Hero Fiennes-Tiffin: I would say remember the name, but you know it already, don’t you — or half of it, at least. The Fiennes family tree is decorated with more baubles than a dowager countess’s Christmas tree. There’s Mark, the photographer and illustrator; Jennifer, the novelist; Martha and Sophie, both directors; Magnus, the composer; and Joseph and Ralph, the actors.
Now there’s Hero, 23-year-old scion of the dynasty and a brilliant actor in his own right. He wears the name lightly but carefully, like a silk-cashmere suit.
“We definitely express our creativity as a family,” he laughs. “Though actually I don’t talk to them too much about acting, because they’re quite busy and spread out. When I do see them, what’s more interesting is speaking about family, their kids, my little cousins who I haven’t seen in ages. We’d rather use up that time with family chat than work. But they’re always very supportive, and check in and tell me they’re proud, which means a lot.”
"We definitely express our creativity as a family..."
Does the family name ever weigh heavily? “Well it gets me to the table and then when I’m there I have big shoes to fill,” he says. “But, really nothing but good comes from it. I’m very lucky to be in that position.”
In this profession, you make your own luck. And Hero has forged a good chunk of that with his role in After, a romantic drama with roots in the world of online fan fiction. The film was only released earlier this year, but production has already wrapped on a sequel, After We Collided. Watch out fans; Hero’s heading back to your screens.
And fans there are. Online, a feverish energy swirls around the young actor. There are 49 fan accounts dedicated to Hero alone on Instagram, a level of obsession that even Uncle Ralph would struggle to compute.
“I’ve never been too huge on Instagram,” Hero says. “I would rather hear what people had to say to my face — I’m not too keen on scrolling through comments and checking up on myself, but I appreciate all the love that they’re showing.”
This new generation knows the hard metrics of follower counts and the fickle sentiments of the twitchy-fingered. “There are lots of professions where your social following is key now,” he says. “But chasing followers is strange to me. I’d rather focus on the work,” he says. “If you’re good, you’ll get work. And if I’ve got food in my fridge and clothes on my back, I’ll be happy!”
Want more young actors? Here’s Chance Perdomo on breaking America, self-belief and the perils of Instagram…
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