Matthew Rhys

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For the rugby player see Matthew Rees. For the novelist, see Matt Rees.
Matthew Rhys
Matthew Rhys.jpg
Rhys in June 2011
Born Matthew Rhys Evans
(1974-11-08) 8 November 1974 (age 39)
Cardiff, Wales, UK
Occupation Actor
Years active 1997–present

Matthew Rhys Evans (born on 8 November 1974),[1] known professionally as Matthew Rhys, is a Welsh actor, best known as Kevin Walker in the ABC family drama Brothers & Sisters, and as Dylan Thomas in The Edge of Love. He stars as Philip Jennings in the FX drama series The Americans.

Early life[edit]

Rhys was born in Cardiff, Wales, the son of Glyn, a headmaster, and Helen Evans, a teacher.[1] He grew up in Cardiff, and attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.[2] along with his older sister, Rachel, now a BBC broadcast journalist.

Matthew Rhys was educated via the Welsh-medium schools, Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Melin Gruffydd (in Whitchurch, Cardiff) and Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf (in Llandaff North, Cardiff). At age 17, after playing Elvis Presley in a school musical, he applied and was accepted at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. Shortly thereafter, in 1993, he was awarded the Patricia Rothermere Scholarship.[3]

During his time at RADA, Rhys appeared in the BBC police series Back-Up as well as in House of America. He returned to Cardiff to act in his own language in the Welsh film Bydd yn Wrol (Be Brave), for which he won Best Actor at the Bafta Cymru (Welsh BAFTAs).

Career[edit]

Rhys at the 2007 GLAAD Awards

In January 1998, Rhys went to New Zealand to star in Greenstone, a colonial costume drama for television. He then landed a role in Titus, Julie Taymor's adaptation of Titus Andronicus, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange. Next he played Ray in Peter Hewitt's film comedy, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? After returning to Wales, he did two consecutive films with Jonathan Pryce: The Testimony of Taliesin Jones, a film about a dysfunctional single-parent family in which he played the elder son, and Sara Sugarman's comedy Very Annie Mary, in which he played the role of Nob. Rhys would later reunite with Very Annie Mary star Rachel Griffiths on Brothers & Sisters.[4]

In 2000, Rhys played the lead role in Metropolis, a drama series for Granada TV about the lives of six twenty-somethings living in London.[2] Next he starred in Peaches, the film of the play written and directed by Nick Grosso.[5] Rhys starred as Benjamin in the 2000 world premiere of the stage adaptation of The Graduate, alongside Kathleen Turner at The Gielgud Theatre in London's West End.[6]

Rhys travelled to Ireland to star in the 18th century swashbuckling adventure, The Abduction Club.[7] He played the lead role of Darren Daniels in Tabloid, and then returned to New Zealand to shoot the epic drama Lost World for the BBC. His other film credits include the independent horror film Deathwatch in Prague and Fakers, a comic crime caper. In 2003, he played 'Justin Price' the last murderer, in the final ever Columbo.[8] He appeared opposite Brittany Murphy in the independent feature Love and Other Disasters, in Virgin Territory opposite Hayden Christensen, Tim Roth and Mischa Barton, and playing poet Dylan Thomas in the love quadrangle biographical film The Edge of Love.[9]

He moved to Santa Monica after being cast in ABC's show Brothers & Sisters, as lawyer Kevin Walker. The show had a five-season run, coming to an end in 2011.[6]

In January 2012, Rhys appeared in a BBC Two two-part drama adaptation of Charles Dickens' last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, left unfinished at his death in 1870.[10] The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) aired it in the US as one feature-length episode on 15 April 2012.

In 2012 Rhys was scheduled to reprise Sir Alec Guinness's 1959 double role of John Barratt/Jacques De Gué in a new adaptation of The Scapegoat.[11] That same year, Rhys was cast as "Jimmy" in the Roundabout Theatre Company's Off-Broadway revival of John Osborne's play, Look Back in Anger, at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. The production played a limited engagement through 8 April 2012.[12]

He stars opposite Keri Russell in FX's series The Americans, a 1980s Cold War drama about KGB sleeper agents.[13] The series premiered in January 2013.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Rhys was housemates for nearly 10 years with fellow Welshman and actor Ioan Gruffudd,[15] and served as best man at Gruffudd's wedding.[16] Both are patrons of Trust PA, a UK spinal injuries charity.[17]

On 15 July 2008, Rhys was honoured by Aberystwyth University as a Fellow.[18] On 8 August 2008, he was honoured at the Welsh National Eisteddfod by being accepted as a member to the druidic order of the Gorsedd of the Bards,[19] for his contributions to the Welsh language and Wales. His bardic name in the Gorsedd is Matthew Tâf. In August 2009, Rhys took to the stage with the National Youth Orchestra of Wales as part of the National Eisteddfod.[20] After a serious relationship that developed during the filming of "The Americans" Rhys has since set up home with his series co-star Keri Russell.

Affiliations[edit]

  • Patron, Hijinx Theatre, based at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay
  • Charity Champion, The Noah's Ark Appeal, a charity which raises funds for the development of the Children's Hospital of Wales.
  • Patron, Iris Prize, Cardiff's International Gay and Lesbian Short Film Prize.[21]
  • Ambassador, Bobath Children's Therapy Centre Wales, a charity that treats children who have cerebral palsy from all over Wales.

