Exclusive: Risen star Joseph Fiennes on playing doubters and men of faith — sometimes at the same time


Joseph Fiennes burst onto the scene nearly two decades ago in a pair of movies set in Elizabethan times: Elizabeth, in which he played the title character’s lover, and Shakespeare in Love, in which he played the title character himself.

Since then, Fiennes has kept busy in a variety of films, many of them period pieces — and lately, he has starred in a few films about famous Christians, such as the Reformation biopic Luther and the upcoming Eric Liddell film The Last Race.

Next month he’ll be seen in Risen as a Roman officer named Clavius who takes part in the death of Jesus and is then told to find the body after it vanishes from its tomb. Clavius is assisted in his quest by Lucius, a fellow soldier played by Tom Felton (who previously worked with Fiennes’ brother Ralph on the Harry Potter movies).

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Flashback: Three different takes on Martin Luther

Mollie Z Hemingway at Get Religion reminds me that today is not only Halloween, it is also the 495th anniversary of the day that Martin Luther kicked off the Protestant Reformation by nailing his 95 Theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany. In her post, she links to an article on three films about Martin Luther that were produced in 1953, 1973 and 2003 — and, as it happens, I wrote an article on those same three films about eight years ago. I have re-posted it here. I also wrote a review of the 2003 film for BC Christian News, as well as a brief blog post for the CT Movies Blog (which deleted my byline, for some reason) on the 2009 death of Robert E.A. Lee, who produced the 1953 film.

Luther, Luther, Luther!

Editor’s note: The 2003 film Luther comes out on video today. Since Christianity Today magazine already reviewed the film when it hit theaters, we asked Peter Chattaway to compare and contrast three different film versions — from 1953, 1973 and 2003 — about the famous Reformer.

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Review: Luther (dir. Eric Till, 2003)

Talk about timing. The same day a new movie about Martin Luther opened in Canadian theatres, the Daily Telegraph reported that German archaeologists had discovered the toilet on which he allegedly composed the 95 Theses that sparked the Protestant Reformation in 1517.

“This is a great find,” said Stefan Rhein of the Luther Memorial Foundation, “particularly because we’re talking about someone whose texts we have concentrated on for years, while little attention has been paid to anything three-dimensional and human behind them.”

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