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Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Jonathan Rhys Meyers

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Also Known As: Jonathan Michael Francis O'Keeffe Died:
Born: July 27, 1977 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Dublin, IE Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers first gained notoriety for his lead role in Todd Haynes' "Velvet Goldmine" (1998), a surreal examination of 1970s glam rock in which he portrayed a sort of fictional hybrid of David Bowie and Iggy Pop. Meyers gave captivating performances in several controversial and little-seen films including Ang Lee's "Ride with the Devil" (1999) and the screen adaptation of "Prozac Nation" (2000) before receiving a profile boost in the British hit "Bend it Like Beckham" (2004). Following an Emmy-nominated performance as "Elvis" (2005) in the miniseries of the same name, Rhys Meyers began to appear in high-profile American features "Match Point" (2005) and "Mission: Impossible III (2006). For his challenging work portraying the voracious King Henry VIII in "The Tudors" (Showtime, 2007-2010), Rhys Meyers received across-the-board accolades. However, despite his well-received work in film and television, Meyers' reputation as a somewhat troubled actor with multiple rehab stints under his belt would occasionally cast a shadow of uncertainty over his promising career, but these struggles never diminished his raw talent.

Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers first gained notoriety for his lead role in Todd Haynes' "Velvet Goldmine" (1998), a surreal examination of 1970s glam rock in which he portrayed a sort of fictional hybrid of David Bowie and Iggy Pop. Meyers gave captivating performances in several controversial and little-seen films including Ang Lee's "Ride with the Devil" (1999) and the screen adaptation of "Prozac Nation" (2000) before receiving a profile boost in the British hit "Bend it Like Beckham" (2004). Following an Emmy-nominated performance as "Elvis" (2005) in the miniseries of the same name, Rhys Meyers began to appear in high-profile American features "Match Point" (2005) and "Mission: Impossible III (2006). For his challenging work portraying the voracious King Henry VIII in "The Tudors" (Showtime, 2007-2010), Rhys Meyers received across-the-board accolades. However, despite his well-received work in film and television, Meyers' reputation as a somewhat troubled actor with multiple rehab stints under his belt would occasionally cast a shadow of uncertainty over his promising career, but these struggles never diminished his raw talent.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Byrd & the Bees (2015)
3.
 Another Me (2014)
4.
 Panda Eyes (2013)
6.
 Shelter (2013)
7.
9.
 Bronte (2008)
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in Cork, Ireland; discovered by Hubbard Casting in a pool hall there
:
Unsuccessfully auditioned for the lead in the feature "The War of the Buttons"
:
First professional work, landed role in a Knorr soup commercial
1994:
Made feature debut in a bit role in "A Man of No Importance"
1996:
First significant part, Finbar in "The Disappearance of Finbar"
1996:
Landed pivotal role as the assassin in Neil Jordan's "Michael Collins"
1996:
Appeared in the quirky fantasy-comedy "The Killer Tongue"
1996:
Portrayed the young Samson in the TNT TV-movie "Samson and Delilah"
1997:
Co-starred with Matthew Modine in "The Maker"; aired on HBO in the USA
1997:
Played Kevin Boyle, the leader of a gang that bullies Brad Renfro, in "Telling Lies in America"
1998:
Appeared in the British TV-movie "The Tribe"
1998:
Filmed "B. Monkey," starring as the twisted boyfriend of Rupert Everett's Paul
1998:
Had featured role as the lovestruck teenage son of a wealthy British family in the 19th Century-set drama "The Governess"
1998:
Starred as fictional glam-rock icon Brian Slade in Todd Haynes' "Velvet Goldmine"; also performed songs for the soundtrack
1999:
Played the younger incarnation of Julian Sands' documentary filmmaker in Mike Figgis' "The Loss of Sexual Innocence"
1999:
Cast by Ang Lee in the Civil War drama "Ride With the Devil," playing a ruthless killer
1999:
Featured alongside Jessica Lange in "Titus," famed theater director Julie Taymor's feature directorial debut
2002:
Had featured role in the A&E miniseries version of "The Magnificent Ambersons"
2002:
Starred as the coach of a girls football (soccer) team in "Bend It Like Beckham" opposite Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley
2003:
Cast in the feature based on the best selling novel "Prozac Nation"
2004:
Starred opposite Clive Owen in "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead"
2004:
Co-starred with Colin Farrell in Oliver Stone's "Alexander"
2005:
Portrayed American icon Elvis Presley in the CBS TV movie "Elvis"; earned an Emmy nomination for Best Actor
2005:
Played a former tennis pro opposite Scarlett Johansson in Woody Allen's "Match Point"
2006:
Cast in the J.J. Abrams-helmed "Mission: Impossible III" opposite Tom Cruise
2007:
Cast as Henry VIII on the Showtime series "The Tudors"; earned Golden Globe (2008, 2009) nominations for Best Actor in a Drama Series
2007:
Co-starred with Jonathan Keri Russell and Freddie Highmore in the child-prodigy drama "August Rush"
2010:
Co-starred with John Travolta in "From Paris with Love"; co-written by Luc Besson
2012:
Cast in the period drama "Albert Nobbs" opposite Glenn Close
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Rhys Meyers received the inaugural Guinness Award for Outstanding Young Actor (1996).

