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Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Birthday: 27 July 1977, Dublin, Ireland
Birth Name: Jonathan Michael Francis O'Keefe
Height: 177 cm

Jonathan Rhys Meyers was born Jonathan Michael Francis O'Keefe on July 27, 1977, in Dublin, Ireland, to Mary Geraldine (Meyers) and John O'Keeffe, a musician. He and his family moved to Coun ...Show more

Jonathan Rhys Meyers
(On Alexander (2004)) I did it just basically to work with Oliver Stone, but there wasn't enough wor Show more (On Alexander (2004)) I did it just basically to work with Oliver Stone, but there wasn't enough work in it for me. I shouldn't have done it. I actually made a point of cutting myself out of two major scenes because I didn't want to be backroom dressing. I don't think Oliver really knew what he was taking on. Hide
I've never gone to acting school and I never will, so I'm learning about the business from the peopl Show more I've never gone to acting school and I never will, so I'm learning about the business from the people who are in the business. It doesn't seem like I work at all. And the unknown is always exciting. Hide
History has a way of skewing people's view. Playing Henry can be very, very difficult at times but i Show more History has a way of skewing people's view. Playing Henry can be very, very difficult at times but it's also very, very freeing because there's not one person in the world - I don't care how many books they've read - there's not one person in the world who can tell me what Henry talked like, what he walked like, how he behaved himself. Nobody can tell me absolutely that that's the way it was because they don't know. It's all guess work. Hide
The hardest part about acting is realizing it doesn't matter. The hardest part about acting is realizing it doesn't matter.
(On being a professional actor) I started acting at 18 years old because I got a lead role in a movi Show more (On being a professional actor) I started acting at 18 years old because I got a lead role in a movie. It wasn't like I was a kid going, "When I grow up, I want to be an actor." So I think what drives me is I found something very young by mistake that I could do. But that doesn't necessarily mean I love it all the time. Because it's not lovable. The process of acting itself for me is really simple. It's not brain surgery. You take the character, and you play it as naturally as you possibly can. That's it. There's no greater or higher purpose. What makes acting difficult is the business end of it. Because no matter how genius an actor is or how many millions of dollars he makes, he can look back in his past and see a sea of rejection--even the people who are at the top of their game. Just because someone is like Leonardo DiCaprio doesn't mean he gets to do anything he wants. He has to fight for those roles the same as anybody else. Now, he is fighting on a different level, but it's still a fight. What's difficult about the prospect is trying to reinvent your self-confidence, even though it's constantly being torn down. And, of course, for every 10 people who like you in a film, there's 10 people who won't. I read one critique of me in Velvet Goldmine that said I had all the charisma of chewed bubblegum. I think I kept that one in my scrapbook. Hide
You get on a set and immediately people are wiping your ass for you, and nobody tells you when you'r Show more You get on a set and immediately people are wiping your ass for you, and nobody tells you when you're being an asshole. I'm sure nobody working for Tom Cruise would turn around and say, 'Tom, don't do that anymore because you're a dickhead to do that'. Actually, he might quite like it. Hide
It's not about money, fame, people knowing you. It's not even about enjoying yourself and being happ Show more It's not about money, fame, people knowing you. It's not even about enjoying yourself and being happy. It's about achieving something that's brilliant, creating something that's brilliant, for other people. For yourself, you're always going to be unsatisfied, but if somebody comes up to me and says, 'That was a brilliant part, and I really, really got it'. That's essentially it. Hide
I think it is important to stay close to your roots and be true to yourself, be honest. I don't want Show more I think it is important to stay close to your roots and be true to yourself, be honest. I don't want to play games in Hollywood and pretend to be someone else. I still suffer from insecurity and that situation would make it worse. Hide
(When he first realized he wanted to be an actor full-time) I think when I went on to the set of Mic Show more (When he first realized he wanted to be an actor full-time) I think when I went on to the set of Michael Collins which was the second film that I shot. And it wasn't even the acting it was that whole atmosphere and suddenly I was on a film set with Liam Neeson and Alan Rickman and Neil Jordan and it was the whole buzz about it and the big cameras and suddenly it was kind of like this is a pretty fucking cool job. Hide
... I wouldn't date an actress. There's only room for one actor in my life and I'm it. Too difficult Show more ... I wouldn't date an actress. There's only room for one actor in my life and I'm it. Too difficult. On the one hand, they understand the job. But on the other hand, it's very competitive within the relationship. Two actors, say one becomes a mega-star and the other doesn't. Happens all the time. So one is getting so much attention, and the other person feels jealous. Hide
I got paid 20 grand for my first film. And that's the lowest I ever got paid. I got paid 20 grand for my first film. And that's the lowest I ever got paid.
