Ralph Fiennes admits he almost TURNED DOWN the role of Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and reveals he was considered to play James Bond

Niomi Harris For Mailonline

He earned a legion of new fans after portraying Lord Voldemort in the hugely successful Harry Potter film franchise.

However, Ralph Fiennes has admitted that he almost turned down the iconic role because he was ‘ignorant’ about how popular the films and books actually were.

Speaking on Saturday night’s forthcoming The Jonathan Ross Show, the actor, 56, told the host: ‘The truth is I was actually ignorant about the films and the books.   

Regret: Ralph Fiennes, 56, admitted on The Jonathan Ross Show that he almost turned down the role of Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter franchise

Regret: Ralph Fiennes, 56, admitted on The Jonathan Ross Show that he almost turned down the role of Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter franchise


Regret: Ralph Fiennes, 56, admitted on The Jonathan Ross Show that he almost turned down the role of Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter franchise 

‘I was approached by the production. Mike Neale was directing the film that they wanted me to be in… the first time Voldermort was going to appear physically.

‘Out of ignorance I just sort of thought, this isn’t for me.’

Speaking further about how he almost missed out on the chance to play Harry Potter’s nemesis, he continued: ‘Quite stupidly I resisted, I was hesitant. 

‘I think the clincher was that my sister Martha – who has three children who were then probably about 12, 10 and 8 – she said, “What do you mean? You’ve got to do it!” So then I rewound my thinking.’

Ralph also discussed how he was once in the running to play another iconic role – James Bond.

Close call: He told the host: 'The truth is I was actually ignorant about the films and the books' and explained that it was his sister who persuaded him to play the character

Close call: He told the host: 'The truth is I was actually ignorant about the films and the books' and explained that it was his sister who persuaded him to play the character

Close call: He told the host: ‘The truth is I was actually ignorant about the films and the books’ and explained that it was his sister who persuaded him to play the character

The star who’s played head of the Secret Intelligence Service Gareth Mallory (M) in the franchise since 2012, said:  ‘We did have a conversation, I had a conversation with Barbara Broccoli [Bond producer] many years ago. 

‘I did have the privilege of meeting Cubby Broccoli, who started the whole Bond franchise. I don’t think I would have been very good.’

Ralph also gave his verdict on current Bond Daniel Craig, adding: ‘I think that Daniel is a fantastic Bond. 

‘He has a really strong weight and sense of threat and danger and he has a really interesting complex interior life. I think he’s brilliant. And I also think Sean Connery is hard to forget. 

Chat: The actor appears on Saturday's show alongside (L-R Crufts winner Dylan and his owner, host Jonathan, Countdown star Rachel Riley, singer Lizzo and comedian Jack Whitehall)

Chat: The actor appears on Saturday's show alongside (L-R Crufts winner Dylan and his owner, host Jonathan, Countdown star Rachel Riley, singer Lizzo and comedian Jack Whitehall)

Chat: The actor appears on Saturday’s show alongside (L-R Crufts winner Dylan and his owner, host Jonathan, Countdown star Rachel Riley, singer Lizzo and comedian Jack Whitehall)

So close: Ralph also discussed how he was once in the running to play another iconic role - James Bond

So close: Ralph also discussed how he was once in the running to play another iconic role - James Bond

So close: Ralph also discussed how he was once in the running to play another iconic role – James Bond

‘When I was a teenager I was a bit of a Bond nerd. I was more a fan of the books. I’d always imagined that one day they would do a Bond film [set in the 1950s when] Ian Fleming started writing them in the 1950s through to the early mid sixties. I always thought that’d be interesting if there ever was a Bond film set in the fifties.’

His words come as he recently tipped actor Idris Elba to take over from Daniel as the British spy.

Speaking on Wednesday’s episode of Lorraine, the English Patient actor, who will reprise his role in the new Bond, commented on who could step into 007’s shoes after ‘brilliant Bond’ Daniel, 51, makes his final appearance.

When Lorraine suggested Luther actor and hot favourite Idris, 46, Ralph replied: ‘He would be great, he’d be fantastic.’ 

The Jonathan Ross Show airs Saturday at 9.30pm on ITV. 

Bid for Bond: The star who's played head of the Secret Intelligence Service Gareth Mallory aka M (pictured above)  in the franchise since 2012, said: 'We did have a conversation'

Bid for Bond: The star who's played head of the Secret Intelligence Service Gareth Mallory aka M (pictured above)  in the franchise since 2012, said: 'We did have a conversation'

Bid for Bond: The star who’s played head of the Secret Intelligence Service Gareth Mallory aka M (pictured above)  in the franchise since 2012, said: ‘We did have a conversation’



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