Stars reunited for Invisible Woman

This Is Local London: Kristin Scott Thomas (left), Ralph Fiennes and Felicity Jones arrive at the premiere of The Invisible Woman Kristin Scott Thomas (left), Ralph Fiennes and Felicity Jones arrive at the premiere of The Invisible Woman

Kristin Scott Thomas and Ralph Fiennes were reunited on the red carpet at the London premiere of The Invisible Woman.

Fiennes directed and stars as Charles Dickens in the adaptation of Claire Tomalin's book about the writer's romance with a younger woman, Nelly Ternan, played by Felicity Jones.

Scott Thomas and Fiennes famously played lovers in Anthony Minghella's Oscar-winning film The English Patient back in 1996. In The Invisible Woman Scott Thomas plays Nelly's mother, Mrs Frances Ternan.

Fiennes revealed she had asked to be in the film after seeing his directorial debut Coriolanus, but did have doubts initially when he offered her the role of Nelly's mother.

He said: "Kristin very sweetly saw this other film I made and said, 'I'd like to be in a film that you're directing'. I said, 'I'd like you to play the mother of Nelly.' And I think she had a bit of a... 'The mother, I'm not sure about that.'

"I felt the mother was a crucial role. The way the mother nurtures, guides, sort of acquiesces in Nelly's love, I thought that was a very interesting path, and Kristin does it brilliantly."

Scott Thomas, who travelled from her home in Paris especially for the premiere, was full of praise for Fiennes.

She said: "He was a very good director, incredibly brave to take on both roles of Dickens and director.

"It was very easy to be directed by him. We have a very good communication."

Jones, 30, revealed how her research for the role had led her to believe Nelly had inspired some of Dickens' famous characters.

She said: "I think she had a profound influence on his work.

"I grew up loving Great Expectations and it was amazing playing Nelly and thinking that Dickens had written that after he met her, so it just made it resonate even more.

"I do think, particularly in that book, there's a lot of Nelly and her mother in it."

The Thick Of It star Joanna Scanlan plays Dickens' wife Catherine in the film, which was adapted for the big screen by award-winning script writer Abi Morgan.

Scanlan confessed being directed by Fiennes was, "quite scary".

She added: "He's a force and he has such clarity about that he wants and how he's going to bring the scene together.

"I did feel a lot of the time that he would have played it much better than me. I felt I was failing him!"

The Invisible Woman is due to be released in cinemas on February 7.

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