Who is Joseph Fiennes?

Joseph is an English actor, perhaps still best known for his role as William Shakespeare in the film “Shakespeare in Love” (1998), and has appeared in several other films and TV shows throughout his career.

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Joseph Fiennes Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education

Joseph Alberic Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes was born on 27 May 1970, in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. His parents were Mark Fiennes, a photographer, and Jennifer Lash, a writer, and is the younger brother of fellow actor Ralph Fiennes, so comes from a family of artists and actors, other siblings being directors Martha Fiennes and Sophie Fiennes, composer Magnus, and Jacob, Joseph’s twin brother, and a conservationist.

Joseph went to an art school in Suffolk and joined the Young Vic Youth Theatre. Moreover, he trained for three years at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, from which he graduated in 1993.

Career Beginnings

Before making his on-screen debut, Joseph worked in theater, appearing in the play “The Woman in Black” at Fortune Theatre London in 1993, followed by the play “A Month in the Country” in the following year.

In 1995 he made his on-screen debut as Willy in the television film “The Vacillations of Poppy Carew”, based on the novel by Mary Wesley. Fiennes, co-starring alongside Tara Fitzgerald, Ewan McGregor and Gemma Jones in the  romantic comedy that follows the story of Poppy, a young woman who needs to organize a funeral by herself, and learns all about love in the process,

Early Success

The following year, Joseph played the role of Christopher Fox in the 1996 drama film “Stealing Beauty”. The movie follows a young American woman, Lucy, who travels to a remote Tuscan villa and becomes romantically involved with Joseph’s character, co-starring Liv Tyler, and directed by Bernardo Bertolucci.

Fiennes had two prominent roles in 1998. In the historical drama film “Elizabeth” he played the role of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who was a close friend and rumored lover of Queen Elizabeth I, played by Cate Blanchett.

In the romantic comedy “Shakespeare in Love”, Fiennes portrayed the iconic playwright William Shakespeare. The film imagines a fictional love affair between Shakespeare and a wealthy merchant’s daughter named Viola de Lesseps, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, while he was writing his famous play “Romeo and Juliet”. The movie was a critical and commercial success, and earned Fiennes an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

He continued successfully into the 2000s. In the 2001 war film “Enemy at the Gates” Joseph Fiennes played the role of Commisar Danilov, a Russian political officer during the Battle of Stalingrad. The movie is based on the true story of a Russian sniper named Vasily Zaytsev, played by Jude Law, who becomes a hero of the Soviet Union for his feats on the battlefield. Danilov is Zaytsev’s friend and superior, who helps him rise to fame and also falls in love with a female sniper named Tania, played by Rachel Weisz. The film was directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and also starred Ed Harris and Bob Hoskins.

Then in 2002, Joseph played the role of Adam Tallis, a successful and charming mountaineer in the erotic thriller film “Killing Me Softly: directed by Chen Kaige and co-starring Natascha McElhone and Ulrich Thomsen.

In 2003, he was Martin Luther in the biographical film “Luther”,\ which explores Luther’s life and struggles against the backdrop of religious conflict and political upheaval in Europe during the Renaissance era. The film was directed by Eric Till, and also starred Alfred Molina, Jonathan Firth, and Claire Cox.

Continued Success

From 2004 to 2010, Joseph portrayed several notable characters, including Bassanio in the romantic drama film “The Merchant of Venice” based on the play by William Shakespeare, co-starring Al Pacino and Lynn Collins and directed by Michael Radford. Then in 2007, he starred with Dennis Haysbert and Diane Kruger in the biographical historical-drama film “Goodbye Bafana”, based on the true story of James Gregory, a white South African prison guard who initially held racist views and later became a friend and ally of Nelson Mandela during his imprisonment. The movie explores Gregory’s transformation, and how his interactions with Mandela challenged his beliefs and prejudices.

In 2009, he starred in the award-winning drama film “Against the Current” as a man struggling with a tragic past who embarks on a personal journey to swim the entire length of the Hudson River. Along the way, he enlists the help of two friends, played by Justin Kirk and Elizabeth Reaser, who provide support and companionship as he confronts his inner demons and seeks redemption. The film was directed by Peter Callahan and co-starred Michelle Trachtenberg and Mary Tyler Moore.

In the 2011 television series “Camelot” Joseph played the role of Merlin, the legendary wizard who mentors and guides the young King Arthur, played by Jamie Campbell Bower, as he rises to power and confronts the challenges of ruling a kingdom in turmoil. The show aired for 10 episodes, and also starred Eva Green and Tamsin Egerton.

From 2012 to 2013, Joseph Fiennes appeared in the second season of the television series “American Horror Story: Asylum”, as Monsignor Timothy Howard, a Catholic priest who becomes embroiled in the sinister and supernatural events that unfold at the Briarcliff Mental Institution. The season ran for 10 episodes, and also starred Jessica Lange, Zachary Quinto and Sarah Paulson.

After a few low-rated films, such as “Hercules” and Risen”, Joseph returned to television. He played the role of Commander Fred Waterford in the critically acclaimed dystopian drama series “The Handmaid’s Tale” from 2017 to 2021. Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood, it’s set in a totalitarian society called Gilead, where women are forced into sexual servitude and reproductive slavery. Fiennes’ character, Commander Waterford, is a high-ranking official in the Gilead regime, and one of the architects of the oppressive system that subjugates women.

His character has his own handmaiden, played by Elisabeth Moss, and a wife, played by Yvonne Strahovski. Over the course of 36 episodes, Fiennes’ character goes through many major plot arcs and storylines, including his relationship with Offred and his attempts to have a child with her, his involvement in the underground resistance movement, his arrest and subsequent imprisonment, and his eventual release and attempts to regain power in the Gilead regime.

What is Joseph Fiennes doing now?

Joseph is working on several projects at the moment, including the action thriller film “The Mother”, which will star Jennifer Lopez. The film will release later in 2023, and is currently in post-production.

Theater Career

In additional to his extensive on-screen work, Joseph has appeared in a number of plays. Some of the most notable include “Othello” (2002), “Love’s Labour’s Lost” (2003), then “2,000 Feet Away” (2008), and “Cyrano de Bergerac” (2009), among several others.

Net Worth

According to authoritative sources, Joseph Fiennes’s net worth is estimated at $10 million, as of mid-2023.

Personal Life, Marriage, Wife, Children

Joseph Fiennes has been married to Swiss model Maria Dolores Dieguez since August 2009. The couple has two children, Sam and Isabel, and live in Mallorca, Spain.

Appearance and Body Measurements

Joseph Fiennes has light brown hair and hazel eyes. He stands at a height of 6ft (1.83m), while he weighs approximately 180lbs (80 kgs). His vital statistics are unknown, but he has an athletic figure.

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