Joseph Fiennes has visions of the future

After years in the theatre and on movie screens, British actor Joseph Fiennes was hesitant in making the move to TV.

After years in the theatre and on movie screens, British actor Joseph Fiennes was hesitant in making the move to TV.

Luckily for audiences, he got over it, as Fiennes now headlines the breakout hit FlashForward, starring as an obsessed FBI agent investigating what made the entire world black out for two minutes and glimpse visions of the future. Fiennes spoke to Metro at ABC Studios in Burbank, Calif.

What made you want to take on this project?

The money. (Laughs) No, it was a great script. I loved the fact that it was very structured … and now we can forget that and have fun and enjoy either the clues or just the great character interactions.

What made you decide to make the jump to television?

It’s not so much of a change for me. There’s more production value on this set than there is on any independent movie I’ve made at home.

And I think, really, there’s less of a wall and a snobbery between these two mediums. I think TV is the new cinema. The “small screen” is the iPhone now. You can’t call TV the small screen. I love cinema, but I think there’s an element of cinema, which is a little bit of a dinosaur. You get great sound quality at home. People’s screens are getting bigger and bigger. So I just think it’s all changed.

How has it been transitioning to life in Los Angeles?

I love L.A., but I never felt the need to go to L.A. and make it. We’re very lucky in London. We’re sort of in that middle territory of Europe, and it’s worked. Now I’ve relocated, but I do miss my friends and family at home. There’s no two ways. It’s tough being away.

How do you feel when FlashForward is called the new Lost?

Lost paved the way for this kind of project to happen. But it’s completely different. We’re not on an island. It’s not a mythology. It’s very straightforward. It’s a global event.

Do you appreciate the global aspect of the show?

I love the idea that it reaches out to all these different countries. We get people flying to different countries, we get to hear other languages. I love in Episode 3 that in the first five minutes, it’s all in German. It’s great. I mean, it puts you there.

How did you prepare for the show, physically?

We did Krav Maga, which is really hardcore street fighting. You can do anything you want. It’s elbows, head, knees …

And on top of that, we worked with these FBI guys with assembling guns … how you enter a building, all that stuff. It gives the actor a confidence in his character.

With the show becoming so popular, have you been recognized more often?

One or two people say, “Hey, I had a vision.” And you’re like, yeah, all right. It’s always nice when you know there’s someone watching, because that’s why you’re doing it.

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