Jonathan Rhys Meyers is a man of mystery to me. It seems that just as you begin to forget that he is a serious actor of this day and age, he pops up in the newest, coolest bit. It’s interesting, really, because until he turned up in the role of Henry VIII in the Showtime hit series The Tudors I knew his face, but not his name. Ever since he hit stardom, it seems his career has been a bit mainstream, what with his starring opposite the likes of Scarlett Johansson in Match Point and Keri Russell in August Rush. His latest project The Children of Huang Shi, however, seems to take him in a new direction, which should be a refreshing change of pace for both Meyers and his fans.
Without further ado, my five reasons for loving Jonathan Rhys Meyers:
1.) He is audacious with sex scenes.
Let’s just get this one out of the way. Showtime is not messing around with the sex scenes they ask Meyers to partake in as King Henry VIII. My god. In an effort to explain in as little detail as possible, let me just outline. Can you imagine faking extreme ... in front of a crowd of the technical staff required to get these kind of shots? Not to mention that after the scene is complete, the entire world sees it. Not only does Meyers pull this off in The Tudors, he does it episode after episode after episode, in new positions and with new women. Need I say more?
2.) He's gone from rags to riches.
It seems this Dublin native was expelled from school at the age of sixteen, and decided that from then on his time would be best spent in the local pool halls. Not a rough pastime, although it seems a bit questionable for a teenage boy. Lucky for this young lad, a casting agent spotted him at a pool hall and invited him to an audition, which he later found out he didn’t get. Either way, it was at this point that his foot was in the door, and it wasn’t long until he began making appearances on screen.
3.) He sings.
In 1998, Meyers starred as the wild and fantastical Brian Slade in Velvet Goldmine, opposite Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale, and Toni Collette. Makeup and everything, Meyers shared his vocal talents with the world. His voice was featured again in the more recent film, August Rush. Although the guy looks sweet, he has a bit of the rocker/badass in him that is fun and unexpected. Once you learn of his rocky background, it’s easier to stereotype him as a rocker/badass, but simply looking at his cute face doesn’t cut it. The guy is at minimum a double-threat.
4.) He has a soft side.
I think I am the only person who enjoyed August Rush. There is something about this story about a little boy being brave and working hard to find his mom, and having faith that it is possible to find her, that really got to me. I was prepared for cheesy. So when I got cheesy and touching, it was the latter that registered with me. Either way, Meyers showed a side of himself that he doesn’t typically get to show because of how he's usually cast. More often than not, we see him in roles where he is a little rough around the edges, or even classified as the “bad guy.” In August Rush he was sweeter and gentler. For those of us who enjoyed the movie, we hoped things would work out for him.
5.) He’s on the brink.
I am of the opinion that with his latest project The Children of Huang Shi, Meyers is on the edge of becoming something truly amazing in the entertainment industry. While I have yet to see this film, it seems a story of this nature only comes to life after the writer has put their heart and soul into it. So, why then would the casting director skimp on the talent who will bring the story life? Surely if the budget was too small, they would opt for a stronger actor. The fact is that Meyers fit the bill and I am confident that audiences will get to see what he is really made out of with this film.