Ralph Fiennes stars as the tormented serial killer Francis Dolarhyde in the Brett Ratner directed film 'Red Dragon'. Based on the Thomas Harris novel of the same name, the film is the prequel to 'The Silence Of The Lambs'.
Fiennes, who received Academy Award® nominations for his portrayal of SS Commandant Amon Goeth in Schindler's List and the mortally wounded pilot in The English Patient, steps into a role unlike he has played before as Francis Dolarhyde.
"Dolarhyde is a multifaceted character," said Martha De Laurentiis. "Ruined from years of humiliation at the hands of his grandmother, he is constantly fighting an internal battle between himself/Dolarhyde and the Red Dragon. "
The filmmakers wanted the audience to witness this struggle. "Because you understand what caused Dolarhyde's insanity and how he came to be a killer," said Ratner, "you can empathize with him. "
The character who most clearly sees and touches the human side of Dolarhyde is the blind woman, Reba McClane, portrayed by Emily Watson. "You want these two to find each other," said Martha De Laurentiis. "She has a tremendous handicap, as does he, although his is more internal. Part of Red Dragon is watching this process unfold. "
Although Reba recognizes something in her friend "D" that others don't see, she is literally blind to another part of him. "Reba can't see him," said Fiennes. "To her, he is this shy, silent presence, and she is trying to make feel more relaxed and confident. But the audience knows he is something else. "
Her impact on Dolarhyde is enormous. "This girl offers him something he can't articulate emotionally or rationally," said Fiennes. Under her influence, he tries to forsake the force that has been driving him deeper into the insanity of the Red Dragon persona.
It was this transformation that ignited Ratner's passion for the project. "When I got to this point in the script, I knew I had to direct the movie," he recalled. "The fact that Dolarhyde had the strength to try and rid himself of the Dragon for Reba is incredibly powerful. "