To get up in front of a camera of course you have to have a certain amount of vanity. All acting is Show more To get up in front of a camera of course you have to have a certain amount of vanity. All acting is narcissism in some way. Would I be a narcissistic person? Absolutely. Am I vain? Absolutely. Any actor who sits down in front of you and tells you they're not vain its bullshit. I'm sure a lot of actors are like 'Oh no, I'm not vain I just look fabulous everyday'. Now they'd like to believe that themselves. Its all very carefully manipulated, and I've met and worked with some of the most beautiful actors in the world and then you see them on a cover of a magazine they don't look like that, any of them, they just don't. Hide
[making a comparison between film and TV] You can spend ten hours exploring a story on TV and you ge Show more [making a comparison between film and TV] You can spend ten hours exploring a story on TV and you get to be part of people's furniture and come into their home and be part of their night. The characters become people that viewers feel like they know. When you're watching Breaking Bad (2008), you're actually thinking about Mr White - Why is he doing what he's doing? The process for television is much more personal and you can watch a box set for ten hours in bed and really get into it. Hide
(On the hardest aspect of playing Elvis Presley) To get that energy. Because Elvis did a lot of thin Show more (On the hardest aspect of playing Elvis Presley) To get that energy. Because Elvis did a lot of things. Most people ask, 'What was harder? The dance moves? The guitar playing? The singing or the lip-synching?' I'll tell you what it was - the energy. If you're playing someone like Elvis Presley, the Elvis Presley that I know from reading and researching, you do it from the heart. So, I had to really put myself in those shoes. It was very, very hard, having to pretend to be Elvis Presley, because I'm an actor doing it, but unless you wake up every morning being Elvis Presley, you really don't know what that feels like. Hide
My dad was around a bit, but as a musician, they have to travel the roads. My dad was around a bit, but as a musician, they have to travel the roads.
But actors, everything is so physical. You're basically the only product you have. The hardest part Show more But actors, everything is so physical. You're basically the only product you have. The hardest part of acting is realizing it doesn't matter. I'm going to try and not take it too seriously because, if I do, I would really wreck my head. Hide
The hardest part about playing Henry has always been the hardest part about playing Henry. It's not Show more The hardest part about playing Henry has always been the hardest part about playing Henry. It's not like when I played Elvis or even 'Match Point' where I could look in the mirror and I could see the character. I can't look in the mirror and see Henry. I have to see my own version of Henry. Hide
I auditioned for Tigerland and I was furious when I found out that Colin (Farrell) was doing it. But Show more I auditioned for Tigerland and I was furious when I found out that Colin (Farrell) was doing it. But then when I saw the movie, there was nobody else that could make it like Colin made it. He was like this beautiful, beautiful cocktail of Marlon Brando in The Men and Montgomery Clift in Red River. He was sensitive and attitudeish - lawyerish - but at the same time so boyish, so sexual, so misled. He played it beautifully. I could never have done that. After I saw the movie I said, 'Okay, I see what I need to learn'." Hide
Even though I've had the body of work I've had, and the success I've had, I do not rest on my laurel Show more Even though I've had the body of work I've had, and the success I've had, I do not rest on my laurels whatsoever. Hide
I liked traveling when I was younger, now I travel for work. When I was young I just traveled. My pl Show more I liked traveling when I was younger, now I travel for work. When I was young I just traveled. My plan was to travel, work, travel, work. So I haven't done some of my own traveling for a while, but I will. Hide
