Who is Jonathan Rhys Meyers?

Irish actor and model Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ birth name is Jonathan Michael Francis O’Keefe, born in Dublin, Ireland on 27 July 1977, meaning that his zodiac sign’s Leo. He’s had roles in nearly 70 movies and TV series, and is probably best known for his playing of the main character Kurt Stage in the 2017 historical thriller “The 12th Man”, directed by Harald Zwart, and which also starred Thomas Gullestad and Marie Blokhus. It follows 11 saboteurs whom the Nazis killed, and the one that managed to get away; the movie won five of its nine award nominations.

Jonathan’s currently shooting for seven upcoming movies, including “Operation Blood Hunt”, “Clean Up Crew”, and “97 Minutes”.

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Education and early life

Jonathan was raised in Dublin alongside his three younger brothers, by their father John O’Keeffe who was a folk musician, and their mother Geraldine (nee Myers) who passed away in 2007, aged 50; all three of Jonathan’s brothers are today successful musicians.

Jonathan studied at North Monastery Christian Brothers School, but was expelled because of truancy; he spent that time socializing and working at pool clubs. He was at a pool hall in Cork when he was spotted by a talent agent, and was 17 when he made his debut film appearance, playing First Young Man in the 1994 comedy “A Man of No Importance”.

Jonathan completed his high school education in 1996, and then focused on acting rather than going after a college degree.

Roles in movies

The year 1996 saw him appear in the science fiction horror comedy “Killer Tongue”, the mystery “The Disappearance of Finbar” and the historical adventure “Samson and Delilah”, and he gained recognition in 1998, playing the main character Brian Slade in the musical drama “Velvet Goldmine”. It was written and directed by Todd Haynes, also starred Ewan McGregor and Christian Bale, and follows British journalist Arthur Stuart as he’s investigating the life of superstar Brian Slade; the movie won four of its 17 award nominations, including an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design.

A couple of Jonathan’s following roles were in the 1999 historical thriller “Titus”, the 2001 biographical romantic drama “Prozac Nation” and in the same year the thriller drama “Tangled”. In 2006, he played Declan in the popular action adventure thriller “Mission: Impossible III”, which J. J. Abrams directed, and which starred Ving Rhames, Michelle Monaghan and Tom Cruise. It follows IMF agent Ethan Hunt who’s after a dangerous arms dealer, and the movie won seven of its 21 award nominations. Some of Jonathan’s notable performances in the remainder of the decade were in the 2007 musical “August Rush”, and in 2008 the war drama “The Children of Huang Shi” and the thriller comedy “A Film with Me in It”.

In 2016, he starred as Joe Strummer in the musical “London Town”, directed by Derrick Borte, and which also starred Daniel Huttlestone and Dougray Scott. Set in ‘70s London, the movie follows a 14 years old boy who’s just been introduced to the British punk rock ‘n’ roll band The Clash.

Jonathan’s three most recent film roles have been in the thriller “The Good Neighbor”, the science fiction thriller “Wifelike”, and the horror thriller “Dangerous Game: The Legacy Murders”, all released in 2022.

Roles in TV series

Jonathan’s debut TV series role was his playing of Steerpike in four episodes of the 2000 adventure comedy “Gormenghast”, then had only two other TV series roles in the decade. He starred as Elvis Presley in both episodes of the 2005 biographical musical mini-series “Elvis”; it also starred Rose McGowan and Randy Quaid, follows the life of the late American singer and actor Elvis Presley, and won six of its 30 award nominations.

From 2007 through 2010, Jonathan played the main character King Henry VIII in all 38 episodes of the romantic historical drama “The Tudors”, which Michael Hirst created, and which also starred Anthony Brophy and Henry Cavill. It follows the wives of King Henry VIII, and the series won 55 of its 137 award nominations.

Jonathan’s appeared in only three other TV series – he played three characters in all 10 episodes of the 2014 romantic horror “Dracula”, Tom Lea in the 2016 war mini-series “Roots”, and Bishop Heahmund in 17 episodes of the action adventure “Vikings” from 2017 through 2019.

This is precisely why I was excited to see Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Vikings. Pictures from the set suggest, however, that he will play a non-Viking character. Still excited though.

Posted by The REAL Ragnar Lothbrok & The Vikings on Friday, January 6, 2017

Other credits

Jonathan has eight producing credits, which include the 2017 historical thriller movie “The 12th Man”, the 2018 drama film “The Aspern Papers”, and the 2021 action science fiction thriller film “The Survivalist”.

Some of his recent talk-show guest appearances have been in “Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show”, “Live with Kelly and Ryan”, and “Late Night with Seth Meyers”.

Awards and nominations

Jonathan’s won seven of his 23 award nominations, with some of these wins including a 2006 Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television, for “Elvis”, a 2008 Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role in Television, for “The Tudors”, and a 2017 Boston Film Festival Prize for Best Actor, for “Damascus Cover”.

He was also nominated for a 2005 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie, for “Elvis”.

Love life and relationships

Sometime in the second half of the ‘90s, Jonathan was in a relationship with Australian actress and singer-songwriter Toni Collette Galafassi.

He began dating British non-celebrity Reena Hammer in 2004; she’s only known for being the daughter of American make-up artist Ruby Hammer – she and Jonathan broke up in 2012.

He married non-celebrity British girl Mara Lane in 2016, and she gave birth to their son Wolf Rhys Meyers in December 2017; a year later, Mara revealed that she had miscarried their second child.

Jonathan hasn’t spoken about any other relationships, he’s married to Mara Lane as of December 2022, and they have a son together.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Jonathan entered an alcohol rehab program in 2007, and was in November of the same year arrested for intoxication and disturbing the peace at Dublin airport. He was arrested by French police in Paris in 2009, after he attacked an airport employee while drunk, and was banned by United Airlines in 2010, after he had become intoxicated and verbally abused John F. Kennedy International Airport employees. In November 2020, Jonathan crashed his car while driving under the influence.

He tried to take his own life on 30 June 2011, and then again in 2016; Jonathan revealed that his life gained a meaning only after his son was born.

He’s a philanthropist, and was in February 2008 named an ambassador for the Hope Foundation; he’s today also the ambassador for the charity organization Barretstown.

Jonathan’s favorite actors are Benedict Cumberbatch and Idris Elba, and some of his favorite movies are “The Courier”, “The Imitation Game” and “Doctor Strange”.

Height, eyes and wealth

Jonathan’s age is 45. His eyes are light blue and his hair’s brown, he’s 5ft 10ins (1.78m) tall and weighs about 165lbs (74kgs).

Jonathan’s net worth’s been estimated at over $8 million, as of December 2022.

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