BELGRADE, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Serbia has granted citizenship to British actor and director Ralph Fiennes for his work in promoting the country and its culture, an official record showed on Friday.
Fiennes is the last in a string of celebrities including Hollywood actor Steven Segal, ballet dancer Sergei Polunin and several soccer and basketball players to have been granted citizenship in recent years.
According to an official record made public in Serbia’s Official Gazette, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic signed the decree on Fiennes’ citizenship on Sept 7.
By law foreigners can be awarded Serbian citizenship by the government without being required to live there or relinquish their previous citizenship.
“Through his artistic work and business activities, he (Fiennes) selflessly promoted Serbia ... (its) movie production capacities, as well as its people, both as professionals and friends,” the Politika daily quoted Brnabic as saying.
Neither Fiennes, who is currently in Belgrade filming a movie about Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, nor his staff were immediately reachable for comment.
Fiennes, who was nominated for Academy Awards for his roles in the “The English Patient” and “Schindler’s List”, made his directorial debut in Serbia in 2010 with an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Coriolanus.
Earlier this year, Fiennes was also present at the inauguration ceremony for Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic. (Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Hugh Lawson)