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FaceTime: Q&A with Jonathan Rhys Meyers
By Cindy Pearlman
Chicago Sun-Times, January 11, 2006

Jonathan Rhys-Meyers makes a point out of it: The male lead of “Match Point” hasn’t changed his life thanks to fabulous reviews. “I’m back in England at the moment. My agents and managers are like, ‘You should be in America walking on air,’ ” he says. “But maybe that’s not the best thing for a 28-year-old male to be doing.”

In the movie, he plays a real cad who is cheating with Scarlett Johansson. In real life, the Brit who has been dubbed “the next Tom Cruise” has a girlfriend and a starring role opposite the real Tom Cruise next summer in “Mission: Impossible III.”

Q. What was your wildest moment with director Woody Allen while making “Match Point?”

A. It was meeting Woody. I was very nervous, but he shook my hand and said in one great rush, “Hi, I’m Woody Allen, and I’m making a movie in London and I’ll present you with a script and if you respect the material, let’s work together.” So I said, “Yes, oh, yes, yes, yes, yes.” I believe that’s the right word to use under the circumstances. What else could you say? I didn’t even know what the script was, and I didn’t really care. I could have opened the script and it could have said, “You will be running around in your undies with balloons all over you.”

Q. The movie addresses the role of luck in your life. What has been the luckiest thing that ever happened to you?

A. My mother and father put me into pre-production, and then I came two months under budget. In other words, I was a preemie, and the docs didn’t think I’d make it. But the docs had their heads screwed on and it was fine. … Now, I have a different idea of luck. I realize that there’s not a lot under our control, but you don’t push it. You don’t drink, smoke or punch a New York taxi driver in the eye. If you’re a lucky person, you also realize a good thing when it’s happening and push it as far as it will go.

Q. OK, spill all about “Mission: Impossible III.” Has Tom Cruise been acting weird?

A. All I can tell you is that it’s a tasty movie. Tom is a cool, intense guy. I’m also an intense guy, so it’s been working out great. … As for stories, the first day of shooting, Tom and I were on this speedboat. That was the first time I met Tom. We’re sitting there on the boat and Tom is driving for the take. The next thing I hear is him singing under his breath, ‘Da-da-da-da-da-doodle-do.’ He was so excited that he was humming the “Mission: Impossible” theme song. At first I thought they put the soundtrack on to give us more of a buzz. But then I realized it was Tom singing the theme. … And yes, Katie [Holmes] has been around. She’s a great girl. Sweet. Gentle. Smart. Very much in love with Tom.

Q. And are you matched up in real life?

A. I have a very beautiful girlfriend, and I love her very much. I will never date an actress because it’s too hard. My girlfriend is an intellectual and studies at King’s College in London. I think it’s nice to go out with someone who is smarter than you. It’s very sexy. I believe the greatest erogenous zone in the body sits on your shoulders.

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