Gus Van Sant, first in line (obviously). He called up Phoenix and Matt Damon (obviously, they’d made his To Die For and Good Will Hunting, respectively).
  9. Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain, 2004. Ang Lee was considering retirement when the script “nurtured” him back to work. He found many actors were scared to play gay. Not the Brit star Fiennes. He loved the script so much, he had meetings with all three directors trying to film it… He wanted either role. “I don’t think that these two characters even know what gay is.,” said Gyllenhaal.  “What ties [them] together is not just a love, but … primarily it was deep loneliness.” Ang Lee  told journo  Robert Ordona  that in the 60s, he’d have chosen  Paul Newman and Montgomery Clift as Ennis and Jack.


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  9