Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Jonathan Rhys Meyers
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Name: Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Real name: Jonathan Michael Francis O`Keeffe

Who is:

Birth date: (46 y.o.)

Place of birth: Dublin

Height: 5'10 ft ()

Weight: 154 lb (70 kg)

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Jonathan Rhys Meyers: opinions

Jonathan Rhys Meyers Biography

Jonathan Rhys Meyers is a Hollywood actor of Irish descent, who gained worldwide fame for his leading role in the musical biographical drama "Elvis." For his portrayal of Elvis Presley, Jonathan was honored with a "Golden Globe" and the "Chopard" award at the Cannes Film Festival. In another significant project in his filmography, the series "The Tudors," Meyers appeared as Henry VIII and again received rave reviews.
Actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Childhood, Youth, Family

Jonathan Michael Francis O'Keeffe (the actor's full name) was born in the summer of 1977 to Dublin natives Mary Geraldine O'Keeffe and John O'Keeffe. He was born premature - in the eighth month - and was on the brink of death. His parents were not married at the time. Having heard from doctors a grim prognosis and advice to quickly name and baptize their son, they hastened to follow it, and before that, they got married in the Church of Saint Peter in Cork.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in his childhood
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in his childhood
Jonathan spent some time in hospitals, but soon the boy strengthened, and his life was no longer in danger. The family settled in Cork. Jonathan's father tried to earn money wherever he could: he worked in a factory, was a forklift driver. Money was desperately needed, especially since after Jonathan they had three more sons born one after another - Jamie, Alan, and Paul.

But the actor's father's true love was always folk music. He mentioned in an interview:
Those were hard days. I was 21 years old, and I already had four children. Music didn't bring money, and I had to spend a lot of time away from home.
At some point, he left his wife and sons, embarking on a free journey through musical waves, but he did not forget about his children, visited them from time to time. His mother and wife took care of the little ones, dividing the boys between them evenly: two lived with their mother, two - with their grandmother.
This Time - Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Jonathan grew up as a troublemaker, school lessons didn't interest him much, he preferred games and hanging out with his street friends. However, he had a special passion in his childhood, which the actor confessed much later:
As a child, I spent a lot of time pretending to be someone else - playing, imagining. I think growing up in the eighties was not that exciting, and so it was necessary to create this secret life, as if you are someone else. You pretend that you can be anyone and live in this dream world. So being an actor is no trouble for me. I played a lot like an actor when I was a child. Not professionally, but just to get into trouble and avoid it.
The future actor was sixteen when he was expelled from school for constant truancy. He got a job in a bar where wealthy people came to relax and play billiards. There, a rich farmer named Christopher Crofts saw the young man and invited Jonathan to assist on their farm in Buttevant Co Cork. Soon, their relationship became so warm that the Crofts started calling Jonathan their son, and the actor still considers their home his parental home.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in his youth
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in his youth
A fortunate coincidence brought the young man with an attractive appearance to the casting director David Puttnam. He also offered Jonathan to participate in the casting of the project "War of the Buttons". Although the first auditions were unsuccessful, he was soon invited to shoot a commercial for bouillon cubes. Having received his first fee, the young man firmly decided to become an actor and took the stage name Rhys Meyers.

Acting Career

Jonathan's debut in cinema was a tiny role in the film "A Man of No Importance" (1994). A couple of years later, he already played the lead role in the mystical drama "The Disappearance of Finbar".
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the film “The Disappearance of Finbar”
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the film “The Disappearance of Finbar”
Soon, the young actor was noticed and offered a new lead role as musician Brian Slade in the drama "Velvet Goldmine" (1998). His character was based on the flamboyant David Bowie. On set, Meyers worked alongside Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale, and Toni Collette.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the film “Velvet Goldmine”
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the film “Velvet Goldmine”
The film won a BAFTA award, and Jonathan received a nomination for best newcomer of the year. However, he later complained:
”Velvet Goldmine” was a difficult film. People expected a commercial movie, but Todd Haynes' film is eccentric: he is a philosopher with a camera. He is one of the few directors who implement their idea on screen without sparing expenses… I felt wooden and limited. It was very tiring to shoot. I remember one moment where it was too much. In a scene with Ewan McGregor: he in his cool leather suit, and me in my ridiculous polka dot one, everything fell out of my hands. And I said: “I look like a Christmas tree, and he looks like the god of Rock!”
At the turn of the millennium, the world premiere of the TV series "Gormenghast" took place, in which Rhys Meyers brilliantly embodied the main villain, Steerpike.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the series “Gormenghast”
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the series “Gormenghast”
Alongside Keira Knightley, the actor starred in the comedy "Bend It Like Beckham," and with Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie and Jared Leto – in the historical film "Alexander".
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the film “Bend It Like Beckham”
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the film “Bend It Like Beckham”
The real breakthrough came thanks to the role of Elvis Presley in the biographical series "Elvis" (2005). Meyers was chosen from more than 300 candidates. The series was nominated for Emmy and Golden Globe awards; the "Globe" went to Jonathan in the category "Best Actor in a Miniseries".
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the miniseries “Elvis”
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the miniseries “Elvis”
Another notable project in Jonathan's film career was the costume series "The Tudors", where he played King Henry VIII. The actor set a condition for the producers: he would not gain weight, dye his hair red, or wear a fake beard. He created a completely new image of a selfish, spoiled, pampered king, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe and two film awards in Ireland and Monaco.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the series “The Tudors”
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the series “The Tudors”
Working with John Travolta in Pierre Morel's action film "From Paris with Love" was an interesting experience for Rhys Meyers. The script for the film was written by Luc Besson, who also served as the main producer of the film.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the film From Paris with Love
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the film From Paris with Love
In 2012, the actor starred in the film "Belle du Seigneur" with model Natalia Vodianova, and a year later appeared on screens as Vlad Tepes in the horror film "Dracula". Another lead role was given to Jonathan in the thriller "Black Butterfly", where his partner was Antonio Banderas.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the series Dracula
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the series Dracula
The years 2020-2022 have been creatively rich for Rhys Meyers. During this time, he managed to play the lead roles in five different films. For example, his character Sir James Brooke from the historical adventure drama "Edge of the World" is a real person. An adventurer and former soldier, he went to Borneo to help suppress tribal rebellions, and ended up becoming the first white Rajah, ruling for over twenty years.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers on the set of the film Edge of the World
Jonathan Rhys Meyers on the set of the film Edge of the World

