"I wanted to be an actor because of theatre, not because of film.
I like being in front of an audience; each night is so different.
But the way I like to look at awards is to see them as celebrations of film-making."It seems churlish to point out that Fiennes is in a stronger position than most to hold such a generous view.
To top off what is the best year of his career so far, he has just been nominated for a Best Actor Bafta for his performance in The Constant Gardener.
If I'm away from it I have withdrawal symptoms," he says.
Although he has made five or six films over the past two years, theatre is his first love.
"My view on awards is that there are no bests in anything", insists Ralph Fiennes.
I think I just had this rather childish response: 'Ooh, yeah, great. I shaved all of my hair off, had some pieces to take out my eyebrows, had some manky teeth put in and very pale skin.
His previous attempts at light-hearted - The Avengers and Maid in Manhattan - are among his least successful ventures. With Wallace & Gromit, he thought: "Great film-makers, the pressure's off.