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Why Rising Irish Hollywood Hunk Has No Time For Movie Stars
Sunday World, September 29, 2002

Meyers: I’m Not Playing Fame Game

Irish Hollywood heart-throb Jonathan Rhys Meyers has revealed why he won’t be spending time with his new-found movie pals.

The Cork actor, who shot to fame as the man who shot Michael Collins in Neil Jordan’s movie, says he couldn’t do his job if he spent his life with other film stars.

“What happens to a lot of actors is that they go out and get a few jobs and make a couple of films and get some money and then they start hanging around with all actors and people from the film industry. That is not what made me an actor. I hang out with engineers, carpenters and farm workers. How am I supposed to play a carpenter if all I do is hang around with Tom Cruise or something like that? It is impossible for me to do that. I realised very very young because I didn’t go to school for acting. I was learning on the stage the whole time so I made a point not to acquire too many film friends. I made it a point to be with people who don’t do this job as much as possible.”

The rising Hollywood star, described by screen legend Christopher Lee as one of the best talents around, certainly cannot be accused of having a face for radio, but RTE bosses couldn’t believe their luck when he agreed to do a radio slot in Montrose recently.

Rhys Meyers told how he will star alongside movie legends Christopher Lee and Mia Farrow when he makes his next movie Out of Season in Canada next year.

Listeners to The Book At One will hear the actor reading his favourite short story next week.

Hilarious ‘The Best of Saki’ was chosen by the 24-year old who will make his radio debut on the Irish station.

Rhys Meyers told producer, Seamus Hosey, how he likes to keep his feet firmly on the ground despite hanging around with jet-setting super stars.

The Cork-born hunk says he would never have ended up on the silver screen had he not just fallen into acting.

“I would never have gone to drama school. I would never have been an actor if I was given the choice. It is a very difficult job to do, not in terms of the work as such but because people think we are on a constant holiday. It is not a holiday. There are times that in one day you could do a scene where you’re playing football with friends and later on murdering your brother. You have to put yourself in both those positions so it isolates you from what is going on in the outside world. You can’t just come home and do a crossword or go for a pint after a day like that.”

The actor, who has a reputation for taking on the bizarre roles, day he would love to work in Ireland in the future.

“I still live in County Cork. I don’t have too many friends there but I still have kept in touch with a few. I was never the most popular young fella so when I left I didn’t have that many friends to leave. Nowadays I have one or two or three friends in Cork. My friends always tended to be much older people anyway. Even as a young fella I didn’t find curiosity in kids my own age. They hadn’t done enough for me.”

He said that the image of him as a wild child is not true: “When you play certain parts you get a certain image. But I am none of the things that are said of me. I’m just working and thriving and doing my thing,” he said.

Rhys Meyers has just shot a new psychological thriller, Octane, which is due out early next year. In the movie, filmed in Luxembourg, he plays a member of a blood-thirsty and vampiric cult.

He is currently starring in the football movie, Bend it Like Beckham. The film, about a young Indian girl’s obsession with the Manchester United player, pulled in a whopping 10 million pounds at the UK box office.

Special thanks to Kelly for transcribing this article.

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