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Jonathan Rhys Meyers Premiere Magazine

Jonathan Rhys Meyers Premiere Magazine
Irish heartthrob Jonathan Rhys Meyers has been blessed with piercing blue eyes, sculpted cheekbones, and truckloads of talent.  Now, more good fortune: a starring role in Mission: Impossible III.  And how random of a photo shoot location.  A Chinese barber shop?!

Jonathan Rhys Meyers // Premiere Magazine // June 2006

Jonathan Rhys-Meyers possesses an alien beauty so startling that to see him walk into an almost empty Manhattan coffee shop is like spying a tropical bird in a blizzard. The 28-year-old actor, quietly dressed in dark jeans and an oversize cardigan while on break from filming Kirsten Sheridan‘s August Rush, still exudes the blue-eyed, pillow-lipped charisma that helped get him discovered in an Irish pool hall at the age of 16. Since then, audiences have been mesmerized by his diverse onscreen personae: the writhing blue-haired rocker-who sang his own songs-in Todd Haynes‘s 1998 Ode to Clam Rock, Velvet Goldmine; the sexy coach in the sleeper hit Bend it Like Beckham; the wicked George Osborne in Vanity Fair. Last year, he morphed into Elvis for a CBS miniseries (which won him a Golden Globe) and into a chilling and ambitious ex-tennis pro for Woody Allen‘s Match Point. Now, Rhys Meyers is poised to join the biggest of the big boys; he’s costarring alongside Ving Rhames, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laurence Fishburne, and a guy by the name of Tom Cruise, in May’s Mission: Impossible III.

"I don’t want to do anything with sci-fi. Star Wars? Star Trek?
 I’d rather eat turpentine and piss on a brush fire." — JRM

So, we know you can’t divulge any plot points in Mission: Impossible III, but can you at least tell us what it is like to work with Tom Cruise? What’s it like inside the Tom bubble? Number one, he’s not just an actor on the set, he’s my boss, and you couldn’t ask for a nicer boss. You know how you always dream about that boss—the one that really thinks about you every day and wants to know if you are happy? Tom’s that guy.

He has a great reputation for his professionalism on set. That’s why he’s still the biggest star in the world [after] two decades. It’s an education [to work with him]. If you’re a young actor in the movies and you are starting to become successful and you really want to know how to handle your fame, work with Tom. He respects people, he knows absolutely everyone’s name, he’s kind to everyone, and it’s a lot of hard work—I’m sure by the end of the day he’s exhausted. I think it was Anthony Hopkins that called him a Tom-aton. I swear to God, he has so much energy that there’d be no lighting problems in California … you just have to plug up to Tom’s right hand.

(Continued after the jump, more scans in the gallery)

What factors are involved when you pick a project? Directors, always the directors—because I can learn from them. I’ve worked with some of the best directors in the world—not always on their greatest film, but it doesn’t matter. A great director can make an okay script into a good film, but a great script won’t go anywhere in the hands of a mediocre director. It can only be mediocre.

What did you know of Mission Impossible: III’s director, J.J. Abrams? It must have been quite a challenge for him to take on this franchise with this cast. He did it so naturally—like water off a duck’s back. I think J.J. is going to be like the next Spielberg. He’s a stadium director. You know how there are stadium rock bands like Aerosmith and Bon Jovi? J.J. is like that. He loves a big show.

You never had any formal training. How difficult was it for you to learn while on the job? It’s hard because I made all my mistakes publicly, and I grew up in front of the camera. I was once on the set of a film called B. Monkey, with Rupert Everett and Jared Harris, and they were looking at me and were like, "You haven’t trained, have you?" Critics can be really cruel. I got great reviews for Match Point, but I got four or five in England that really tore me to bits.

Do you read all of your reviews? Only the bad ones. And you read the bad ones, and you think, "Yup, he’s right! He’s the only f****** critic that understood it. I was shit. I was f****** wooden and more wooden than wood."

Do you go back and watch your old films? Oh, God, no. It’s f****** horrible—like a nightmare. Like watching your baby photos.

Do you have directors you are eager to work with?
On the top of my list is Fernando Meirelles. I think he’s fantastic. I’d love to do a film with Steven Spielberg, Milos Forman, Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan, Ridley Scott. There’s a young South African director, Sunu Gonera—I might hook up with him next year. I’d love to do something with Ang Lee again. I could sit here all day, there are so many.

It sounds like you watch a lot of films. I’m more of a DVD guy than a cinema guy. But that’s because I’m a smoker and there’s no way I can pop into an AMC for three hours. [He leans into the tape recorder.] But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to the cinema. Go to the cinema! See my movies! I like watching really crappy movies—I mean, I like watching good films too, but like I love watching Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing, Sixteen Candles. You live in London, where the tabloids are legendary. Do you find it difficult? Yeah, they’re f****** pricks. They’re pricks to everyone, though. And you’re always going to have a hard time being an Irishman in England. But I don’t give a bullocks. They don’t really even have a movie industry— they just have really talented actors who have to come to America to act. At the end of the day, I don’t get paid in sterling, I get paid in dollars.

Would you ever try acting onstage? I don’t know. If I did, it would have to be on some tiny little stage in Oslo or something where no one can see it, because I’d probably be really bad. What I would like to try is directing. I suppose I want to do it because I just want to see someone else suffer. [laughs] I think I’d definitely be a sadomasochist director; I’d have my beautiful actresses crying their hearts out in their trailers, and the actors running to call their agents. Oh, yes, I’d definitely be in the Sam Peckinpah school.

