Ralph Fiennes now an honorary Serbian citizen

British actor Ralph Fiennes with his Serbian passport and identity card on Sunday.
British actor Ralph Fiennes with his Serbian passport and identity card on Sunday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BELGRADE • Award-winning British actor and director Ralph Fiennes, who portrayed Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter series, has been given the stamp of approval by Serbia.

On Sunday, he was given a Serbian passport for "promoting" the Balkan country. He filmed his directorial debut, Coriolanus, an adaptation of Shakespeare's play, in Serbia in 2010.

The decision to grant honorary citizenship to the 54-year-old was reached earlier this month by the government of Prime Minister Ana Brnabic.

"I never thought I would become a Serb and now it seems that I am one," Fiennes said in Serbian during a brief ceremony after Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic presented him with the passport and an identity card.

Mr Vucic told Fiennes: "We Serbs are happy to have you as a friend and now we have you as our compatriot."

The two-time Oscar nominee has featured in some 30 movies, from Schindler's List (1993) to Spectre (2015).

He is currently in Belgrade shooting a movie about legendary ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev.

Fiennes is "promoting Serbia... through his artistic work and business activities", Ms Brnabic told the Politika daily earlier this month.

"He became a genuine friend and promoter of our country and thus undoubtedly deserved honorary citizenship," she said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2017, with the headline 'Ralph Fiennes now an honorary Serbian citizen'. Print Edition | Subscribe