Rhys Ifans

Rhys Ifans
Rhys Ifans 2011 cropped.jpg
Ifans in October 2011
Rhys Owain Evans

(1967-07-22) 22 July 1967 (age 54)
  • Actor
  • producer
  • singer
Years active 1991–present
Relatives Llŷr Ifans (brother)

Rhys Ifans (Welsh pronunciation: [r̥ɨːs ˈivans]; born Rhys Owain Evans; 22 July 1967) is a Welsh actor, producer, and singer. He is best known for his roles as Spike in Notting Hill, Jed Parry in Enduring Love, Eyeball Paul in Kevin & Perry Go Large, Dr. Curt Connors / The Lizard in The Amazing Spider-Man, Xenophilius Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, Mycroft Holmes in the CBS series Elementary, and Hector DeJean in the Epix thriller series Berlin Station seasons. He is the frontman of The Peth and formerly fronted the Super Furry Animals.

Early life

Ifans was born Rhys Owain Evans[1] in Haverfordwest on 22 July 1967,[2] the son of nursery school teacher Beti-Wyn (née Davies) and primary school teacher Eurwyn Evans.[3][4] His younger brother, Llŷr Ifans, is also an actor.[5][6] He grew up in Ruthin,[7] where he received his primary education at Ysgol Pentrecelyn and was raised speaking Welsh as his first language.[8] He attended Ysgol Maes Garmon, a Welsh medium secondary school in Mold, where he took his O levels and A levels.[9] He attended acting classes at Theatr Clwyd.[5] After leaving school, he presented Welsh-language television programmes on S4C.[5] He studied acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he graduated in 1997.[10]



Ifans' early stage work included Hamlet at Theatr Clwyd, A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Regent's Park Theatre, and Under Milk Wood and Volpone at the National Theatre. He appeared at the Donmar Warehouse in 2003's Accidental Death of an Anarchist. In 2006 he returned to the London stage in Michael Grandage's production of Don Juan in Soho at the Donmar Warehouse. In 2016, Ifans played Fool alongside Glenda Jackson in Deborah Warner's production of King Lear, at The Old Vic. He returned to The Old Vic to play Ebenezer Scrooge in Matthew Warchus' production of A Christmas Carol (adapted by Jack Thorne) in 2017 and in 2018 returned to the National Theatre to play King Berenger in Patrick Marber's new adaptation of Eugene Ionesco's Exit the King. Ifans was given the role of Atticus Finch in Aaron Sorkin's To Kill A Mockingbird to begin at London's Gielgud Theatre on 21 May 2020.[11] The play was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic but was rescheduled for May 2021.[12] The role of Atticus Finch was later given to Rafe Spall due to scheduling conflicts.[13]


Ifans appeared in many Welsh-language television programmes before embarking on his film career, including the comedy show Pobol y Chyff [cy], as well as performing at the National Theatre, London and the Royal Exchange, Manchester. In 1990, he presented Sdwnsh (Welsh for "Mash"), an anarchic children's quiz programme. A total of 31 fifteen-minute programmes were broadcast on Welsh-language TV channel S4C.[14][15]

He narrated the children's animated series Sali Mali for S4C in 2000.

In 2005, Ifans made a guest appearance for the rock band Oasis in the video for their single "The Importance of Being Idle" (where he mimed to Noel Gallagher's vocals), for which he accepted their award for Video of the Year at the 2006 NME Awards. He has also appeared in the music videos for "God! Show Me Magic" and "Hometown Unicorn" by Super Furry Animals, "Mulder and Scully" by Catatonia, and "Mama Told Me Not to Come" by Tom Jones with Stereophonics.

In 2008, he appeared in "Six Days One June", one of three episodes of the TV series The Last Word Monologues, written by Hugo Blick and broadcast on BBC Two. He played a lonely Welsh farmer trying to free himself from a domineering mother.

From 2016 to 2019, Ifans portrayed hard-nosed American CIA case officer Hector DeJean in the U.S. pay-cable Epix network espionage thriller drama series Berlin Station, which was filmed on location in Berlin.

Ifans has been cast in the Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, which is scheduled for release in 2022.[16]

Feature films

Following his role as Jeremy Lewis in the Swansea-based movie Twin Town (1997) alongside his brother Llŷr,[17] Ifans gained international exposure in his role as the slovenly housemate Spike in the British film Notting Hill (1999). Reportedly, in preparation for the role, Ifans did not wash himself or brush his teeth. He played Adrian, the pompous eldest brother in Little Nicky (2000). Other film roles include: Eyeball Paul in Kevin & 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 2004 film version of Ian McEwan's Enduring Love, and the lead role in Danny Deckchair (2003) as Danny Morgan.

