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Rhys Ifans interview (part 2)

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We get another bite of the Ifans interview cherry.Continued from here.

Sorry if we sailed too close to the wind for you there, Rhys.

Not a problem, brother, don’t worry. I had my eye off the ball there, and wasn’t in the right place to answer any questions, let alone those.

Fair enough. You divide your time between acting and music — as a man in his 40s, is the dream still to play Wembley?

I’d rather play for Wales at Wembley. In football or in rugby? Both sports. I’m joking, Jesus. I’m a rock and roller at heart, I can’t help it — it’s a giggle.

Which would be the more hedonistic world: music or acting?

I guess music, but then I kind of bring my hedonism everywhere. I could turn a farm into a party.

Recently there seems to have been a campaign to expose the private lives of as many sportsmen as possible. Do actors get an easier ride?

I think if you set yourself up to be something you’re not, then the inevitable will happen and those people will expose you. I think actors are generally allowed to be more honest about their way of life, and I am. Any dirt they want to fling is already on me.

After Howard Marks, are there other Welsh legends you’d like to play?

Maybe Llywelyn, the last Prince Of Wales. He was killed in 1282.

You could make a Welsh version of Braveheart...

Yeah. Brynheart, I’d call it.

You started out doing Welsh-language kids’ TV. Are those fond memories, or were you glad to get away from it?

No, not at all, I love kids and I still love working with kids. My parents are teachers and I guess I’ve got this gene for loving kids. In terms of acting, they’re just really these open pieces of blotting paper. You work with kids and you wonder what you’re worrying about, all the craft, because they’re so natural and liberating. I have very fond memories — it was a way into Welsh television, which got me my break into acting.

Soon after that came Twin Town, then Notting Hill. Was it tough to get people to see you as anything other than the guy in his pants?

It went a bit mad after that, but you can’t let it get on your nerves. That opened up so many doors for me, that role — certainly in America. Now, 10 years down the line, you have the pay-off. The mission has always been to get rid of the pants, and I think I’m in that process. I’m on a quest to put some clothes on, when most actors are trying to get them off.

You appeared in the video for Oasis’s The Importance Of Being Idle. Are there conflicting loyalties for you since the Gallaghers split?

No. Not at all. I would never come between those two. Let them fight among themselves, I don’t want to get involved in that one. They’re both good friends, and I wish them well. I’m sure they’ll make great music separately or together — either way, they’re going to rock your pants off.

Can you recommend a pub in Wales?

Yeah, there’s a pub in Cardiff Bay, the old docks area of Cardiff, called the White Hart. It’s rough and ready and full of wonderful people. You go in there, say you know me — you’ll either get a drink bought for you or you’ll get robbed. It’s a good old venue. It’s right next to the Super Furry Animals’ rehearsal studio — when I’m doing music that’s my drinking hole.

Can you tell us your best chat-up line in Welsh?

We don’t do chat-up lines, we have long conversations. Welsh girls generally don’t fall for chat-up lines; they’re far too intelligent. That’s my chat-up line right there.

Mr Nice is at cinemas nationwide from 8 October

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