Interview – Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Irish Actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers is an easily recognized name in the world of television and film. Hard at work for some time now, Meyers has starred in countless films and television series including 2005’s Match Point, the hit Showtime series The Tudors, as well as History Channel’s Vikings. Having a talent for playing passionate characters which stick in your memory, his talents have earned him two Golden Globe Award nominations.

Keeping busy, in recent years he has starred in a list of titles from 2021’s Action Thriller Yakuza Princess to 2022’s Sci-Fi flick Wifelike. A fitting talent for any genre, now in 2023, he has a leading role in Thriller Disquiet. The story of a man waking in a hospital only to find he is trapped; Meyers brings the tension to life in an exceptional manner. One of his many new films, Jonathan Rhys Meyers took a little time to talk about his career, Vikings, working on Disquiet, plus more. 

Cryptic Rock – You have been involved in acting professionally for nearly three decades now. In that time, you have attained success both in feature films as well as with various popular television series. Tell us, what has your journey as an actor been like?

Jonathan Rhys Meyers – I think every actor’s journey is varied. You know, thirty years is a long time to do an inventory of what your journey has been like. It’s been varied.

Match Point movie poster / DreamWorks Pictures (2005)
Elvis Mini Series / Universal (2005)

Cryptic Rocks – Understood. As an actor, you’ve never limited yourself with the type of roles you’ve taken on; you have worked in straight Drama, Historical Drama, Comedy, Thrillers, Horror, etc. How important is that diversity to you as an artist?

Jonathan Rhys Meyers – Diversity is important because it keeps you on your toes. If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, you’re going to eventually get stuck in that performance.  It’s good to be outside your comfort zone.

Cryptic Rock – Right, and you have done that with some really memorable performances with various types of characters. As mentioned, you have had a good deal of success with roles in several television series. To name a few, you had an extremely memorable role on The Tudors, and of course, Vikings. Vikings in particular was a massive success and your run on the series really left an impression. What was that experience like for you?

Jonathan Rhys Meyers – Yeah, Vikings was tough, because it has to be. It looks tough because it is tough. But I enjoy doing it. They are a very, very good crew. They’re very good and are a very professional operation. Michael Hurst is an excellent writer and Morgan O’Sullivan a great producer, so I enjoyed getting the opportunity to work with them again.

Cryptic Rock – And your role as Bishop Heahmund was unforgettable. In recent years, you have starred in a list of films as well as series and one of your most recent projects is starring in Disquiet. How did this role come about for you?

Jonathan Rhys Meyers – It came about through my friend and Producer Steven Paul and friends I made at Paramount+. Sheri Redstone is lovely. So, they asked me if I’d come up to Canada and do it and I’m always happy to work with these guys.

The Tudors series / Showtime
Vikings series / History Channel

Cryptic Rock – It sounds like it was a good experience. Disquiet is certainly a tense film which falls comfortably within the Horror realm. You have worked in Horror in the past; whether it be on the Dracula series from 2013-14, or on a film like 6 Souls (2010). Do you enjoy working in the Horror genre, and how did this role compare to others you have had in the genre?

Jonathan Rhys Meyers – I find you have to use a lot of energy with Horror films because they’re driven by fear. But there are ways to transmit that fear without going over the top, so it’s a difficult balancing act.

Cryptic Rock – That is true, and this can make or break the effectiveness of a Horror film. The majority of Disquiet is centralized within one location; which is a hospital where yourself and several others are trapped. Is it a challenge to film primarily in one location where the backdrop does not change too often?

Jonathan Rhys Meyers – Yes, that has its challenges in keeping it fresh day in day out. But you just have to use different aspects. That’s more of a challenge for the director than for the actor.

Cryptic Rock – Good point. Beyond acting, you are also a musician. Do you have any musical projects coming up? And curiously, what are some of your musical influences?

Jonathan Rhys Meyers – I just like playing guitar for me. My musical influences would be Rory Gallagher, Django Reinhardt, Joe Pass, The Cure, Pentangle, Peter Greens, Fleetwood Mac, The Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, and of course, Wolfie Magic and Cali Cubs (my son and his cub scout buddies who are my favorite band of rascals to listen to). 

Disquiet Movie Poster / Paramount (2023)

Cryptic Rock – Those are very eclectic influences. Last question. On Cryptic Rock we cover a broad range of film, but have strong concentration in Horror and Sci-fi. If you are a fan of Horror and/or Sci-Fi films, what are some of your personal favorites?

Jonathan Rhys Meyers – I like Aliens (1986) because it combines them both so very well. I don’t think anything has been able to approach that. I like obscure Horror films like Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now (1973).  I like some of the ’70s Japanese Grindhouse Horror… it can be very effective because I’m looking at them for not just the complete story, but I’m looking at them for aspects of filmmaking.

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1 Comment

  • Jonathan Rhys Meyers is the most underrated actor in the world. My fave horror film he did was 6 Souls. excellent acting

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