Rhys Ifans

For the footballer, see Rhys Evans.
Rhys Ifans

Ifans in 2011
Born Rhys Owain Evans
(1967-07-22) 22 July 1967[1][2]
Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Occupation Actor
Years active 1990–present
Partner(s) Sienna Miller
Anna Friel (2011–present)[3]
Relatives Llŷr Ifans (brother)

Rhys Ifans (Welsh pronunciation: [r̥ɨːs ˈivans]; born Rhys Owain Evans;[4] 22 July 1967)[4][5][6] is a Welsh actor and musician. He is known for his portrayal of characters such as Spike in Notting Hill, Jed Parry in Enduring Love, and Eyeball Paul in Kevin & Perry Go Large. He is also known as a member of the rock groups Super Furry Animals and The Peth.

Ifans 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 in the CBS series Elementary. Ifans gained fame in the United States for playing Nigel Gruff, a footballer-turned-American football player who has a gambling addiction, in the 2000 film The Replacements.

Early life

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.[7][8] He has a brother, actor Llŷr Ifans. Their first language was Welsh.[9] Ifans grew up in Ruthin, North Wales,[10] and received his primary education at Ysgol Pentrecelyn. He attended 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.



Early stage work by Ifans included 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. He appeared at the Donmar Warehouse in 2003's Accidental Death of an Anarchist. 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).


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. In 1990, he 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.[11]

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

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.

Feature films

After his role as Jeremy Lewis in the Swansea-based movie Twin Town (1997), 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 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.

Ifans revealed in March 2009 that he was to appear in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010).[12] 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 due to his work in helping teach 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 2015, Ifans starred with Jennifer Aniston in She's Funny That Way, directed by Peter Bogdanovich.

Music videos and as musician

He was briefly lead vocalist of the rock band Super Furry Animals before they released any records.[14]

In 2005, Ifans 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 appeared in the music videos for "God! Show Me Magic", and "Hometown Unicorn" by Super Furry Animals, "Mulder & Scully" by Catatonia, and "Mama Told Me Not To Come" by Tom Jones and Stereophonics.

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. The band played its first date outside London or Wales on 28 September 2008 at the Southampton Soul Cellar.

Other pursuits and activities

In 2002 Ifans gained some controversy, reported in the British media, for his alleged support of Welsh nationalist group Meibion Glyndŵr, a militant group which burnt more than 100 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 newspaper The Observer.[9]

In September 2012, Ifans became patron of the Welsh-language Wikipedia (Wicipedia Cymraeg), together with The Most Reverend Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales.

Personal life

Ifans has a brother, Llŷr Ifans, who is also an actor. They starred together in the Welsh-produced film Twin Town.[15]

Rhys was romantically linked to actress Sienna Miller.[15] In June 2008 it was reported that Miller had ended the relationship with Ifans a few months after they had become engaged.[16]

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.[17] In August 2011, the local District Attorney's office announced that Ifans would not be charged due to lack of evidence.[18]


Year Title Role Notes
1995 Streetlife Kevin
1996 August Griffiths
1997 Twin Town Jeremy Lewis
1997 Trial & Retribution Michael Dunn
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
2000 Rancid Aluminium Pete Thompson
2000 Love, Honour and Obey Matthew
2000 Kevin And 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
2005 "The Importance of Being Idle" Lazy Man Music video
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
2008 A Number Benard (B2)
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
2011 Neverland James Hook TV movie
2012 The Corrections Unknown Unaired Pilot
2012 The Five-Year Engagement Winton Childs
2012 The Amazing Spider-Man Dr. Curt Connors / The Lizard[13] Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Villain
2013 Another Me Don
2013 Gifted Chris
2013 Elementary Mycroft Holmes 7 episodes
2014 Serena Galloway
2014 Madame Bovary Monsieur Lheureuse
2015 Dominion[19] Dylan Thomas Post-production
2015 She's Funny That Way Seth Gilbert
2015 Under Milk Wood Captain Cat
2016 Berlin Station Hector DeJean
2016 Alice Through the Looking Glass Zanik Hightopp
2016 Snowden Corbin O'Brian

Honors, 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.[20]

Year Nominated work Award Result
1999 Notting Hill BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
1999 Notting Hill Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Nominated
2005 Enduring Love Empire Award for Best British Actor Nominated
2012 The Amazing Spider-Man Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Villain Nominated


  1. "Rhys Ifans: Greasy Locks Posed Some Problems". Herald-Journal. Spartanburg, South Carolina. 18 June 1999. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
  2. "Today in History". The Seattle Times. 13 July 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
  3. "Interview: Anna Friel on her love for Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett and partner Rhys Ifans". Evening Standard. January 31, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  4. 1 2 Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916–2005.; at ancestry.com
  5. Wloszczyna, Susan (3 June 1999). "Undies and all, 'Hill' is heaven for the flatmate from hell". USA Today. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
  6. Anderson, Daniel (3 July 2012). "Uncut Interview - Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man)". clickonline.com. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  7. "Rhys Ifans Biography (1968–)". filmreference.com.
  8. "Rhys Ifans' parental pride". Boston Globe. 17 March 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  9. 1 2 "Rhys's pieces". The Observer. 1 September 2002. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  10. "Rhys Ifans". moono.com.
  11. "Sdwnsh". antena.co.uk.
  12. Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, 27 March 2009
  13. 1 2 "Rhys Ifans Will Play the Lizard in 'Spider-Man'". /film. 14 October 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  14. "Super Furry Animals FAQ". BBC Wales.
  15. 1 2 Louise Ford (9 March 2008). "Sienna Miller to marry lover Rhys Ifans". Sunday Mirror.
  16. "Sienna Miller Dumps Rhys Ifans". MTV UK. 4 June 2008.
  17. "'Spider-Man' Villain Rhys Ifans Cited at Comic-Con". TheWrap. 23 July 2011.
  18. "Rhys Ifans in the clear over arrest". 15 August 2011.
  19. "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.
  20. "Film actor, Rhys Ifans among University's Honorary Fellows!". Bangor University. 17 July 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2008.

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