Ralph Fiennes looked to the world political arena for inspiration for his big screen version of Roman leader Coriolanus, he based the character on Vladimir Putin and Ariel Sharon. The Oscar-nominated actor has gone behind the camera for his directorial debut and decided to tackle the first ever movie version of the Shakespeare play.
And he aimed high when researching how to bring the lead character to life in the 21st century, he studied the personalities of Russian Prime Minister Putin and former Israeli leader Sharon. Fiennes tells Total Film magazine, "Someone who's steeped in vigorous nationalism and authoritarian stance would be Putin."
"He's the person I looked at. And the tougher Israeli leaders, like Ariel Sharon. They reflected aspects of Coriolanus, that intransigence and unbending nationalism."