"I went up to Dublin and met Neil [Jordan] at the Davenport hotel. I was sitting in the lobby waiting for the audition and I'll always remember the carpet, this beautiful royal blue carpet I was looking down at while I was waiting. There were two other guys waiting and talking away, and one of them had met Neil before. I just sat there saying nothing. They went in to meet Neil and when they came out talking and laughing, I thought, 'that's it'. Auditions always make me nervous, anyway, and that made me feel even worse. But I went in and it was great. Neil didn't ask me to do anything for the role. He just sat down and talked to me. The next day he rang my agent and cast me."---Jonathan Rhys Meyers quoted in The Irish Times, December 7, 1996.

Rhys Meyers on his role in Sandra Goldbacher's "The Governess": "It was with a first-time director, which I always like because I'm new to this business, and I think, wow, maybe I can do something in this that will make the director great. We're all helping each other up."---quoted in Daily News, July 28, 1998.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers, explaining how early rejections made him more driven in his pursuit of an acting career: "It drove me to madness. And it drove me to an anger, a hunger to where I wanted to prove them wrong and so I kept going for auditions. I got rejection after rejection. I thought I was fighting Michael Tyson at one point because I was just getting beaten so much, beaten so much, beaten so much. And then ... I got a role. It was like punching back. I think I've knocked them out now."---Quoted to New York August 3, 1998.

"When you want to be an actor, especially in films, you've got to have a certain arrogance, but I'm looking at things in the long term, because a star is very short term, you only see it when it explodes."---Rhys Meyers in Rolling Stone, August 20, 1998.

"I don't love acting. How can you love something when you sit around 12 hours a day and work 10 minutes a day? I'm just doing it because it keeps me off the streets and out of jail."---Jonathan Rhys Meyers quoted in Jane, November 1998.

Rhys Meyers on how he approaches character: "As opposed to being romantic and poetic about it, I start walking hand in hand with my own honesty about myself. I would never sit down and study a character. The character is in me and all I have to do is bring it to the surface, so I look really truthfully at myself and what I am. If you're giving an honest emotion and you're not trying to fake anything, it's going to be beautiful because honesty is what people feel, essentially, and it can turn into art. Every character I play is just an aspect of who I am. Everybody has every emotion in the world. Some people aren't able to surface them and I'm lucky enough that I can."---quoted in Interview, December 1998.

"I'd love to just make films in Ireland because I'd be at home. But I don't like playing Irish characters because I want to play as many characters as I can and make a fool of myself until somebody finally goes, 'That's crap.' Then I'll go and play Irish fellas."---Rhys Meyers quoted in London's Evening Standard, November 4, 1999.

"People's perception of me was that I was quite a feral character and there was something quite dangerous about me," the actor said. "Then I did 'Beckham' and people said, 'Oh, he's actually a sweet boy, too.'"---Rhys-Meyers quoted to CNN.com, May 6, 2005.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Toni Collette. Actor. No longer together.

Family close complete family listing

brother:
Alan Rhys Meyers. Musician. Younger.
brother:
Jamie Rhys Meyers. Musician. Younger.

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