NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 14: Ralph Fiennes attends "The Menu" New York Premiere at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on November 14, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
The Menu Was Written For Ralph Fiennes, But His Performance Was Even Better
In "The Menu," star chef Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes) has made elaborate, story-driven, multi-course meals that are meant to stimulate the intellect as much as the palate. Seth Reiss admitted that when he and Will Tracy were writing their script, they kept thinking of Fiennes in the role, and when the actor agreed to play the part, they were elated.
Reiss recalled, “We were on set. And we showed up to Ralph Fiennes — he had three days before he was going to start shooting — and he was completely off-book." This meant that Fiennes had all his lines memorized; he no longer needed to consult his script — no easy feat given Julian’s multiple highfalutin monologues throughout the film.
Fiennes hasn't commented on what kind of research he did to capture the part of an artisan/celebrity chef, but he certainly nails the part. He is so convincing in his monologues that the audience might find themselves agreeing with his theories until violence becomes part of the meal experience — and the audience has presumably stopped listening by then.