Jonathan Rhys Meyers' Personal Life

The actor, frequently named among the most attractive Hollywood stars, has always been selective in relationships. Despite frequent rumors about affairs with co-stars, Jonathan has never confirmed them, although beauties such as Katie McGrath, Marinika Smirnova, Scarlett Johansson were rumored to be his girlfriends.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Scarlett Johansson
Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Scarlett Johansson
In 2004, Rhys Meyers started dating Rina Hammer, the daughter of a beauty business owner. Their relationship lasted seven years. The girl supported her beloved after the death of his mother in 2007, but the actor, being depressed, started drinking heavily. This led to their breakup.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Rina Hammer
Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Rina Hammer
Jonathan started a romance with Irish TV presenter Katie Larmour, but their relationship didn't last long. He returned to Rina and even proposed to her. Unfortunately, they broke up for good at the beginning of 2012. The actor was on the verge of suicide, and his friends saved him. He agreed to undergo treatment in a rehabilitation center and started to recover.

Soon, Jonathan was seen in the company of Australian model Victoria Keon-Cohen, but their romance didn't last even a year.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Victoria Keon-Cohen
Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Victoria Keon-Cohen
In the spring of 2014, Rhys Meyers met actress Mara Lane. The couple dated for eight months, after which they got engaged. In 2016, two joyful events happened in Jonathan's life: he married Mara, and soon their first child Wolf was born.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers with his wife and son
Jonathan Rhys Meyers with his wife and son
The following year brought the actor new challenges: he was seen in a state of severe alcohol intoxication at Dublin airport. Lane defended her husband by publishing an explanation of his state on her social media page:
We have sad news: Jonathan and I lost our second child. We were eagerly awaiting him, especially Jonathan, who took this very hard. Now we're trying to deal with our grief. It's hard to fight depression when you have problems and suffer from alcoholism. But Jonathan is the strongest person I know. He turns his problems and pain into art. I don't know anyone else who has gone through as much as he has and still achieved such success.
In 2020, the actor was caught drunk driving and had a car accident. He was fined $500 and received a 12-month probation period.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers Now

Despite battling alcohol issues, Jonathan remains in demand in the film industry. In the summer of 2022, the thriller "The Aspern Papers," in which he played the lead role, was premiered.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the movie 'The Aspern Papers'
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the movie 'The Aspern Papers'
In addition, Rhys Meyers' filmography includes a collaboration with actress Elena Kampouris in the sci-fi film "Wifelike," where he once again took on the role of the main character. Jonathan discussed what intrigued him about the script and the character William in an interview:
He starts as a human. She starts as artificial intelligence. By the end of the movie, he became AI, and she became human. The story is about this transcendence. How one man can lose his humanity, while one woman can gain hers. I was very interested in this twist of fate.
In 2023, the actor could be seen in several feature films: the thrillers "97 Minutes" and "Ambush," the horror movie "Disquiet," and the action film "Mercy."

Interesting Facts

  • Jonathan Rhys Meyers' younger brothers live with their father in Jersey. All three of them became professional musicians, working in the band Suzy’s Field. Jamie is the drummer, and Alan and Paul are guitarists. Jonathan once joked that, unlike his brothers, he has no ear for music or voice, but in fact, the actor knows how to play the flute, and he does have a voice: he performed all the vocal parts himself in the movie "Velvet Goldmine".
    Jonathan Rhys Meyers – The Ballad of Maxwell Demon
  • Jonathan Rhys Meyers spent his first paycheck from a "big movie" on buying a spacious home for his mother. Despite the complicated relationship with Mary Geraldine during his teenage years, the actor loved her dearly, leaving all grudges behind, and was deeply affected by her death in 2012.
  • Neighbors describe Jonathan as an intelligent and well-read individual. The actor likes to spend his free time reading books. He enjoys Cormac McCarthy's novel "Blood Meridian" and the works of Mark Twain. But he only allows himself to relax after he has made his house perfectly clean. He begins every Sunday morning with cleaning.
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