Cate Blanchett on Ralph Fiennes in ‘Coriolanus’

SAG Preview 2011: Actors on Actors

“In order to tackle Shakespeare, one needs to understand stakes. The worlds he creates, although readily identifiable, are never domestic or petty. As an actor, both on stage and screen, Ralph’s choices are always rich and surprising. He is an actor of great understatement and power. This power comes from an innate insight into what is at stake for the characters he portrays (and there have been a remarkable array) but also for the project as a whole. Only Ralph, in his infinite capacity could embrace the near impossible task of directing and acting in one of Shakespeare’s most challenging plays and pull it off with aplomb. As the director of ‘Coriolanus,’ Ralph has discovered a modern immediacy without compromising either the classical power of the language or the grandeur of the characters’ lights. As an actor, he has yet again delivered another brilliant, searing performance in the order we have come to expect. I saw him perform ‘Coriolanus’ on stage 10 years ago and the role has quite simply become his. Definitive and historic. He is an actor who always risks everything and in doing so, raises the bar for us all.”

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