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Masturbating Welshman Turns Don Juan

30 Nov

On Tuesday I was in a pub in the West End with a friend of mine, knocking back a bottle of red in front of a fake fireplace, when my friend suddenly said: “That guy’s an actor, right?” I looked at him; towering over everyone there, blonde, dressed smart, looking around and eventually catching the eye of us wine-sipping blondes by the fire. It hit me. “It’s Hugh Grant’s room mate in Notting Hill” and she replied, earnestly and deadpan, “Ah! The masturbating Welshman!” adding, “He’s shockingly handsome in real life, isn’t he?”

This pretty much sums up the transition between Hugh’s furry friend in “Notting Hill” to Rhys Ifans’s role as Don Juan in his new play at the Donmar Warehouse. In the 1999 film he wasn’t… the romantic leading male for a reason. Now, looking at him, he does look – as she put it – shockingly handsome. Unfortunately we had to depart from the pub shortly after he walked in. Mostly due to a somewhat high alcohol level mixed with hysterical suppressed laughter regarding her initial statement. Very professional, indeed.

After finishing his A-levels, Rhys attended youth acting schools at Theatr Clwyd (it’s OK, I wouldn’t know how to begin to pronounce that either), and to further that sentiment he decided to use the Welsh spelling of his surname (English spelling would be “Evans”, not “Ifans”) just to be difficult. Welsh is obviously his first language, something he took advantage of by making a fair bit of Welsh language dramas, comedies and entertainment programmes before embarking on his movie and theatre career.

In film you may have seen him in the previously mentioned “Notting Hill” as Spike, Iki in “The 51st State”, William Dobbin in “Vanity Fair”, Danny Morgan in “Danny Deckchair”, Dek in “Once Upon A Time In The Midlands” alongside Robert Carlyle or pompous, arrogant Adrian in “Little Nicky”. Last year – 2005 – he picked up a Bafta for Peter Cook in “Not Only But Always”. Theatre-wise he’s performed at the National Theatre and the Royal Exchange in Manchester.

Musically, he was lead singer in “Super Furry Animals” (possibly where the “your little furry friend” line came from in “Notting Hill”?) for a short period, and has apprared in music videos such as “God Show Me Magic”, “Mulder and Scully”, “Mama Told Me Not To Come” as well as “The Importance of Being Idle” for which he accepted the award for video of the year at the NME Awards on behalf of Oasis.

Patrick Marber relocates MoliΓ¨re’s farcical, tragic, anarchic 17th century original to modern day Soho, London,

…it says on the Donmar Warehouse website. Rhys Ifans plays Don Juan, the infamous amoral hedonist in a society entranced by sensation, from 30th November.

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2 Comments

Posted by on November 30, 2006 in Don Juan in Soho, Donmar Warehouse, Rhys Ifans

 

2 responses to “Masturbating Welshman Turns Don Juan

  1. Josie

    February 1, 2007 at 9:17 am

    I love Rhys Ifans! I’ve seen him in so many things over the years and he’s always so different. A really versatile actor. I thought he was magnificent as Peter Cook in Not Only, what a performance. I loved him in Love, Honour & Obey and Enduring Love too, as well as the wonderful The Shipping News, with the equally wonderful Kevin Spacey, of course! πŸ™‚

    I went to the UK premiere and party of The Shipping News and met Rhys at the party. We ended up talking about Cardiff, where I live, lol. He was really nice. He has a dry sense of humour, and I agree, he’s very nice looking in the flesh. πŸ™‚

    I’d have loved to have seen him as Don Juan at the Donmar, but sadly my finances haven’t allowed it, once again. Hopefully I’ll see him in the stage in something in the future though. Would be great if Mr Spacey could lure Rhys to star with him at the Old Vic in something. I’d so love to see them acting on stage together. πŸ™‚

    Oh, and Super Furry Animals are brilliant, and I’m not just saying that because they’re Welsh, lol! πŸ™‚

     
  2. kookimebux

    February 1, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Hello. And Bye. πŸ™‚

     

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