No longer the Shakespeare softie, Joseph Fiennes reveals his hard side

When Joseph Fiennes was six years old he told a bunch of Irish nuns to “f*** off!” He was swinging on a statue of the Virgin Mary at the time, and the nuns were his teachers, near the Kilkenny home of his soon-to-be-famous family – including brother Magnus (now a composer), sister Sophie (now a film-maker) and eldest brother Ralph (an Alister). Fiennes was beaten with a bamboo stick for his indiscretion. The punishment was savage, he says. The bamboo broke on his body. Yet he tells it today, in the corner of a busy West London members’ bar, with a glimmer of pride in his eyes. “It was a good thrashing,” he says, with a slow blink of his trademark Bambi lashes and a half-smile of his beautiful bestubbled face. If he didn’t quite like it, then he certainly appreciated it.

Fiennes, you suspect, is a bit of a fighter. In person, the 38-year-old actor and former Shakespeare in Love pin-up is smoother than caramel.

(Times Online UK)


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