Ifans revealed in March 2009 that he was to appear in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010).[18] He played Xenophillius Lovegood, editor of the wizarding magazine The Quibbler and father of the eccentric Luna Lovegood. In the same interview, he announced that he would play the title role in the film Mr. Nice, based on the life of the drug smuggler Howard Marks. He played Nemo Nobody's father in Mr. Nobody. He played a villain in Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang.

On 11 October 2010, the Associated Press confirmed that Ifans would portray the villain in the Spider-Man reboot film The Amazing Spider-Man. The villain was revealed as the Lizard a few days later, and the film was released in July 2012.[19] In 2015, Ifans starred in She's Funny That Way, directed by Peter Bogdanovich.


Ifans was briefly lead vocalist of the rock band Super Furry Animals before they released any records.[20]

Since 2007, Ifans has sung with the 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. In 2009 the band supported Oasis at a concert in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.[21]

Charity work

In September 2012, Ifans became a patron of the Welsh-language Wikipedia, together with Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan.[22]

In 2017, Ifans partnered with Shelter Cymru in a campaign called "7 Ways You Can End Homelessness".[23]

Personal life

Ifans lives in London.[8] He dated British actress Anna Friel from 2011 to 2014.


In 2002, Ifans caused some controversy in the British media for his alleged support of Meibion Glyndŵr, a militant Welsh nationalist group which burnt down more than 100 empty holiday homes in Wales owned by English people in the 1980s. This was mainly due to an interview Mariella Frostrup conducted with him for The Observer in which he said, "Welsh-speaking communities are under threat more than at any other time in history because of house prices. [...] Communities that have been there for centuries are essentially becoming holiday villages. Young people are forced to leave because there's no work and the young people that are left can't afford to live there. That's a crime."[8]

During the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con, Ifans was arrested for misdemeanour battery by San Diego police after allegedly pushing a guard prior to speaking on a guest panel.[24] The local District Attorney's office announced that Ifans would not be charged due to lack of evidence.[25]



Year Title Role Notes
1996 August Griffiths
1997 Twin Town Jeremy Lewis
1998 Dancing at Lughnasa Gerry Evans
1999 Heart Alex Madden
1999 You're Dead Eddie
1999 Notting Hill Spike
1999 Janice Beard 45 WPM Sean
1999 Hooves of Fire Head Elf Voice
2000 Rancid Aluminium Pete Thompson
2000 Love, Honour and Obey Matthew
2000 Kevin & Perry Go Large Eyeball Paul
2000 Sali Mali Narrator
2000 The Replacements Nigel Gruff
2000 Little Nicky Adrian
2001 Hotel Trent Stoken
2001 Christmas Carol: The Movie Bob Cratchit Voice
2001 The Shipping News Beaufield Nutbeem
2001 Human Nature Puff
2001 The 51st State Iki
2002 Once Upon a Time in the Midlands Dek
2003 Danny Deckchair Danny Morgan
2004 Vanity Fair William Dobbin
2004 Enduring Love Jed
2005 Midsummer Dream Lysander Voice: English version
2005 Chromophobia Colin
2006 Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties McBunny Voice
2007 Four Last Songs Dickie
2007 Hannibal Rising Grutas
2007 Elizabeth: The Golden Age Robert Reston
2008 Come Here Today Alex
2009 The Informers Roger
2009 The Boat That Rocked Gavin Kavanagh
2009 Mr. Nobody Nemo's Father
2010 Mr. Nice Howard Marks
2010 Greenberg Ivan Schrank
2010 Passion Play Sam Adamo
2010 Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang Uncle Phil
2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Xenophilius Lovegood
2010 Exit Through the Gift Shop Narrator
2011 Anonymous Edward de Vere
2012 The Five-Year Engagement Winton Childs
2012 The Amazing Spider-Man Dr. Curt Connors / The Lizard[19] Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Villain
2013 Another Me Don
2014 Serena Galloway
2014 Madame Bovary Monsieur Lheureux
2015 Dominion[26] Dylan Thomas
2015 She's Funny That Way Seth Gilbert
2015 Len and Company Len Black
2015 Under Milk Wood Captain Cat Also producer
2016 Alice Through the Looking Glass Zanik Hightopp
2016 Snowden Corbin O'Brian
2018 The Parting Glass[27] Karl
2019 Official Secrets Ed Vulliamy
2020 Misbehaviour Eric Morley
2020 Last Call Dylan Thomas
2021 The King's Man Grigori Rasputin Post-production
2021 La Cha Cha Jeremiah Post-production
2021 The Fantastic Flitcrofts Lambert Post-production[28]


