First Love | Hero Fiennes Tiffin Interview

Hero Fiennes Tiffin in First Love

Hero Fiennes Tiffin is no stranger to the romance genre. As the well-known star of the romantic drama films After and its sequels, Tiffin shrugged off any more romantic films until First Love came across his desk. For Tiffin, First Love was an entirely different romantic drama that he seek to expand his acting prowess and skills.

The film also stars Diane Kruger (The 355, In the Fade), Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice, and Sydney Park (The Walking Dead.) A.J. Edwards directed the film.

Here is the official synopsis:

First Love follows Jim (Fiennes Tiffin), a senior in high school experiencing the highs and lows of his first love with Ann (Park) as they navigate their pending departure to college. At the same time, Jim’s parents (Kruger and Donovan) are dealing with the familial fallout of a financial crisis.

LRM Online’s Gig Patta spoke with Hero Fiennes Tiffin about being in the romantic genre and how First Love is different from his other projects.

First Love is currently in select theaters and available On Demand.

ALSO CHECK OUT: Hulu’s Maggie | Leonardo Nam and Angelique Cabral Interview

Read the full interview transcript below.

Gig Patta: Hero, congratulations on your film First Love.

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: Thank you so much. Appreciate that, man. How are you doing?

Gig Patta: I’m doing great. You’re terrific in this film. Let’s talk about this film. What initially attracted you to a film like First Love?

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: Do you know what? Diane Kruger is your mom and Jeffrey Donovan is your dad is quite hard to say no. Then Sydney Park is a love interest. I kind of thought I don’t want to do another romance before I even read the script. In fact, I don’t want to do another romance. Then I read the script and said this is a really good romance. The only reason I say that is because I’ve done so many After movies that I wanted to take a break from that genre and come back to it. I was quickly persuaded by A.J. [Edwards] because of his intelligence, passion for the project, and belief in me. Within about 45 seconds, I was like, “Yeah, come on. Let’s do this.” I’m so happy and proud of the work. And appreciate your kind words as well.

Gig Patta:I was like scratching my head that you really stuck into this romance genre.

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: Yeah, bro. It’s so funny you say. Honestly that I’m eternally grateful for the After movies, but they wouldn’t have expected me to jump into that role in the first place anyway. I’ve expanded my comfort zones and learned how much I loved that as well. Still, I want to do another side of a completely different role. This came along and it just felt right. It just felt like my initial aim of diversifying my acting portfolio felt compromised by doing another romance. Actually, it is to do another romance that is so totally different where the character is the polar opposite of Hardin. You’re actually diversifying yourself and your portfolio even more by doing such a different version of the same genre. So you are right in your assumption. Don’t get me wrong. I would love to explore other genres too. But, I couldn’t say no to this one.

Gig Patta: Now are you done with romance or you could never say never?

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: I think it’s just silly to never say never. Do you know what I mean? But listen, probably I say not for a long time. [Laughs]

Gig Patta: Tell us about how you developed onscreen chemistry with Sydney Park compared to the other onscreen characters that you had portrayed before.

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: It’s annoying. Sydney and I didn’t actually get too much time together before we started filming. First of all, she’s had loads of experience. She’s also an incredible actor. As a person, she doesn’t take life too seriously. She’s there to have a good time. She’s aware that you should do things with a smile on your face. Simply, she’s just bubbly and positive.

It just feels good being around her. You just don’t feel like, “Oh, I’m nervous that we’ve got a scene coming.” You’re just enjoying yourself. You call “action” and she delivers instantly every time. It must be good casting because I’m always lucky to work with such incredible actors opposite me

Gig Patta: With the romantic scenes and your previous experience, do you get nervous or develop anxiety that comes about doing these scenes or you’re just like so used to it? Or now these days it just comes naturally?

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: Nervousness and anxiety just a little bit. When you do your first scenes and then there’s always room for it to be a little bit awkward. Then there’s also that element of making sure everyone feels comfortable because you don’t know if that person feels the [same thing].

Ultimately though as you get older, you’ve done them before and it does get easier. It does start to feel like any old scene. Once you work on After four times, every film has fewer sex scenes anyway. [Laughs] So like it’s always like a step-down. That’s one of the many amazing things that After has done for me. It is just expanding my comfort zones to a point of me feeling comfortable to jump into the deep end on other stuff.

Gig Patta: Fewer sex scenes. That’s a good thing for a person’s career?

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: The grass is always greener. I always kind of wanted to do something different. This film just calls for a lot less and with After they are required to make sense. So it’s not like one’s better than the other. It’s just nice to participate in different things.

