Joseph Fiennes is pretty picky when it comes to choosing his roles. His criteria always boils down to an interesting script and something that presents a challenge. The 45-year old actor found what he was looking for in his latest film Risen, which follows a Roman military officer by the name of Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), an unbeliever who is tasked by Pilate to find the body before Christ's followers exploit what Pilate thinks is a hoax.
Fiennes worked hard to play a Roman Soldier living in biblical times. His costume was made of leather and iron; and on the first day of filming, he wondered whether he would be able to survive the three-month shoot. Not only did he have a strict workout regimen but he also went to gladiator school to prepare and get into a Gladiator's mindset. Fiennes went to Rome and worked alongside a trainer of sorts who showed him what the Roman soldiers would have learned from the gladiators because a lot of their techniques were very brutal, but with a sort of economy and precision.
Risen, directed by Kevin Reynolds (Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Waterworld) is biblical fiction, but it's a story its creators hope will encourage and inspire Christians in their faith prior to Easter. The film also stars Cliff Curtis (Fear The Walking Dead) as Jesus and Tom Felton (Harry Potter) as Lucius.
Fiennes has more than 25 films to his credit but may be most well-known among the Christian audience for his portrayal of Martin Luther in the 2003 film "Luther." His next role has already raised a storm of controversy when it was recently announced that he will be playing the King of Pop, Michael Jackson in an upcoming movie based on an urban legend about Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor and Jackson taking a road trip together after they were unable to catch a flight out of New York City due to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
In our recent interview in Los Angeles Joseph Fiennes talks about how he became involved with Risen and how important it was to him to show the story of Jesus Christ from a non-believer's point of view.
Risen hits theaters on Feb. 19.