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Spatz Dave 2 episodes
1995 Screen Two Kevin Episode: "Streetlife"
1997 Trial & Retribution Michael Dunn 2 episodes
2004 Not Only But Always Peter Cook TV movie
2008 A Number Bernard (B2) TV movie
2011 Neverland James Hook TV movie
2012 The Corrections Gitanas Unaired pilot
2013–2014 Elementary Mycroft Holmes 7 episodes
2013 Playhouse Presents Chris Episode: "Gifted"
2016–2019 Berlin Station Hector DeJean 24 episodes
2022 House of the Dragon Otto Hightower Main cast

Music videos

Year Title Role Notes
1997 "Mulder and Scully"
2000 "Mama Told Me Not to Come"
2005 "The Importance of Being Idle" Lazy Man

Honours, awards and nominations

In 2005, Ifans won a BAFTA for his portrayal of comedian Peter Cook in the TV film Not Only But Always.

On 16 July 2007, he received an Honorary Fellowship of Bangor University, for services to the film industry.[29]


  1. ^ Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916–2005.; at ancestry.com
  2. ^ Johnston, Sheila. "Ifans, Rhys". Screenonline. British Film Institute. Retrieved 1 April 2020. Born Rhys Owain Evans in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, on 22 July 1967
  3. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (3 June 1999). "Undies and all, 'Hill' is heaven for the flatmate from hell". USA Today. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
  4. ^ Anderson, Daniel (3 July 2012). "Uncut Interview - Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man)". clickonline.com. Archived from the original on 28 March 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  5. ^ a b c "Rhys Ifans biography". Wales Arts. BBC. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Rhys Ifans' parental pride". Boston Globe. 17 March 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  7. ^ "Rhys Ifans". moono.com.
  8. ^ a b c "Rhys's pieces". The Observer. 1 September 2002. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  9. ^ "Castle yn cyd-ddathlu gydag ysgol hanesyddol". BBC Lleol. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  10. ^ D'Souza, Christa (14 February 2003). "Sometimes, I cry like a baby". Daily Telegraph. London.
  11. ^ Criscitiello, Alexa. "Rhys Ifans To Star In TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD West End Transfer". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  12. ^ "To Kill A Mockingbird London - To Kill A Mockingbird Rhys Ifans". British Theatre. 28 November 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  13. ^ "Rafe Spall to star in West End premiere of To Kill a Mockingbird". www.msn.com. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  14. ^ "Sdwnsh". antena.co.uk. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.
  15. ^ "Sdwnsh". Antena. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  16. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (11 February 2021). "'House Of the Dragon': Rhys Ifans, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best & Sonoya Mizuno Join HBO's 'Game of Thrones' Prequel". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  17. ^ Louise Ford (9 March 2008). "Sienna Miller to marry lover Rhys Ifans". Sunday Mirror. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008.
  18. ^ Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, 27 March 2009
  19. ^ a b "Rhys Ifans Will Play the Lizard in 'Spider-Man'". /film. 14 October 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  20. ^ "Super Furry Animals FAQ". BBC Wales. Archived from the original on 15 March 2008.
  21. ^ "The Peth Biography". Wales Music. BBC. 18 November 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  22. ^ "University honours for ex-Swans star Guillermo Bauza and actor Rhys Ifans". South Wales Evening Post. 20 July 2015. Archived from the original on 25 July 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  23. ^ "Rhys Ifans backs Shelter Cymru's homelessness campaign". BBC News. 18 May 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  24. ^ "'Spider-Man' Villain Rhys Ifans Cited at Comic-Con". TheWrap. 23 July 2011.
  25. ^ Molloy, Tim (12 August 2011). "'Spider-Man' Villain Rhys Ifans Won't Be Charged in Comic-Con Incident (Exclusive)". Reuters.
  26. ^ "Saint John movie shoot attracts 250 actors from region". CBC News New Brunswick. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. CBC News. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  27. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6446550/[bare URL]
  28. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt12572040/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_3
  29. ^ "Film actor, Rhys Ifans among University's Honorary Fellows!". Bangor University. 17 July 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2008.

External links