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The Reader: Stephen Daldry and Ralph Fiennes interview

The Reader: Stephen Daldry and Ralph Fiennes interview

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Stephen Daldry and Ralph Fiennes on The Reader

Talking to BBC Film Network shortly before the release, Daldry explains his approach to this controversial material and outlines his responsibilities to the author of the novel and those people whose lives have been touched by the Holocaust. Meanwhile, Fi

Talking to BBC Film Network shortly before the release, Daldry explains his approach to this controversial material and outlines his responsibilities to the author of the novel and those people whose lives have been touched by the Holocaust. Meanwhile, Fiennes reveals the importance of trust between actor and director especially when dealing with such sensitive issues.

Making the leap from high-kicking coming-of-age yarn Billy Elliot (2000) to The Hours (2002) - a story of middle-aged women on the verge of a nervous breakdown - required a great deal of directorly prowess. Of course Stephen Daldry was more than up to the task, making a mint at the box office and garnering two OscarĀ® nominations for Best Director. Nonetheless, he still considers himself a theatre director and has been busy staging Billy Elliot for Broadway. That partly explains the six year gap between The Hours and his latest film The Reader.

Ralph Fiennes in The Reader.

Ralph Fiennes in The Reader.

Daldry teamed up again with The Hours' screenwriter David Hare to adapt this acclaimed novel by German author Bernhard Schlink. It makes for a challenging film that sees Kate Winslet play a Nazi war criminal who seeks solace in the arms of a teenage boy (David Kross). Ralph Fiennes plays her lover, years later, as a middle-aged man who struggles to come to terms with her murky past. This isn't just a romance story but a sombre reflection on the weight of responsibility carried by the German people in the aftermath of grand-scale genocide.

The Reader is released in UK cinemas on Friday 2nd January 2009

Text: Stella Papamichael / Video: Steve Bailey.

Published 30th December 08

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