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It's not all glamour... acting can be a very lonely life.

Hollywood actor Rhys Ifans has revealed his sensitive side in a collection of interviews to be broadcast on S4C in the New Year.

Often portrayed as a "wild man", Rhys, from Ruthin in Denbighshire, talks about his life, and work, and the twists and turns which have led to his starring as 'The Lizard', the main villain in the yet-to-be released blockbuster - 'The Amazing Spiderman.' Interviewed in his trailer during a break from filming in New York, Ifans tells comedian Daniel Glyn: "I didn't get too excited when I first heard I'd got the part; that would have made me terribly nervous.

"But while filming, you realise how much of a beast this pounds 16o million project is. I've never felt quite like this on set before - feeling the pressure of having to deliver. I know this is a huge film and that I'll have to be at my best."

"When I finish Spiderman, the feeling of completing a sizeable work like that - I've nailed it, I've done that - Spiderman - is a fantastic feeling because you've worked hard - no other reason at all."

Rhys revealed the "spiritual moment" when, at the tender age of eight, he decided he wanted to become an actor.

He talks of the smell, warmth and darkness of Theatr Clwyd, Mold and likened it to the feeling of being held as a child close in his parents laps while they read a story together.

He says: "I went up on to the stage from the audience during a Christmas pantomime in Theatr Clwyd, a production in which Gari Williams starred. I had an unusual, new feeling up on that stage, a feeling of wanting to be brave, and wanting to step out of my comfort zone. It was a moment I will never forget."

He adds how he enjoyed his first brush with the "dark beast" - the audience.

Ifans seems to have always harbored a love of movies and story-telling, recalling watching spaghetti Westerns with his dad and going to his mum's school in Denbigh and being in awe of how the children moved closer and closer to her feet when she read them a story.

When he was 14, Rhys joined Clwyd Youth Theatre and then moved on to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Barbican London where he fell in love with Shakespeare.

Rhys said actors have to be disciplined. "Acting is a tough, difficult job, with long, unsocial hours, sometimes 16 hours, although it can be a brilliant job too.

"I don't want to complain too much as nurses, farmers and teachers are out working long hours. But it is important that people realise it can be pretty tough.

"Very often, actors have to face being rejected time and again, and we must remember that the red carpet lasts just a minute. I don't know one actor who enjoys the red carpet anyway."

Rhys said: "It's a fantastic life - I wouldn't change it for the world - but my feet are on the ground. It's exciting and an adventure when you're young, especially going from place to place - or when you're in your early 30s.

"I'm over 40 and you really feel sometimes that you want to be home and when you're in love - as I am - the distance can be difficult - and the time difference.

"It has been lonely... it's not all glamour, it's often cold and we work long hours. It's easy to become homesick, and it's important to battle against that.

"I have mechanisms that I use to keep me from going into that dark pit."

Rhys admitted that because of his work he's had to make many sacrifices in terms of relationships.

"If I had my own family - I wouldn't work as much overseas because of the children."

He admitted he has a reputation as "a wild man" but that he has more recently "quietened down".

Rhys said: "It's partly true. I like to go out like everybody and enjoy myself. Maybe it's because I'm tall and people notice more."

Ifans seems keen to play down his tabloid persona and is most enthusiastic when discussing his craft and co-stars.

For instance, he says that when preparing to play Peter Cooke, he only nailed the controversial comedian's mannerisms after watching Dot Cotton smoking on East Enders.

Similarly, he recalls acting with his old friend, Daniel Craig in the film Enduring Love - and a scene where they had to kiss.

Rhys said: "I was winding him up by saying: "Only 14 days now until the big kiss. I was his first Bond girl. I still held his bottom while I was kissing him."

Rhys also fondly remembers a key moment in his early career, working with his brother Llyr Evans in the cult film Twin Town, a role which first brought him into the wider public's eye.

The film still commands a cult following. Every year actors and fans gather In Laugharne to read out lines from the script.

But not all the parts that come his way are as attractive as The Amazing Spiderman. Ifans reveals he has turned down the chance to portray Peter Stringfellow, Jimmy Savile and Rod Hull and Emu over the years.

Daniel Glyn said: "Rhys takes the craft of acting and making people laugh seriously. It also shows that you have to sacrifice a great deal to be a famous actor." ? Prosiect: Rhys Ifans, Tuesday January 3, 9pm on S4C New Anna FACTFILE? RHYS Owain Ifans was born on July 2, 1967 in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.

. ? He grew up in Ruthin, Denbighshire. ? He attended Ysgol Pentrecelyn and Ysgol Maes Garmon, Mold. ? Rhys joined Theatr Clwyd Youth and trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. ? Rhys' brother Llyr is also an actor. They starred together in the Welsh-produced film Twin Town.

. ? Rhys appeared in many Welsh language TV programmes before starting on his film career. ? Rhys was briefly lead vocalist of Super Furry Animals and more recently The Peth (The Thing).

. ? He is known for his portrayal of characters such as Spike in Notting Hill and Jed Parry in Enduring Love. ? In 2005, Rhys won a Bafta for his portrayal of Peter Cook.

Friel. He's currently in a relationship with actress Anna Friel.

CAPTION(S):

New love: Anna Friel Above: Rhys Ifans on a break from filming. Inset L-R: With brother Llyr in Twin Town and playing the villain in the latest Spiderman movie opposite Andrew Garfield
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 20, 2011
Words:1072
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