Floor8.com LogoFloor8.com Logo

Ralph Fiennes Reveals He Almost Turned Down 'Harry Potter' Voldemort Role

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 12:   Director and actor Ralph Fiennes attends 'The White Crow' UK Premiere at the Curzon Mayfair on March 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images,)
Jeff Spicer

One of British actor Ralph Fiennes' most well known roles is his performance as He Who Must Not Be Named, otherwise known as Voldemort, in the Harry Potter series. However, the actor almost did not accept the role.

We first saw Fiennes as Voldemort in The Goblet of Fire, the fourth film in the series which came out in 2005, and he continued to play the Dark Lord of the Harry Potter universe until the series' conclusion in 2011.

Contrary to fans' expectations, the actor's decision to take on the role was not an immediate "yes."

"The truth is I was actually ignorant about the films and the books," the actor said on The Jonathan Ross Show about his relationship with the series prior to taking on the role. "I was approached by the production. Mike Newell was directing the film that they wanted me to be in… the first time Voldemort was going to appear physically."

"Out of ignorance I just sort of thought, this isn’t for me… 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," Fiennes explained.

The power of his nieces and nephews was apparently enough to inspire Fiennes to take on the role, and we're so glad he did.