(2001) I'd love to do a big blockbuster action film, it'd be great, can you imagine? Pay me, no prob Show more (2001) I'd love to do a big blockbuster action film, it'd be great, can you imagine? Pay me, no problem. I'd love to do a huge big 'Mike and Jerry' type film. They're really great but I don't think Micheal Bay or Jerry Bruckheimer think too fondly of me. Wait until I go off and get an Oscar nomination, then they'll love me to bits. Hide
I think, I'd like to do that (marry) at some point in my life. But I just turned 31 and it's all abo Show more I think, I'd like to do that (marry) at some point in my life. But I just turned 31 and it's all about my work right how. I've got a good body of work, a bunch of nominations and some awards and now is the time to go forward and do proper, real male roles because I worked through my 20s. It's very difficult to cast somebody in their 20s because you can only cast them as a teenager and they don't really have the experience to play the male roles yet. So I think it's when you get into your 30s that those roles actually come. Hide
(On if he saw similarities between him and Elvis Presley) Yeah, of course. I know, I saw the things Show more (On if he saw similarities between him and Elvis Presley) Yeah, of course. I know, I saw the things I have in common with Elvis and I latched onto them, like he was a poor boy from Mississippi, I was a poor boy from Cork. We didn't get on well at school, either of us. We weren't liked by the students particularly. We were very, very different in the way we dressed, in the way we looked. We both bought houses for our Mama out of our first big paycheck. We both daydreamed and then went and fought to make our dreams a reality. Hide
(On what satisfaction he gets as an actor) What do I get out of it at the end of the day? Money. I g Show more (On what satisfaction he gets as an actor) What do I get out of it at the end of the day? Money. I get to travel around to different places. I get--for 10 to 12 hours a day--to not really be me. It's great escapism. It can be very fucking therapeutic. But it's not something that's immediately satisfying. Sure, it's satisfying when a film you're in breaks $300 million at the box office, and the next thing is you get a $5 million offer, and there are awards flying about the place. But more often it's not. Every so often someone comes up and says, "Hey, I saw you in that movie. It was great!" And I'm like, "Yeah, thanks very much." And that's where the satisfaction comes in. Hide
I've had a lot of holidays booked and canceled in my life which also makes it very, very difficult t Show more I've had a lot of holidays booked and canceled in my life which also makes it very, very difficult to have a relationship because moving the way an actor moves is the same way an arch criminal moves: they've got to GO (he snaps his fingers). If you get a phone call from Steven Spielberg or Martin Scorsese on the eleventh hour, you've been offered this role - bang, gone. Which is why I've stayed away from marriage and children so I can be the gypsy if I want to. Hide
Being an actor is the easiest job. Just say the lines. Being an actor is the easiest job. Just say the lines.
I felt lower then than I did when I was 13 years old, I remember getting out of the limo with Toni a Show more I felt lower then than I did when I was 13 years old, I remember getting out of the limo with Toni and Christian Bale and walking towards all these photographers, and they were going, 'Hey! Toni! Look over here! Hey, Christian, here!' And I just walked on because nobody had an idea who I was. It was a horrible experience. - Cannes Film Festival 1998. Hide
I think I'd really like to be someone who would be known for being a nice guy. I think I'd really like to be someone who would be known for being a nice guy.
[About how he doesn't look like Henry the eighth] Yet none of the actors who are in the series look Show more [About how he doesn't look like Henry the eighth] Yet none of the actors who are in the series look anything like the people they're playing. But I'm the only one that gets any flak for it because Henry was so immortalized by Holbein's paintings. That's not necessarily what Henry looked like. It's just great art. Hide
I was always going to be different, and everyone knew it. I was always going to be different, and everyone knew it.
