Rhys Ifans

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Rhys Ifans
Rhys Ifans 2011 cropped.jpg
Rhys Ifans, 2011
BornRhys Owain Evans
(1967-07-22) 22 July 1967 (age 47)[1][2]
Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Years active1990–present
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For the footballer, see Rhys Evans.
Rhys Ifans
Rhys Ifans 2011 cropped.jpg
Rhys Ifans, 2011
BornRhys Owain Evans
(1967-07-22) 22 July 1967 (age 47)[1][2]
Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Years active1990–present

Rhys Ifans (Welsh pronunciation: [r̥ɨːs ˈivans]; born Rhys Owain Evans;[3] 22 July 1967)[3][4][5] is a Welsh actor and musician. He is known for his portrayal of characters such as Spike in Notting Hill and Jed Parry in Enduring Love and as a member of the Welsh rock groups Super Furry Animals and The Peth. Ifans also appeared as Xenophilius Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, and as Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard in The Amazing Spider-Man. He played Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, in Anonymous. Ifans also has a recurring role as Mycroft Holmes on the CBS series Elementary. Ifans gained fame in the United States as a footballer turned American football player with a gambling addiction, Nigel Gruff, in the 2000 film The Replacements.

Early life[edit]

Ifans was born in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales, in 1967, the son of Beti Wyn (née Davies), a nursery school teacher, and Eirwyn Evans, a primary school teacher.[6][7] His first language is Welsh.[8] Ifans grew up in Ruthin, North Wales,[9] and received his primary education at Ysgol Pentrecelyn, before attending Ysgol Maes Garmon, a Welsh language secondary school in Mold, Flintshire, where he sat his O levels and A levels. He also attended youth acting schools at Theatr Clwyd, Mold and trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.


In 1990, Ifans presented Stwnsh (Welsh for "Mash"), an anarchic children's quiz programme. A total of 31 fifteen-minute programmes were broadcast on Welsh-language TV channel S4C.[10]

Ifans appeared in many Welsh-language television programmes before embarking on his film career, as well as performing at the Royal National Theatre, London and the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.

He was briefly lead vocalist of the rock band Super Furry Animals before they released any records.[11]

After his role as Jeremy Lewis in the Swansea-based movie Twin Town (1997), he gained international exposure in his role as the slovenly roommate Spike in the British film Notting Hill (1999). According to the DVD's commentary, Ifans did not wash or brush his teeth, in preparation for the role. He played Adrian, the pompous eldest brother in Little Nicky (2000).

His film roles include: Eyeball Paul in Kevin and Perry Go Large (2000), Nigel in The Replacements (2000), Iki in The 51st State (2001), William Dobbin in Vanity Fair (2004), and Vladis Grutas in Hannibal Rising (2007). He played Jed Parry in the film version of Ian McEwan's Enduring Love and the lead role in Danny Deckchair (2003) as Danny Morgan.

In 2002 he gained some controversy in the British media for his alleged support of Welsh nationalist group Meibion Glyndŵr, a militant group who burnt more than a hundred empty, second homes in the Welsh heartlands in the 1980s. This was mainly because of comments he made in an interview conducted by Mariella Frostrup for The Observer newspaper.[8]

In 2005, Ifans won a BAFTA for his portrayal of comedian Peter Cook in the TV film Not Only But Always. Later that year he made a guest appearance for the rock band Oasis in the video for their single "The Importance of Being Idle" for which he accepted their award for Video of the Year at the 2006 NME Awards. He has also made appearances in the music videos for "God! Show Me Magic", and "Hometown unicorn" by the Super Furry Animals, "Mulder & Scully" by Catatonia, and "Mama Told Me Not To Come" by Tom Jones and the Stereophonics.

In December 2006, he returned to the London stage in Michael Grandage's production Don Juan in Soho at the Donmar Warehouse (run ended 10 February 2007). He had appeared previously at the Donmar in 2003's Accidental Death of an Anarchist. Earlier stage work includes Hamlet at Theatre Clwyd, A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Regent's Park Theatre and Under Milk Wood and Volpone at the Royal National Theatre.

On 16 July 2007, he received an Honorary Fellowship of Bangor University in north Wales, for services to the film industry.[12]

Since 2007 Ifans has sung with Welsh psychedelic rock band The Peth (peth is Welsh for "thing"), featuring Super Furry Animals' Dafydd Ieuan, which played a number of concert dates in South Wales and in London in the autumn of 2008. The band played its first date outside London or Wales on 28 September 2008 at the Southampton Soul Cellar.

Ifans revealed on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, on 27 March 2009, that he was to appear in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1. He played Xenophillius Lovegood, editor of the wizarding magazine "The Quibbler" and father of the eccentric Luna Lovegood. In the same interview, he also announced that he would play the title role in the film Mr. Nice, based on the life of Howard Marks who was released from prison for helping illiterate criminals to read and write, so they could get an education behind bars. He played Nemo Nobody's father in Mr. Nobody, starring Jared Leto and Diane Kruger. He played a villain in Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, which also starred Emma Thompson and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

On 11 October 2010, the Associated Press confirmed that Ifans would portray the villain in the Spider-Man reboot movie, The Amazing Spider-Man. The villain was revealed as the Lizard a few days later, and the film was released in July 2012.[13]

In September 2012 Ifans became patron of the newly formed Living Paths Society, to further and develop the Welsh language Wikipedia: Wikipedia Cymraeg.

