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Anorak | Terrible interviews: Rhys Ifans is Bored with you – what the actor said to the journalist

Terrible interviews: Rhys Ifans is Bored with you – what the actor said to the journalist

by | 3rd, June 2013

Actress Anna Friel and actor Rhys Ifans during Ladies Day of the Glorious Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse, Chichester.

Actress Anna Friel and actor Rhys Ifans during Ladies Day of the Glorious Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse, Chichester.

INTERVIEWS need to adhere to one rule: be entertaining. Janice Turner writes in the Times of her meeting with Rhy Ifans, once described to me as having very very soft, unworkmanlike hands.

We discuss the spare, tight script of Gifted and I ask Ifans if he writes. “Yes, I do,” he says. “Screenplays, short stories, poetry, songs. I draw, I paint. What about you?” Clearly I’m not as creative as you. “Probably not.” Yes, I’m only a journalist. “Exactly. But don’t beat yourself up about it. God. You know, everyone needs news.” He sniggers to himself. And now I understand why he’s so condescending: Ifans is one of those actors who believes that he’s an “artist”.

Has he ever taken the media to the Press Complaints Commission? “Why should I tell you that?” Why not?

“I mean I would love to talk about it, but at the moment, because of certain proceedings, I can’t.”

(Later, looking through the Leveson sessions, I note that Ifans is mentioned as one of the celebrities whose medical records were leaked to a newspaper from a plastic surgery clinic.) Our conversation has reached such a level of hostility now that my most innocuous question is lobbed back at me with the intention of making me feel a tabloid-headed idiot. All the while, he glares fiercely into my eyes.

I ask whether, with many acclaimed roles behind him — he won a Bafta in 2005 for his portrayal of Peter Cook in Not Only But Always — he feels at 45 he has less to prove. “What I find”, he says gnomically, “is I am breathing in a lot deeper than I breathe out. I am taking my time.”

And then:

After this our conversation spirals downhill. Ifans becomes more incoherent and sweary, ranting about child abuse, how prosecutions such as those in Rochdale and Oxford against Pakistani Muslim sex rings are racist. “Look, they shouldn’t focus on them, when you’ve got Jimmy f***ing Savile.” Then we segue into his views on UKIP and his pleasure in party leader Nigel Farage getting a “proper send-off” in Edinburgh. What would have happened if he’d gone to Wales? “Hopefully, a hiding?” Ifans says.

What does he think of the current Government? “I dunno, there’s two, isn’t there?” he says.

Yes, I say wearily, the coalition.

“Yeah,” he sneers. “Is that what it’s called?” Yes, I sneer back, that’s the English word.

“Is it really?” he says and looks so angry I half-expect him to leap across the table. “What’s the Welsh word then?”

You tell me.

“F*** off then,” he says and I hear his publicist laugh nervously behind us. Then. “I wanna end this interview now. I’m bored with you. Bored. Bored.”

That was Rhys Ifans plugging his Sky TV show. More of it here.

More awkward interviews here. 

Photo: Actress Anna Friel and her boyfriend Rhys Ifans during Ladies Day of the Glorious Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse, Chichester.



Posted: 3rd, June 2013 | In: Celebrities Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink