Actor Joseph Fiennes was unconcerned kissing co-star Jeremy Irons in the big screen adaptation of THE MERCHANT OF VENICE - because it was relevant to the film's setting.

The ENEMY AT THE GATES star believes 16th Century Britons were far more comfortable with their sexuality than people are today, and this knowledge helped him overcome his inhibitions.

The 34-year-old says, "You have to understand that the Elizabethans were, believe it or not, a lot freer than we are in the 21st century. People were less hung up about their sexuality."

20/01/2005 14:05