Personal life[edit]

Ifans's brother, Llŷr Ifans, is also an actor. They starred together in the Welsh produced film Twin Town. Rhys was romantically linked to actress Sienna Miller,[14] and has a swallow tattoo on his right wrist to match hers.[15] In June 2008 it was reported that Miller had ended the relationship with Ifans just a few months after they had become engaged.[16]

Ifans is currently in a relationship with actress Anna Friel.[17]

During 2011 Comic Con, Ifans was arrested for misdemeanour battery, by San Diego police, after allegedly pushing a guard prior to speaking on a guest panel.[18] In August 2011, the local District Attorney's office announced that Ifans would not be charged due to lack of evidence.[19]


1997Twin TownJeremy Lewis
1997Trial & RetributionMichael Dunn
1998Dancing at LughnasaGerry Evans
1999HeartAlex Madden
1999You're DeadEddie
1999Notting HillSpike
2000Rancid AluminiumPete Thompson
2000Love, Honour and ObeyMatthew
2000Kevin And Perry Go LargeEyeball Paul
2000The ReplacementsNigel Gruff
2000Little NickyAdrian
2001HotelTrent Stoken
2001Christmas Carol: The MovieBob CratchitVoice
2001The Shipping NewsBeaufield Nutbeem
2001Human NaturePuff
2001The 51st StateIki
2002Once Upon a Time in the MidlandsDek
2003Danny DeckchairDanny Morgan
2004Vanity FairWilliam Dobbin
2004Enduring LoveJed
2005Midsummer DreamLysanderVoice: English version
2005"The Importance of Being Idle(Music Video)"Lazy Man
2006Garfield: A Tail of Two KittiesMcBunnyvoice
2007Four Last SongsDickie
2007Hannibal RisingGrutas
2007Elizabeth: The Golden AgeRobert Reston
2008Come Here TodayAlex
2008A NumberBenard (B2)
2009The InformersRoger
2009The Boat That RockedGavin Kavanagh
2009Mr. NobodyNemo's Father
2010Mr. NiceHoward Marks
2010GreenbergIvan Schrank
2010Passion PlaySam Adamo
2010Nanny McPhee and the Big BangUncle Phil
2010Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1Xenophilius Lovegood
2010Exit Through the Gift ShopNarrator
2011AnonymousEdward de Vere
2011NeverlandJames HookTV movie
2012The CorrectionsUnknownUnaired Pilot
2012The Five-Year EngagementWinton Childs
2012The Amazing Spider-ManDr. Curt Connors/The Lizard[13]
2013Another MeDon
2013ElementaryMycroft Holmes7 episodes
2014Madame BovaryMonsieur LheureuseFilming
2015She's Funny That WaySeth Gilbert
2016Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking GlassZanik HightoppFilming

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearNominated workAwardResult
1999Notting HillBAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting RoleNominated
1999Notting HillSatellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion PictureNominated
2005Enduring LoveEmpire Award for Best British ActorNominated
2012The Amazing Spider-ManTeen Choice Award for Best VillainNominated


  1. ^ "Rhys Ifans: Greasy Locks Posed Some Problems". Herald-Journal. 18 June 1999. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  2. ^ "Today in History". The Seattle Times. 13 July 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916–2005.; at ancestry.com
  4. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (3 June 1999). "Undies and all, 'Hill' is heaven for the flatmate from hell". USA Today. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  5. ^ http://www.clickonline.com/movies/uncut-interview--rhys-ifans-(the-amazing-spider-man)/11254/
  6. ^ "Rhys Ifans Biography (1968–)". filmreference.com. 
  7. ^ "Rhys Ifans' parental pride". Boston Globe. 17 March 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Rhys's pieces". The Observer. 1 September 2002. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "Rhys Ifans". moono.com. 
  10. ^ "Sdwnsh". antena.co.uk. 
  11. ^ "Super Furry Animals FAQ". BBC Wales. 
  12. ^ "Film actor, Rhys Ifans among University's Honorary Fellows!". University of Bangor. 17 July 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2008. 
  13. ^ a b "Rhys Ifans Will Play the Lizard in 'Spider-Man'". /film. 14 October 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2010. 
  14. ^ Louise Ford (9 March 2008). "Sienna Miller to marry lover Rhys Ifans". Sunday Mirror. 
  15. ^ "people.aol.com". 
  16. ^ "Sienna Miller Dumps Rhys Ifans". MTV UK. 4 June 2008. 
  17. ^ "Rhys Ifans and Anna Friel happy to wait for a child together". .walesonline.co.uk. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "'Spider-Man' Villain Rhys Ifans Cited at Comic-Con". TheWrap. 23 July 2011. 
  19. ^ "Rhys Ifans in the clear over arrest". 15 August 2011. 

External links[edit]