Belfast Telegraph

Fiennes: I hid my stressful side

Ralph Fiennes has revealed he would "act" with a calm demeanour during the filming of The Invisible Woman.

The Oscar-nominated filmmaker admitted directing and starring as Charles Dickens in the period drama was quite challenging at times, but he made a conscious effort to conceal any signs of stress.

"It felt pretty stressful at times. There were days we were squeezing stuff out at the last minute - that creates a lot of tension within. I tried to hide it - it was acting," he said.

The 51-year-old admitted keeping track of time and costs would prey on his mind.

"The clock is ticking, and you add time. Usually the director can watch a monitor and see (what's been shot)," he said.

"I had to be in the scene sometimes... so I would have to go back and re-look at it. Constantly, you're eating up time by doing that. Often, I would be hitting the end of the working day and... it's the budgetary costs that has a knock-on effect, so you have to be very careful."

The biographical film, adapted by Abi Morgan from Claire Tomalin's book The Invisible Woman: The Story Of Nelly Ternan And Charles Dickens, looks at the author's relationship with mistress Nelly Ternan (played by Felicity Jones).

"Every biographer that I've read, when they come to writing this episode in Dickens' life - his falling in love with Nelly and the way he exited his marriage - is uncomfortable reading," he explained.

"He didn't have any kind of interior vocabulary to know how to deal with it. I think he knew he had to get out, so he did and it left a lot of wounding behind. It's hard to... feel like you like him at that moment."

:: The Invisible Woman is in cinemas now.

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