Jonathan Rhys Meyers

BATD ON Mar 02, 2010 AT 1:51 pm

Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Very rarely can someone in Hollywood play such a wide range of characters without losing their own personal style.

One of these bright actors is none other than Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Perfecting roles from a Tudor king to the King of Rock and Roll, Mr. Meyers has impressed us time and time again. But of course, acting wasn’t always his plan.

Born in Dublin and raised in Cork, Meyers was born Jonathan Michael Francis O’Keefe. He was raised by his single mother and even spent some time in orphanages. As a result of his troubled childhood, he didn’t like school and was kicked out at the age of sixteen. Although acting wasn’t even in his mind, he was spotted by a talent-seeker and asked to audition for a movie role. Ultimately, though he didn’t get the role, the agent continued to pursue him and eventually landed him a commercial and several movie roles.

Changing his name to Meyers, his mother’s maiden name, he began acting very seriously and has held numerous roles. “When somebody looks at my body of work that I’ve done and they put Bend It Like Beckham, Match Point, August Rush, The Tudor’s and Elvis next to each other they can see very many different layers of what I can do as an actor,” he says of his choice of roles. “That’s why I do different roles, so people can see your range.”

Meyers is also a talented musician, along with his three younger brothers, following in the footsteps of their father. He has sung for many of the soundtracks to his films, and two were even considered for Academy Awards. However, this extra talent doesn’t mean he finds acting simple. He admitted that playing Henry VIII in The Tudors was extremely challenging because he had to create the intimidating, powerful presence of someone who is 6’4” and 300 pounds, while Meyers is only 5’10”.

Regardless of his struggles, he has definitely been recognised for his achievements. He won a Golden Globe for his role portraying Elvis in the television mini-series, and was also nominated for his part in The Tudors, a role for which he won an Irish Film and Television Award.

Look out for him in the upcoming films Shelter and At Swim-Two-Birds and the recently released From Paris With Love.

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