'Ignorant' Ralph Fiennes almost turned down Voldemort role

The actor credited his sister for convincing him to take on the career-making role.

Ralph Fiennes almost turned down his career-making role of Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter movies.

The 56-year-old actor first starred as the iconic villain in 2005 movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and reprised the role until the end of the franchise. However, during an interview filmed ahead of Saturday night's (16Mar19) The Jonathan Ross Show, Ralph admitted he wasn't sure about taking on the part at first.

"The truth is I was actually ignorant about the films and the books," he explained. "I was approached by the production. Mike Newell was directing the film that they wanted me to be in... the first time Voldemort was going to appear physically.

"Out of ignorance I just sort of thought, this isn’t for me. Quite stupidly I resisted, I was hesitant."

And it was Ralph's sister who eventually persuaded him to play He Who Must Not Be Named in the films.

"I think the clincher was that my sister Martha - who has three children who were then probably about 12, 10 and 8 - she said, 'What do you mean? You’ve got to do it!' So then I rewound my thinking," he smiled.

Ralph recently starred in movies such as Spectre and Holmes & Watson. He's also turned his hand to directing, and helms upcoming movie The White Crow, which features ballet star Oleg Ivenko as Rudolf Nureyev in the tale of the dancer's defection to the West.

While making the film, Ralph was keen to shoot a scene inside the Rembrandt Room at St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum, to show Nureyev's passion for art.

However, as the Hermitage bans film shoots on the premises, the screen star had to do some persuading.

"We put a lot of energy into the mission. The director (of the museum) listened and said we could shoot because we're making a film about a great artist and because, thankfully, we were interested in one particular painting," Ralph told the Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye.

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