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2015 Untitled John Wells project Filming
2013 Death Comes to Pemberley Mr Darcy BBC TV miniseries (3 episodes)

Novel adaptation

2013–present The Americans Philip Jennings Nominated – Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Drama Actor (2013, 2014)
Nominated – TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Drama (2013, 2014)
2012 The Scapegoat John Standing/Johnny Spence Novel adaptation
2012 The Mystery of Edwin Drood John Jasper BBC TV miniseries (2 episodes)
2011 Everything Carries Me To You Damien Short by Emma Holly Jones – see external link below
2010 Patagonia Mateo Not short-listedAcademy Award for best foreign language film
2009 The Think Tank Marc Short by Peter Calloway – see external link below
2008 The Edge of Love Dylan Thomas
2007 Virgin Territory Count Dzerzhinsky
2006 Love and Other Disasters Peter Simon
2006 Beau Brummell: This Charming Man Lord Byron
2006–2011 Brothers & Sisters Kevin Walker (TV series; 109 episodes); directed four episodes
2004 Fakers Nick Edwards
2003 P.O.W Alfie Harris
2003 Columbo Likes the Nightlife Justin Price
2003 Y Mabinogi Lleu Llaw Gyffes (Voice role)
2002 Deathwatch Cpl. Doc Fairweather
2002 The Abduction Club James Strang
2002 Shooters Eddie
2001 The Lost World Edward Malone
2001 Very Annie Mary Nob
2000 A History of Britain (Voice role; TV series)
1999 Titus Demetrius
1999 Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? Ray Smith

Theatre[edit]

Year Play Role Writer/Director Venue or Company
2012 Look Back in Anger Jimmy John Osborne/Sam Gold Roundabout Theatre Company
2004 MacBeth MacDuff William Shakespeare/Bill Alexander (director) The Young Vic
2004 King Lear Edmund William Shakespeare/Bill Alexander (director) Royal Shakespeare Company
2004 Romeo and Juliet Romeo William Shakespeare/Peter Gill (playwright) Royal Shakespeare Company
2003 Under Milk Wood Mog Edwards Dylan Thomas/Michael Bogdanov New Theatre (Cardiff)
2002 The Associate Tiny Simon Bent Royal National Theatre
2000 The Graduate Benjamin Braddock Charles Webb/Terry Johnson (dramatist) Gielgud Theatre
1997 Stranger's House (Fremdes Haus) Yanne Dea Loher/Mary Peate Royal Court Theatre
1997 One More Wasted Year Pierre Christophe Pellet/Mary Peate Royal Court Theatre
1997 Grace Note Nick Samuel Adamson/Dominic Dromgoole The Old Vic
1997 Cardiff East Tommy Peter Gill (playwright) Royal National Theatre

Other projects, contributions[edit]

  • Produced television documentary, Mr Hollywood, for S4C-TV (2010),[22] about the life of Griffith J. Griffith, Welsh-American industrialist and philanthropist after whom Griffith Park is named.
  • Wrote Patagonia: Crossing the Plain (2010) – a photographic account of his month-long journey on horseback while filming a documentary on Patagonia, and the Welsh settlers who made it their home having journeyed from Wales in the late 19th century.
  • Set up his own production company, Patagonia (2011), which has two projects in development. One of them involves the adaptation of a book called Operation Julie, written by Lyn Ebenezer,[23] about the biggest LSD drugs bust (in Wales's history); Rhys bought the film rights in December 2010.[24][25][26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Matthew Rhys Biography (1974–)". FilmReference.com. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Kellaway, Kate (30 April 2000). "The new prince of Wales". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Greenstreet, Rosanna (13 October 2001). "Q & A Matthew Rhys". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  4. ^ ABC News Interview, 5 December 2006
  5. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (12 October 2001). "Peaches". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Gilbert, Gerard (8 September 2012). "Matthew Rhys:'We'd troll off to LA and try to nick jobs off the Americans". The Independent (UK). Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  7. ^ Elley, Derek (18 July 2002). "The Abduction Club". Variety. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  8. ^ Erickson, Hal (30 January 2003). "Columbo: Columbo Likes the Nightlife (2003)". New York Times. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  9. ^ French, Philip (22 June 2008). "Review: The Edge of Love". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  10. ^ BBC Press Office
  11. ^ Island Pictures
  12. ^ Isherwood, Charles (2 February 2012). "The wounded and wounding in '50s Britain". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  13. ^ Ausiello, Michael (16 March 2012). "Brothers & Sisters alumn Matthew Rhys cast opposite Keri Russell in FX's The Americans". TVLine.com. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  14. ^ Ausiello, Michael (31 January 2013). "Ratings: The Americans spies strong debut". TVLine.com. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  15. ^ MyBrent.co.uk
  16. ^ icWales
  17. ^ "Welsh actors help spinal charity". bbc.co.uk. 26 October 2002. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  18. ^ Aberystwyth News Online
  19. ^ "Hollywood star Rhys joins druids"
  20. ^ Performing with National Youth Orchestra
  21. ^ Iris Prize patrons
  22. ^ Matthew Rhys explores Hollywood's Welsh roots
  23. ^ Lyn Ebenezer – Cymru
  24. ^ The mythology of Operation Julie
  25. ^ Matthew Rhys buys Operation Julie film rights
  26. ^ Operation Julie: How an LSD raid began the war on drugs

External links[edit]