Joseph Fiennes to play Wim Hof in The Iceman

Joseph Fiennes will star as Wim Hof in 'The Iceman' credit:Bang Showbiz
Joseph Fiennes will star as Wim Hof in 'The Iceman' credit:Bang Showbiz

Joseph Fiennes is to play iceman Wim Hof in a new film.

The 51-year-old star has been cast as the eccentric endurance athlete in 'The Iceman', which begins filming in November.

Kevin Macdonald will direct the movie from a script written by Jeff Pope.

The Dutch athlete promotes the Wim Hof Method, a combination of exposure to the cold, yoga and meditation. Hof developed the techniques to help him deal with depression after his wife Olaya took her own life in 1995.

Hof holds the record for the furthest swim under ice and the fastest half-marathon run barefoot on ice and snow. He has recently been demonstrating his techniques on the BBC TV series 'Freeze The Fear with Wim Hof'.

Macdonald is quoted by the Daily Mail newspaper as saying: "Wim is someone who has suffered a terrible trauma and finds an entirely new way to deal with the depression that comes with that experience.

"Jeff Pope has written a brilliant script – full of humour, humanity and emotions. We are introduced to the Dutch suburbs, crazy stunts, a broken family, a love affair and an epiphany. This is a film about resilience, second chances and the amazing ability of the body and mind to heal."

Joseph has played the villain Fred Waterford in the TV series 'The Handmaid's Tale' and admitted that he was surprised to be recognised for his work on the show when out and about in public.

Speaking last year, he said: "Strangely enough it happens even when I’m wearing a mask and sunglasses which is very odd. Sometimes you hear someone mumble, 'Blessed be the fruit”, and you think how the hell did they work that out?

"But I guess I must emanate this awful spirit of Fred - I don’t know what it is! I do get people coming up but they love the show and can see the concept that I’m an actor playing a part - they don’t come up and punch me in the face there and then!"