Before Hero Fiennes Tiffin burst onto the scene as the brooding Hardin Scott in the film After—a role that skyrocketed him to heartthrob status—and walked the runways of Salvatore Ferragamo and Dolce & Gabbana, the London native played a young Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It’s one of his earliest acting credits and an origin story I can’t help but discuss with him during our Zoom call. For the record, he was a Harry Potter stan in his younger days but “switched sides” in an effort to play it cool when he became involved.
I could spend my entire allotted 25 minutes talking to Fiennes Tiffin about all things Potter, like the time he met Daniel Radcliffe before being cast in the franchise and whether or not his Tom Riddle will make an appearance in a future Fantastic Beasts movie (one can only hope!), but we’re actually here to discuss his current project, After We Fell, the third installment of the wildly popular After franchise. In preparation for this interview, I spent the weekend catching up on all three films, and I have a bone to pick with Fiennes Tiffin. How can, after all this time, Hardin still be making the same infuriating relationship mistakes?!
Photo:Karl Simone/Getty Images
I should provide some context. The After franchise, which is based on the YA literary phenomenon of the same name by Anna Todd, is your classic good-girl-falls-for-the-bad-boy romance story, though much, much steamier. It centers on college students Hardin Scott and Tessa Young, two impossibly beautiful humans who, despite the odds stacked against them, keep finding their way back to each other. The constant push and pull of their relationship is enough to make you want to pull your hair out, but you still keep rooting for them in the end. The storyline is simple but effective. And audiences can’t get enough.
For Fiennes Tiffin, getting to the bottom of Hardin’s flaws and why he is the way he is has always been the main draw. “The fact that he’s been through so much but, as the audience, we only get to understand and know about it gradually as the story unfolds was one of the most interesting things to me when I first got the script,” he shares. That and getting into the headspace of such a complex person. While Fiennes Tiffin admits he too gets frustrated with Hardin’s actions, he had to find ways to sympathize with him. “What’s nice is that part of telling his story is trying to work out how we can justify it all. You can’t judge a character. Part of the fun is creating a mindset where you do genuinely believe them.”
Four films in (After Ever Happy has already been shot and is due out next year), it’s safe to say Fiennes Tiffin is fully tuned in to Hardin. He counts himself lucky to be able to bring the character back to life again and again with a cast and crew he fully trusts. The films not only have been a launchpad for his career but are now opening new doors too. He has a producer credit on After We Fell, which he says he took on to simply “learn and grow” for future opportunities.
Fiennes Tiffin may not be calling the shots or making creative decisions quite yet, but the topic of what’s next is a big one for the young actor, especially as his slate of upcoming projects continues to grow. It was announced earlier this spring that he would star opposite Diane Kruger and Sydney Park in the romantic drama First Love, which recently wrapped filming in Los Angeles. While he was hesitant to do yet another romance film, within three minutes on a Zoom call, Director A.J. Edwards sold him on the story of a young man’s difficult entry into adulthood. And then there’s the major news that he is joining Viola Davis and Lashana Lynch in the Gina Prince-Bythewood–directed historical African epic The Woman King. Fiennes Tiffin is, as they say, booked and busy, but he’s still got his sights on one day doing a darker project based out of London. “I definitely want to do something grittier, kind of boyish, and a dramatic thriller with a lot of twists and turns,” he says.
As the clock ticks down on our interview, I pivot to the topic of fashion. Fiennes Tiffin may be an actor first, but he’s an on-the-rise style star second. In the midst of kicking off his on-screen career, Fiennes Tiffin signed with one of the UK’s biggest modeling agencies, Storm Models. What was originally meant to be a small side gig to keep himself busy and earn some extra money quickly exploded into a fast-paced world of nonstop travel, shoots, and runways. Standout moments include a Baz Luhrmann–directed film for the Erdem x H&M collection and a Salvatore Ferragamo campaign that turned into a long-lasting friendship between the actor and the brand. Fiennes Tiffin is a front-row regular at its shows and even accompanied designer Paul Andrew to the 2019 Met Ball. “I feel like my style has evolved with them,” he says of working with the storied fashion house. “Ferragamo does a great job of balancing the old and the new.”
Fiennes Tiffin admits he still has a lot to learn about the industry, but his interest in fashion and clothes only continues to grow with help from his stylist, Michael Miller. The two have collaborated on a series of notable looks throughout the years, including one of Fiennes Tiffin’s favorites, a marble-print Berluti suit for the Spain After premiere. While most of the press for After We Fell is virtual, the two are making the most of it by way of red carpet–worthy ensembles, including a chic Dior number and a navy checkered matching set by Daniel W. Fletcher.
If one thing is for certain, Fiennes Tiffin’s sartorial choices are something we’ll never tire of. The same goes for his ability to sweep us off our feet.
After We Fell is now available everywhere in digital HD and on demand.