I find actors who play nasty guys in movies are the nicest guys in real life, and the opposite then Show more I find actors who play nasty guys in movies are the nicest guys in real life, and the opposite then goes for heroes. Hide
(On Match Point (2005)) It's strange this film was not difficult to make in any way. It was the easi Show more (On Match Point (2005)) It's strange this film was not difficult to make in any way. It was the easiest and most relaxing film I've ever done. Hide
[Elvis Presley] was not a great businessman but he was a great artist and he needed somebody like Co Show more [Elvis Presley] was not a great businessman but he was a great artist and he needed somebody like Colonel Tom Parker to get him there. I don't think Elvis would have existed without Colonel Parker, he wouldn't have been anywhere near as famous. So you take the good with the bad. Hide
(On becoming a successful actor) If you want to work, if you want to be successful, you have to stru Show more (On becoming a successful actor) If you want to work, if you want to be successful, you have to struggle, you have to travel. You have to forgo relationships because they don't work, which I've learnt to my detriment. You have to forgo friends. Hide
A lot of men are very uptight, but I don't distinguish between male and female beauty. Beauty is bea Show more A lot of men are very uptight, but I don't distinguish between male and female beauty. Beauty is beauty. Hide
(On his role in The Tudors (2007)) I based him on what I would do myself if I had absolute power at Show more (On his role in The Tudors (2007)) I based him on what I would do myself if I had absolute power at 28, 29 years old. I didn't have the physicality of "Henry", you know? And so I had to do it all internally. I had to create this incredibly strong, powerful man without being sort of like 6' 4" and 300 pounds. I had to make his intellect bigger than anybody else's. I had to make his ambition bigger than anybody else's. I had to make his energy bigger than anybody else's. And I had to make him the most dangerous man in court. Hide
I don't have many friends that are actors. It's a very faux environment. I don't call people up afte Show more I don't have many friends that are actors. It's a very faux environment. I don't call people up after films. Hide
[on working with Victoria Smurfit in Dracula (2013)] There was a moment where we came up close and I Show more [on working with Victoria Smurfit in Dracula (2013)] There was a moment where we came up close and I ripped her top open and in return Victoria just walloped me right in the face! For a second I was stunned at how vicious she had been but it really adds to the scene. Hide
As a kid I spent an awful lot of time pretending I was somebody else. I think growing up in the 1980 Show more As a kid I spent an awful lot of time pretending I was somebody else. I think growing up in the 1980s wasn't very exciting so you kind of create this secret life of an alternate person. You pretend to be whatever you need to be that day, so you live in that dream world. So it's very easy to be an actor. I did a lot of acting when I was a kid. Not professionally, just to get myself in and out of trouble. Hide
When somebody looks at the body of work that I've done and they put Bend It like Beckham, Match Poin Show more When somebody looks at the 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. That's why I do different roles so people can see your range. Hide
If there's a good script and a good part, you can be guaranteed that all the best actors in the worl Show more If there's a good script and a good part, you can be guaranteed that all the best actors in the world are trying to get it. There's no such thing as once you get to a certain stage, everything becomes easy. Everything becomes harder, you want the best roles, the biggest roles. And so does everyone else. Hide
There will be ups and downs, but it's important to remember you're on your own beautiful journey and Show more There will be ups and downs, but it's important to remember you're on your own beautiful journey and once you're on it you have to see it through to its conclusion and try to never be afraid to do anything because what is the worse that can happen? Hide
At some point in your career as an actor you're going to have to get on a Stairmaster. The days of H Show more At some point in your career as an actor you're going to have to get on a Stairmaster. The days of Harris and O'Toole are gone. If you want to be at the top of your game, you can't be out partying with your friends, or having six pints a night down the pub. Hide
Jonathan Rhys Meyers's FILMOGRAPHY
as Actor (33)
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