But it was in the following year that he became known internationally, portraying the amoral Nazi concentration camp commandant Amon Göth in Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.He did not win the Oscar, but he did win the Best Supporting Actor BAFTA Award for the role.In 1994, he portrayed American academic Charles Van Doren in Quiz Show, and in 1996, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the World War II epic romance The English Patient.Fiennes' work has ranged from thrillers (Red Dragon (film), (Harry Potter) to animated Biblical epic (The Prince of Egypt) to campy nostalgia (The Avengers ) to romantic comedy (Maid in Manhattan) and offbeat dramedy (Oscar and Lucinda).“People think I am very aloof or withdrawn,” he says. I glaze over.” Maybe when that happens, I suggest, people feel that you’re silently judging them? Another long pause and then, suddenly, raucous laughter. He’s also bought a banana, which he toys with, but doesn’t eat.
His eyes are likened in the film to “the blue sky shining through the empty sockets of a skull”, an effect captured by the turquoise irises of Peter O’Toole 30 years earlier.
Julie Kavanagh followed him through that time, and interviewed his friends and his sisters, to track down the source of his gifts—and his demons is gaunt, with fatigue-bruised eyes.
A sideways glance, barely discernible, and the minutest curl of the upper lip let you know that an amusing private memory has been triggered.
Then a stage actor with hardly any screen experience, Fiennes announces himself in a single close-up as a born movie star, able to seduce the camera while holding back a hinterland of mystery.
The BBC film “A Dangerous Man: Lawrence after Arabia” (1992) gave Fiennes the first of many signature roles as torment personified.