9 Best Ralph Fiennes Roles That Aren’t Voldemort

The Fiennes family is full of various dominant names in the film industry for acting, directing and producing. Ralph receives the most recognition for his role as Voldemort in the Harry Potter film franchise, with his nephew (Hero) playing Voldemort’s younger self. However, his 30-year career didn’t begin as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, but as a classic literary character in the 1990s.

RELATED: Every Actor Who Played Voldemort In The Harry Potter Movies, Ranked

Despite appearing in the 1992 film The Wuthering Heights, Fiennes was first recognized at the Academy for his portrayal of Amon Göth, a Nazi SS officer in Steven Spielberg’s heartbreaking 1993 film Schindler’s List. Fiennes’ most recent performance occurs in the 2021 film The king’s man but does an outstanding job in many other films.

9 Fiennes stepped into the spotlight for Schindler’s List

Ralph Fiennes in Schindler's List

1993 Steven Spielberg movie Schindler’s list is a tragic three-hour tale based on Thomas Keneally’s 1982 novel Schindler’s Ark. Schindler’s List is based on real events and follows the life of Oskar Schindler, a man who saved around 1,000 Polish Jewish refugees from being sent to concentration camps during World War II.

Liam Neeson portrays Oskar, while Fiennes portrays a Nazi war criminal named Amon Göth. For Fiennes’ superb performance, he earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Furthermore, Schindler’s list was a huge box office hit and won Best Picture at the Oscars.

8 Fiennes’ role in the English patient is emotionally heavy

Ralph Fiennes in The English Patient

The English Patient is a 1996 war drama directed by the late Anthony Minghella, also known for the 1999 film The talented Mr. Ripley. The English Patient is set in the era of World War II and focuses on the tragic story of Almásy, a badly burned pilot whose story is told by the nurse who takes care of him.

RELATED: Alan Rickman’s Best Roles That Aren’t Severus Snape

The English Patientbased on Michael Ondaatje’s 1992 novel of the same title, earned Fiennes his second Oscar nomination and, ironically, also won Best Picture, as Fiennes’ first Oscar-nominated film Schindler’s List. The role of Fiennes is one of his heaviest emotionally and he translates it well on screen.

7 Wuthering Heights was Fiennes’ first film

Ralph Fiennes in Wuthering Height as Heathcliff

Fiennes made his film debut as Heathcliff in the 1992 film Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. The film is based on Brontë’s classic 1847 novel titled The Wuthering Heights, which focuses on the tumultuous love affair between Heathcliff and Catherine.

While Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights received mostly negative reviews, it deserves credit for being Fiennes’ introduction to the film industry. It differs from other film adaptations of the novel by including the continuing story of Cathy’s children, Heathcliff and Hindley. Additionally, Sinead O’Connor makes a brief appearance as Brontë at the beginning and end of the film.

6 Fiennes replaced Judi Dench as M

Ralph Fiennes as Gareth Mallory in Skyfall

Fiennes makes his first appearance as a character formerly known as Gareth Mallory in the 2012 spy film falling from the sky, which is the twenty-third film of the james bond series. Gareth is a former Secret Air Service officer and heads Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee.

At the end of falling from the sky, Gareth becomes M, one of Bond’s most trusted partners. Numerous Bind fans appreciate Fiennes’ portrayal of the character in Skyfall, Specter, and No time to die. Judi Dench had already played the character before Fiennes entered the Bind projector.

5 The dig tells the historical story of the Sutton Hoo excavation

The Dig with Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan

Excavation is a 2021 British drama based on the 2007 novel of the same title by John Preston. The plot follows an actual excavation at the Sutton Hoo site just before World War II. Fiennes portrays Basil Brown, an archaeologist/excavator who directs the excavations that unearth artifacts from the Anglo-Saxon period.

One of the most notable artifacts includes a giant ship, much to Basil’s surprise. Fiennes does a spectacular job in his portrayal of Basil, including the intense scene of his character’s near-death experience. Other stars include Lily James, who plays a supporting role.

4 The role of Gustave H. is not typical of Fiennes

Ralph Fiennes in the Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a 2014 comedy-drama directed by Wes Anderson. Fiennes plays the main role of Monsieur Gustave H., who serves as a concierge in a famous hotel in the fictional country of Zubrowka. Suddenly, Gustave is framed for the murder of a woman and finds himself involved in the trade of her luxurious possessions after her death.

RELATED: 10 Best Laurence Fishburne Performances, Ranked

Fiennes’ Gustave and Tony Revolori’s Zero Moustafa make a very enjoyable film that follows their action-packed adventures together. Gustave H.’s flamboyant role is unfamiliar to Fiennes, but he does a good job of portraying the character’s heated situations.

3 Fiennes can even succeed in animated roles, like the Prince of Egypt

The Prince of Egypt cover art for music sensation DreamWorks

One of DreamWorks’ first feature films is the 1998 animated film The Prince of Egypt. the The film is an adaptation of the Bible’s Book of Exodus and follows Moses’ journey to free the Jews from the oppressive regime in Egypt.

Val Kilmer stars as Moses and Fiennes lends his voice as Ramses, Moses’ adoptive brother. The Prince of Egypt boasts one of the most famous soundtracks in DreamWorks history and features many other dominant names in the film industry. The Prince of Egypt shows how versatile Fiennes is, having been in thrillers, dramas, animations and sci-fi pictures.

2 Fiennes joins the Rom-Com genre in Maid In Manhattan

Maid in Manhattan 2002

Fiennes proves he can even star in rom-coms with his role in the 2020 film Made in Manhattan. Fiennes stars as Chris Marshall alongside Jennifer Lopez, who works as a housekeeper named Marisa at the Beresford Hotel while raising her 10-year-old son, Ty. Chris and Marisa end up falling in love, but not without a little identity confusion.

Made in Manhattan was a huge box office success and Fiennes commented on its marketability. “It’s exciting to see a film for a new director, new performers and actors: there’s hope there. Especially when it goes against the aggressive trend of the overly commercial thing that is designed to sell, to make money. I think those strengths are probably necessary. I mean, I embraced them, look Made in Manhattan,” explained Fiennes during a school of life Event.

1 The King’s Man Is Hated Or Loved By Fans


The king’s man is one of Fiennes’ most recent film credits. Fiennes plays Orlando Oxford/Arthur in the third part of the Kingsman film series. The king’s man serves as a prequel to the previous two Kingsman films and focuses on the creation of the Kingsman organization during World War I.

After several delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The king’s man eventually debuted in December 2021 but barely made back its budget. The king’s man received mixed reviews from critics, but Fiennes’ excellent performance is worth noting.

NEXT: 10 Netflix Movies Everyone Seems To Love Or Despise

Split image of cinematic werewolves

The Scariest Cinematic Werewolves, Ranked

About the Author

Previous Inside the succession drama at Scholastic, where 'Harry Potter' and 'Clifford' are at stake
Next 15 Women's Fiction Books Coming This Spring 2022