How’s that? Cruel. If they move, kill them! [laughs]

Is there a certain type of film you’d like to take on? I don’t like sci-fi—I don’t want to do anything with sci-fi. Star Wars? Star Trek? I’d rather eat turpentine and piss on a brush fire.

So it sounds like you’re pretty content at the moment.
All you have to do is work on yourself, and be happy and grateful for the good things that you have. And I am. I’m grateful these days for my life and for the things I have. I’m going to take the opportunities I have, and I’m going to ride it into the dust. [laughs] What else can I do?

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  • Elsa

    This man is just BEAUTIFUL ! :))


    yes he is, isnt he? i love irish men!

  • Ann

    God, I love this movie. I’m so happy he’s finally doing movies I don’t have to pay $50 on Amazon to see. He’s so hot, and he never fails to give the most …interesting interviews. My best friend who has declared hate for him for the past two years even had to admit how HOT he was in MI3

  • +greenpeace+

    I heart JRM too…but…why is the chinese barber(pic. no. 2) has to be included in the pictures too?I know that they used his place but…whatever…as long as JRM in it.

  • geniass

    He’s a hottie!!! *loves him*

  • liv

    Hot?This skinny freak is anything but hot in my eyes. He has the perfect features to look like a drag queen and that is a complete turn-off for me.No thanks,I’ll pass. I liked the interview though.

  • go

    he is my type. i hope he will be good actor.

  • Virenda

    First off I too, think he’s just gorgeous and so far his personality really seems to live up to the physical. His eyes are just fantastic and any man that can say Hollywood girls aren’t that pretty, makes me love him. :0)Oh and Jared thanks for visiting my site. How does it feel to be so cool that other people actually starting clapping with excitement when you visit? LOL.

  • Nikki

    He has good looking eyes, but for some reason I really don’t find him attractive at all. I think maybe it’s because he looks really small and a little too male model.

  • Lisa

    Pretensious freak. Can’t stand him

  • Lisa

    Pretensious freak. Can’t stand him

  • the tempest

    I love Jonathan dearly.

  • HOT!!


  • uh

    he’s freaky looking.

  • polly

    #6: I agree with you. He’s very talented and I like him as an actor, but he’s definitely not my type at all. He looks "pretty", but no hot to me.

  • Eire

    I’ve never really been into Irish guys, given I’m Irish myself, but this guy is one I would take home to meet the ‘rents. He is HOT HOT HOT!!!! But, I’ve heard he’s gay?? Can anyone confirm?

  • YY

    his face is like perfect, no flaws at all. i loved him in match point but all my guy friends who saw the movie invariably ask ‘is he gay’? i guess being too pretty can have its downsides too.

  • Rachel

    he is a breath of fresh air, and it’s great that he dares to speak his mind. everything he said is quite true, especially the one about england’s non-existent movie industry. hate the fact that he’s smoking though.

  • Dea

    Is he still gay/bisexual? He said he was when he did that psychadelic movie with Ewan McGregor and Christian Bale. I thought he was really attractive in the The Governess with Minnie Driver until he said he was AC/DC.

  • anon

    Yes he is gay but that doesn’t make him less hot.He’ll look better as he gets older.

  • Christina

    He is NOT gay,,he has had a girlfriend for almost 2 years now, although he may be bi sexual. Either way he is GORGEOUS

  • dan

    lol, that’s the barbarshop i go to.

  • dan

    lol, that’s the barber shop i go to.

  • j4r3d

    Hah! Which one is that?

  • lostinnyc

    JRM is so intense and beautiful and was so great in MATCHPOINT – I think he is a super good actor and he almost made me go see MI3. That is saying a lot.

  • Nan

    I was one of the first ones to notice him as a heartthrob. I think it was Bend it Like Bekham when I noticed his blue eyes and pillowy lips. He needs to go back to blonde. He looks uglier and rougher (not in a good way) with dark hair. I think he’d look MUCH sexier with his blonde hair back. Especially in America. Too sad he’s got a girlfriend, but I think she’s pretty. I’m glad he goes for variety and not the ditzy blonde or tall, skinny model. But I read some bad things about his girlfriend. Like she’s real fiesty and fiery with a temper. I hope he doesn’t marry her (although they’d make a nice looking baby). She needs to learn to calm that temper down. Men won’t stick with that type of a girl for long. I wonder why Jonathan went for such a young girl. Is she intellectual or just plain submissive? I wonder what he sees in her. Either way, I’m not complaining about his picks in women… or films. He’s real truthful though when he speaks, isn’t he. He should be careful with that. Criticizing the hand that fed you (someone from Britain discovered him, right?), might leave YOU in the dust!


    He is BEAUTIFUL in that "too good to be real" way…the eyes, the mouth, the cheekbones, BUT he is WAY too skinny and little and feminine for me. Also, he has a cruel/mean streak that I find VERY unattractive. He seems dangerous in a SO NOT sexy way…just plain dangerous! I can see him burning out in about 10 years. Kinda like Jan Michael Vincent…remember him? Another GORGEOUS man whose inner demons caught up to him and he ended up looking like a walking corpse with a mind of mush. Hope Jonathan surrounds himself with people who look out after him and keep him grounded and safe.

  • iluvhim

    He is breathtaking. So beautiful, everything about him. Its like how can god make people so beautiful. pics from him when he was younger like in 2002, with his longer hair,, it looks so good on him,, and not a lot of guys can pull it off but he so can..yummy yummy beatiful man. –and a wicked actor 2.. he will get nominated for an oscar one day, i predict it!