The King Films in Dublin
THERE’S an English king roaming around Ireland these days in full regalia, but he’s not some crackpot with delusions of grandeur. Rather, it’s Jonathan Rhys Meyers reprising his role as King Henry VIII in the Showtime series The Tudors, which has been filming in the actor’s home turf of Dublin for several weeks now.
And though he’s been snapped by local paparazzi with packets of cigarettes in his fist on more than one occasion, that seems to be the only vice he has. JRM says his days of drinking, which landed him in rehab last year and worsened after the sudden death of his beloved mother – remember, he was kicked off a flight to Britain at Dublin Airport for drunkenness? – are well and truly over.
“I haven’t even thought about drinking since my mother passed away. Drinking is not the way forward for me at all,” the Dublin-born, Cork-raised actor told Britain’s Daily Mail.
“I never even drank till I was 25 anyway. I was in Thailand on my own, filming. I was a little bit lonely and I started drinking. Since I was 27 I must have drunk maybe a dozen-and-a-half times – but when I do, I’m like Bambi. I’m all over the place, hopeless, like a 16-year-old kid. People notice.
“Now drink doesn’t fit into where I want to go. I want to do something useful with my life. Drinking is not synonymous with that. And I don’t put any emphasis on it.”
Good for him. He’s got a super-hot career to protect, after all, and if folks out there want to think that he’s some party animal because of his prior history, so be it.
“I kind of like people having this idea that I’m this wild, rebellious guy. But the reality is that I’m not, and I’m not quite sure I want to reveal how boring my life is. Of course, as a young Irish actor you’re tarred before you start. It’s the enduring cliché,” he says.
Henry VIII is portrayed by JRM in all his glory, or whatever you want to call it, in The Tudors, one of Showtime’s most successful broadcasts with a worldwide following. Filming has been taking place in and around Dublin, with locals getting parts as extras. Among the guest stars set for the third season, which will premiere early next year, are singer Joss Stone, who will play Anne of Cleves, Henry’s fourth wife.
“There’s a lot of sex in The Tudors. But in England the sun goes down at 4:30 in the afternoon and there are only so many legs of lamb you can eat of an evening,” says JRM of his randy character. Too true!
JRM, 30, came off as a guy with a real head on his shoulders during the Daily Mail interview. “I had a disadvantaged youth. But then so do 95% of the people on this planet, so I’m just one of many. I just happen to have been lucky that my life has turned out this way,” he said.