For the past four years, Hiro Fiennes-Tiffin has played Hardin for Tessa Josephine Langford in the popular After franchise, a series of romantic films adapted from Anna Todd’s bestsellers. As the 24-year-old actor prepares to say goodbye to his irascible role in “After Eternal Happiness” later this year, Fiennes-Tiffin’s latest film “First Love” keeps him in a familiar genre. But, as he notes, he “intends” not to classify himself as a single on-screen character.
Unlike Robert Pattinson after he completed work on the Twilight films, Hiro Fiennes-Tiffin is overwhelmingly associated with his “After” personality as he prepares to wrap up with an upcoming release in 2022. So why make first love? Here’s what he said to CinemaBlend:
When I read the script, I was well aware of how different [the role of First Love] was, and that kind of attracted me to her. I didn’t want to act in another novel, because I knew that I wanted to diversify my portfolio and work on different genres and thus test myself … Because of how tonally different the film is and how similar it is to the other side of the romantic coin and in this sense completely different, equally similar characters, Jim Poe compared to Hardin, they really are like different ends of the spectrum. And I feel like I played along with it a little bit, but I feel like the way the character looked on paper was completely natural, so very different from Hardin.
In “First Love,” Hiro Fiennes-Tiffin plays a softer and more sensitive lover who keeps his heart on his sleeve and is much more withdrawn when it comes to conflict resolution. His character, Jim, quickly falls in love with classmate Ann (Sydney Park) while his parents (Jeffrey Donovan of Law & Order and Diane Kruger) they are experiencing financial difficulties during the 2008 financial crisis. The actor continued by comparing the two romantic roles:
When I play Hardin, sometimes I want him to take a breath, take his time and think before acting, and when I played Jim, I thought: “Oh, yeah, I got to it a little bit,” and then I caught myself wanting to, you know, punch Dad in the face or throw a lamp at the wall, like Hardin does. So, yes, it’s kind of funny that the grass is always greener, but I find that I always want to do something different and find myself in the middle of where all the characters relate to who I am as a person.
The actor spent a lot of time playing Hardin in the “After” movies, and as he admits, he missed out on some aspects of the more stubborn role in “First Love.” But at the same time, he was happy to try a new kind of leading man in size. Ultimately, these two roles are almost polar opposites of each other. While After often plays on the dramatic elements of relationships, FL remains completely innocent. The actor said it reminded him of “old movies” that he accidentally watched right before seeing how his last movie turned out. The actor called the tone of the film “patient” and “gentle” (and he’s right).
“First Love” is directed by A.J. Edwards, who previously edited the romantic dramas “Miracle” with Ben Affleck and “Knight of Cups” with Christian Bale. He also wrote/directed The Best Angels 2014 (also with Kruger) and Age Out 2018 starring Ty Sheridan, Imogen Poots and Jeffrey Wright. The talent involved in the new film also excited Hiro Fiennes-Tiffin, and the actor said this during our interview:
Having the opportunity to work with such legends [Diane Kruger and Jeffrey Donovan] as my parents, they exceeded all expectations. I feel like in some of the scenes I’ve had with Diana, where she kind of goes from zero to a hundred, I’ve found myself forgetting what I’m playing because I’m so immersed in her acting. I’ve learned so much, and Jeffrey is everything. Jeffrey was kind of a father and father figure, like knowing that I was a younger actor and just supporting me. I learned so much, and I felt that part of the reason I took on this role again was to work with people like that. I knew I had learned a lot, and I really did.
Moving forward, Hiro Fiennes-Tiffin will certainly diversify his career and bring his experience of first love between the upcoming action films “The Woman King” and “Ascension”, the horror comedy “The Loneliest Boy in the World” and the drama “The Man in the Box”. He will also star in “After We Were Happy,” which concludes Tessa and Hardin’s love story on September 7. It is reported that the franchise will continue with numerous side films without Anna Todd, Fiennes-Tiffin and Langford.
You can get acquainted with the actor’s new novel “First Love”, which is currently being shown in cinemas and on demand (opens in a new tab).