Jonathan Rhys Meyers

BATD ON Apr 01, 2010 AT 3:59 pm

Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Jonathan Rhys Meyers has an interesting discovery story. At age 16, he was expelled from his school in Cork, Ireland, because of truancy. With an excess of time on his hands, he began hanging out at pool halls all the time. One day, casting directors came to his favourite hall in search of Irish boys for the new movie War of the Buttons.

Although he wasn’t chosen for the role, they told him to pursue a career in acting, so he did. In 1994, without any formal acting training, he made his acting debut in A Man of No Importance.

He continued working on the big screen, starring in several films including Velvet Goldmine and Bend It Like Beckham. For fear of being typecast in boyish roles like these, he began an intense fitness regime in 2004. He was able to gain 25 extra pounds so he could be considered for tougher, more masculine roles.

After this transformation, Meyers worked with several huge stars. He was the lead in Woody Allen’s film Match Point, opposite Scarlett Johansson, in 2004. He said working with Allen was a strange experience because he doesn’t believe in rehearsing, but it did the process did go faster. Next, he got to work with Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible: III.

Meyers has also played two very different kings. First, he was the “King of Rock and Roll” in the CBS mini-series Elvis. He beat out 200 other actors who auditioned and eventually won the Golden Globe for best actor. He then played King Henry VIII in The Tudors. Some think the sex in the show is too much, making it too unrealistic. Meyers agrees it isn’t realistic, but it is entertainment, and the sole purpose of the show is to entertain. He has admitted that this role has been extremely challenging because he had to create the intimidating, powerful presence of someone who is 6’4” and 300 pounds, while he is only 5’10”. His work has paid off though. He was nominated for a Golden Globe and won an Irish Film and Television Award.

After working on the small screen, Meyers has returned to Tinseltown with two films in 2010. From Paris With Love is his first. He stars as a personal assistant to the US ambassador to France who finds out he is the target of a crime ring. With help from John Travolta‘s character, they hope to save themselves and Paris. Shelter, his second film this year, is a thriller also starring Julianne Moore. She is a psychiatrist and he is her patient with multiple personalities. She figures out all of his personalities have been murdered and needs to uncover the reason why.

Rumours are circulating that Rhys Meyers is in talks of working on the new film, Alfred Nobbs. Amanda Seyfreid, Orlando Bloom, and Glenn Close have already been cast in the film.

Meyers has played so many different characters and says, “That’s why I do different roles, so people can see your range.” Adding to his range, he is also a talented musician. He and his three younger brothers followed in their father’s footsteps. He has sung for many of the soundtracks to his films, and two were even considered for Academy Awards.

Although he has such a strong career, his personal life is a bit shaky. Meyers has been to rehab on three separate occasions for alcohol abuse. 3 months after his most recent stint in rehab, he was arrested in a bar at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris for attacking and threatening to kill a staff member.

Hopefully Jonathan will figure everything out so we can continue seeing his piercing eyes on screen!

Shelter is out in cinemas 9th April. 

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