Matthew Rhys

Matthew Rhys Evans (born on 8 November 1974) and known professionally as Matthew Rhys, is a Welsh actor, best-known as Kevin Walker, the gay lawyer brother on the U.S. ABC family drama Brothers & Sisters.

Born and raised in the city of Cardiff, South Glamorgan, South Wales, Rhys was educated through the Welsh language at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Melin Gruffydd, and Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf. At seventeen, after playing the lead role of Elvis Presley in a school musical, he applied to, and was accepted at, the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London (RADA). Shortly thereafter, in 1993, he was awarded the Patricia Rothermere Scholarship. During his time at RADA, Rhys appeared in Back-Up, the BBC police series about the operational support units Hooli Vans, as well as in House of America. He then returned to Cardiff to act in his own language in the Welsh film Bydd yn Wrol (Be Brave), for which he won Best Actor at the Welsh BAFTA’s.

In January 1998, Rhys went to New Zealand to star in Greenstone, a colonial costume drama for television. He then landed a role in Titus, Julie Taymor’s critically acclaimed adaptation of Titus Andronicus, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange. Next he played Ray in Peter Hewitt’s quirky film comedy, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? After returning to Wales, he did two consecutive films with Jonathan Pryce: The Testimony of Taliesin Jones, a film about a dysfunctional single-parent family in which he played the elder son, and Sara Sugarman’s comedy Very Annie Mary, in which he played the role of Nob. Rhys would later reunite with Very Annie Mary star Rachel Griffiths on Brothers & Sisters.

In 2000, Rhys played the lead role in Metropolis, a drama series for Granada TV about the lives of six twenty-somethings living in London. Next he starred in Peaches, the film of the celebrated play written and directed by Nick Grosso. Rhys opened to huge critical acclaim when he starred as Benjamin in the 2000 world premiere of the stage adaptation of The Graduate, alongside Kathleen Turner at The Gielgud Theatre in London’s West End.

Rhys travelled to Ireland to star in the 18th century swashbuckling adventure, The Abduction Club. He played the lead role of Darren Daniels in Tabloid, and then returned to New Zealand to shoot the epic drama Lost World for the BBC. His other film credits include the independent horror film Deathwatch in Prague and Fakers, a comic crime caper. He will next be seen opposite Brittany Murphy in the independent feature Love and Other Disasters, in Virgin Territory opposite Hayden Christensen, Tim Roth and Mischa Barton, and playing poet Dylan Thomas in the love quadrangle biopic The Edge of Love, alongside Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller and Cillian Murphy.

Rhys is quite adamant that he could happily give up his career to play international rugby for his country.

Rhys is very close friends with actor Ioan Gruffudd, and they shared a house for nearly 10 years. Rhys served as one of the best men at Gruffudd’s wedding, and wrote a speech for the occasion.

On July 15, 2008, Matthew was honoured by Aberystwyth University as a Fellow. While on August 8, 2008 he was honoured at the Welsh National Eisteddfod by being accepted as a member to the druidic order of the Gorsedd of the Bards, for his contribution to the Welsh language and Wales. His bardic name in the Gorsedd is Matthew Tâf.

Matthew is a patron of Hijinx Theatre based at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.

Selected filmography

  • The Edge of Love (2008)
  • Virgin Territory (2007)
  • Love and Other Disasters (2006)
  • Brothers & Sisters (TV series, 2006 – )
  • Fakers (2006)
  • Columbo Likes the Nightlife (2003)
  • Y Mabinogi (voice) (2003)
  • Deathwatch (2002)
  • The Abduction Club (2002)
  • The Lost World (2001)
  • Very Annie Mary (2001)
  • A History of Britain (voice for TV series, 2000)
  • Titus (1999)
  • Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? (1999)
  • Elizabeth (1998) (uncredited)

Other projects, contributions

  • When Love Speaks (2002, EMI Classics) – “Sonnet 132” (“Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me”)

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