Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Fiennes: Dickens was no scoundrel

Ralph Fiennes directs Felicity Jones in the movie about Charles Dickens
Ralph Fiennes directs Felicity Jones in the movie about Charles Dickens

Ralph Fiennes has admitted he was wary about sensationalising the story of Charles Dickens' long-term extra-marital affair on the big screen, because he didn't want to paint the much-loved author as a scoundrel.

The actor directs and stars in The Invisible Woman, based on Claire Tomalin's book of the same name about Dickens' mistress Nelly Ternan. The Iron Lady's Abi Morgan adapted the screenplay and Felicity Jones stars as Nelly.

Ralph revealed at the Toronto Film Festival: "I think it was important not to overly sensationalise it, I wanted to find the right balance. So I felt I needed to be mindful for myself.

"I was wary of the quick leap to judgment some people would make - 'Oh Dickens was a scoundrel!' There's a whole spectrum of Dickens. He was very loyal to his friends and incredibly generous, devoted to social causes, and wrote these amazing books and then at home possibly was a difficult father figure."

Felicity and Ralph discussed the influence of Nelly on Dickens' female characters, and revealed they helped inspire the film.

Felicity said: "I actually feel like his female characters get much better after his affair with Nelly. I think you can feel her influence in his work."

And Ralph admitted the lines became blurred between acting and directing as he tried to balance the two.

Felicity added: "It did feel at points that I was being directed by Charles Dickens, rather than Ralph Fiennes, which was no problem!"

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Aquarius:

Saving your money is strongly advised. Being able to pay cash for a luxury item will make your confidence soar. You're tired of lying awake at night, worrying about the bills. There's no reason you have to live beyond your means. You can have what you want without damaging your financial security. Are you looking for work? You could find a terrific job involving property, gourmet food or art. Emphasise your cutting edge sensibilities during a job interview.More