Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Real name: John O'Keefe
Birthdate: July 27, 1977
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Meyers was born Jonathan Michael Francis O'Keeffe in Dublin, Ireland to Geraldine Meyers and John O'Keeffe. His stage name is derived from his mother's maiden name, Meyers.
Rhys Meyers was born with a serious heart problem and was baptised shortly after his birth, as it was feared he would not survive long enough for a traditional baptism ceremony. He spent the first few months of his life in the hospital. Meyers still lives in County Cork, Ireland where his family moved to when he was a few months old. He has three younger brothers named Jamie, Alan and Paul.
When Jonathan was a teenager, he befriended an Anglo-Irish gentleman farmer. He was taken in by the farmer and his family and went to live with them in at their home in Buttevant.
Rhys Meyers was expelled from school at age 16, and spent much of his time hanging out in pool halls. Casting agents looking for Irish boys to appear in War of the Buttons spotted Rhys Meyers at a Cork pool hall, the Victoria Sporting Club, and invited him to audition. Although he was passed over for War of the Buttons, the casting agents encouraged him to pursue a career in acting. His first film role came soon afterward, in A Man of No Importance (1994). In 1996 he appeared in Michael Collins, as Collins' assassin.
His film roles range from a David Bowie-inspired glam rock star in Velvet Goldmine (1998) to a dedicated girls' football coach in Bend It Like Beckham (2002). He appeared in Vanity Fair (2004) alongside Reese Witherspoon. In 2005, Rhys Meyers starred in Woody Allen's film Match Point, for which he received a Chopard Trophy at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2006, he appeared in Mission: Impossible III. Other projects include August Rush (2007) and "The Children of Huang Shi" (2007). He is in talks to play Branwell Bronte in the movie Bronte (2007), and is rumored to be appearing in Danny Glover's Haitian epic Toussaint (2008).
Rhys Meyers also has experience as a singer. He did much of his own singing in the role of rock star Brian Slade in Velvet Goldmine, although some of these songs were replaced on the CD release of the soundtrack with alternate tracks by better-known vocalists. Rhys Meyers also sings briefly in the TV miniseries version of The Magnificent Ambersons. His singing voice is also featured in his upcoming film August Rush.
Rhys Meyers was chosen as the "face" for the Versace men's collection of Autumn/Winter 2006 and Spring 2007. He is also the new face of the men's fragrance Hugo by Hugo Boss.
In January of 2007, Rhys Meyers checked into an undisclosed rehab facility seeking treatment for alcohol abuse. On April 24, 2007, the Associated Press reported that Rhys Meyers returned to treatment. The actor's representative Meredith O'Sullivan confirmed the news to People magazine citing his need to take a break from his busy schedule in order to maintain sobriety.