Man Candy Mondays: Ralph Fiennes

Feb 13, 2012 at 8:00 a.m. ET

Smooth, sexy and self-aware, Ralph Fiennes is an Englishman with that certain dash of something (his intense gaze, maybe?) that makes him sexy as can be. With a vulnerability that peeks through even when he's furrowing his brow in serious roles, Ralph is our ideal date for an arm-in-arm stroll through the English countryside. Now, the Oscar nominee tackles Shakespeare on the big screen in Coriolanus — Ralph's directorial debut — which is showing in theaters everywhere.

Man Candy Monday: Ralph Fiennes

Ralph Fiennes

Ralph Fiennes

Born: Dec. 22, 1962

Hometown: Suffolk, England

Height: 6'

Why we love him

There's something compelling about a sophisticated older man, and Ralph Fiennes is at the top of our list of sexy distinguished gentlemen.

Ralph Fiennes in The DuchessA heck of a chameleon, he's been in some of our favorite chick flicks

Only a versatile actor can go from playing a Nazi commandant during the Holocaust (Schindler's List) to courting Jennifer Lopez in Maid in Manhattan (remember that one?) and do we even need to mention how much we loved The English Patient? But one of our favorite films Fiennes shined in was 2008's The Duchess, in which he played Keira Knightley's cheating husband, the Duke of Devonshire, so convincingly it was eerie.

But let's talk classic, sex-symbol Ralph: Starring alongside Julianne Moore in The End of the Affair, he nearly lit our flatscreen on fire with his impassioned performance as Moore's selfless lover. We'll confess: We definitely used the rewind button to make double-sure we didn't miss a single steamy frame.

So how did Ralph like working with Julianne? "I was a bit in awe of her when I first met her," he told ET Online. "I think she's one of the great actresses. I thought I would be intimidated by her, but she's incredibly easy going. She has a great sense of humor and I think that humor was one of the things that enabled us to work together and do those very intimate scenes together."

We'd be lying if we said we weren't a little jealous!

Joseph FiennesWe love his brother too

Two hot guys, one family: What good fortune! Ralph's brother Joseph, who gained fame playing the young Bard in Shakespeare in Love, is a slightly different style of sexy, and we like the variety pack. He's the eldest of six siblings, and he has said that his family (including Joe!) keeps him grounded:

"I think my relationship with my family is the thing that has changed least. Your family knows you beyond, quote, your success, unquote, in the world, and they recognize your pretensions and your aspirations, and above all, your vulnerabilities," he told Interview magazine. "My sisters [Martha and Sophie] know me especially — I've confided in them a lot, and my relationship with them are very important to me."

He takes pride in his work

Ralph Fiennes at Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows premiere

Ralph sure knows fantasy, as evidenced by his otherworldly portrayal of Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter movies. He'll also appear in the newest James Bond film, Skyfall, scheduled to be released in 2012 ("I've always loved Bond," he has said.). What gave him a little creative lift recently was a little out of the ordinary: A little boy saw him in costume on the Harry Potter set and promptly started crying.

"I wasn't trying to scare him, but he saw me — I didn't look like the Voldemort on the screen, but the child cried," he told Details. "The little boy in me was happy to have scared someone. Not in a serious way — of course not."

Now that's dedication to the acting craft, no matter what role it is!

More Ralph Fiennes' news >>

Ralph Fiennes' relationship status

"Complicated" is one way to describe Ralph's personal life. He left his first wife, actress Alex Kingston, for actress Francesca Annis, whom he had a 11 year relationship with before taking up with a Romanian singer in 2006. And then there was that Qantas Airlines debacle back in 2007, when he was allegedly caught leaving a plane restroom with a stewardess. Oops! These days, he's been linked to creative consultant and writer Lady Amanda Harlech, who has worked with top fashion designers.

When Interview asked him about his reputation as a Don Juan, he answered in his typically cool fashion: "I think that, like a lot of reputations, it's built on flimsy evidence."

Despite all of the tabloid gossip, he's notorious for not discussing his personal life with the press. Which means if we ever find ourselves in flagrante delicto with Ralph, at least he'll keep it private! A girl can dream, right?

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Photo credits: Entertainment Press/Splash News, Paramount Vantage, Daniel Dem/, Richie Buxo/Splash News