ALSO CHECK OUT: The Road to Galena | Ben Winchell, Will Brittain, Aimee Teegarden, and Joe Hall Interview

Hero Fiennes Tiffin with Sydney Park in First Love
Hero Fiennes Tiffin with Sydney Park in First Love

Gig Patta: Tell us about playing a younger teen and a college student in films like this.

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: I still feel like I’m 18. So it doesn’t feel like the biggest difference. I’m 25 in November and yet it feels so weird saying that. Obviously, I’m playing younger and I’m aware that he’s younger. But, it’s funny. I find it quite easy to relate to that age group. Time has just gone by so fast for me since then that I don’t feel like I’m going back years. It feels relatively recent enough to tap into.

Gig Patta: I’m curious. As a British person, when you experience American high schools in something like this, is there anything eye-opening in terms of the cultural differences?

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: Do you know what? As English people, we digest so much American film and television, that’s often probably portrayed a bit in film world and cinematic. Maybe not so real like, “Hey, Dweeb. Give me a swirly. Give me your lunch money.” It’s such a stylized funny thing to English people.

The way that it’s portrayed in this film is so far from that. It’s probably a lot closer to the reality of what it’s like at these schools in America. I was scared to draw from my experience in an English school because it’s probably so different. Actually, the nuances are probably the same all across the world with young people growing up together. The way that A.J. Executed the depiction of the school was probably a lot closer to reality than some of the more stylized portrayals of what schools like in America

Gig Patta: One more thing, even though it’s a romantic film called First Love, a lot of people will soon realize it is also about a family dynamic with Diane Kruger and Jeffrey Donovan. Could you talk about the synergy and the conflicts with that storyline?

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: When I read the script, I loved following their storyline too. As we got closer to actually filming, I separated myself from looking at those scenes too much, especially the ones that Jim wouldn’t be in. I don’t want him to be too aware of his parents’ dynamic until he should be aware of it. When I watched it back, I felt like an audience member. With the reflection, it’s the mirroring and seeing both of them in the same film into the cut.

The relationship between Jim with Ann and Kay with Greg feels almost like they’re mirroring their own relationships. Maybe Greg and Kay were like Jim and Ann when they were younger and vice versa. The way that it ends as well with the toast, there’s something nice about the full-circle nature or there’s an element of just seeing both pivotal points of a relationship. It’s the starting point and then somewhere near the end where it could be the make or break. Can we maintain this? The way they reflect upon each other is so powerful for an audience member to see the two of them.

ALSO CHECK OUT: Mr. Malcolm’s List | Zawe Ashton and Theo James Interview [Exclusive]

Hero Fiennes Tiffin with Dianne Kruger in First Love
Hero Fiennes Tiffin with Dianne Kruger in First Love

Gig Patta: One more question, before I leave. Is it easy for you to drop that British accent when you’re acting?

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: I enjoy doing it, but I was so scared beforehand. I’ve done so many auditions with an American accent and the feedback we get’s always positive. I’ve done loads of sessions with dialect coaches. I’ve done an American accent before in The Silencing, which obviously a different American accent. And I was so scared. The day before I sent a voice note to the dialect coach named Joy, who I never got to meet in person, but was so lovely when we zoomed together. She said, “Hero, this is like the worst recording you sent me. You’re clearly just scared. You’ve done it a million times. You know what you’re doing. Don’t worry. Go for it. Speak in an accent on set.” I was still a bit reluctant to do [to speak with an accent on set], but I started to do a bit more. She was amazing. She helped massively, but I was really scared. Now I’m proud of the work and I’ve got some good feedback. I have another weapon added to the arsenal now.

Gig Patta: Congratulations again on First Love. Thank you for speaking to us and hopefully next time it’s a non-romantic film that I get to talk to you with.

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: Knowing me, we’ll be back for another one and I’ll be explaining how that happened again. One day, we’ll be talking about car chases and shootouts.

First Love is currently in select theaters and available On Demand.

For interviews and news pitches, contact Gig Patta at [email protected].

Source: LRM Online Exclusive, Vertical Entertainment

Night Terror Banner   GenreVerse FOR FANBOYS, BY FANBOYS Have you checked out LRM Online’s official podcasts and videos on The Genreverse Podcast Network? Available on YouTube and all your favorite podcast apps, This multimedia empire includes The Daily CoGBreaking Geek Radio: The Podcast, GeekScholars Movie News, Anime-Versal Review Podcast, and our Star Wars dedicated podcast The Cantina. Check it out by listening on all your favorite podcast apps, or watching on YouTube! Subscribe on: Apple PodcastsSpotify |  SoundCloud | Stitcher | Google Play
Share the Post: