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"Which was kind of the in-joke for me, because I've never in my life heard of an Irish tennis player. And Chris didn't have to be Irish, there was nothing that particularly lent him to that, but I think Woody just found it attractive that I was Irish in England. One minute he's Ralph Fiennes, earnest and elegant; the next he's Daniel Day-Lewis, wary and intense.
He found just that underdogness to be quite appealing." In truth, Chris's Irishness in Match Point is a marginal detail; references to his background are thin on the ground, and largely - indeed, irritatingly - of the "hasn't he done well? Nationality aside, the character is finely drawn, and Rhys Meyers's interpretation intelligent and powerful. Within seconds, he'll be peppering the air with expletives as if in parody of his peer and rival, Colin Farrell (a good friend, says Rhys Meyers, as is Cillian Murphy, who makes up the triad of sultry young Irish males in Hollywood).
The encounter that changes his life is with Tom Hewitt, the spoiled but sociable son of a wealthy family, who invites Chris to spend time at his parents' estate.
Despite his struggles with alcohol, the actor continues to score roles on the big screen and on TV.
He recently wrapped a season on “Dracula” and has three movies set to be released this year.
There, Chris meets the two women in Tom's life, to both of whom he will lay claim: the sweet sister, Chloe (Emily Mortimer), and the bombshell American fiancée, Nola (Scarlett Johansson).
Marriage to Chloe puts him on a path to wealth and success beyond his wildest dreams, but sex with Nola is impossible to resist, and destruction beckons.
While Chris could be viewed as the Allen character, the one likely, had this film been made 20 or even 10 years ago, to have been played by Allen himself, Rhys Meyers says he had "no interest" in playing that character. He gives perhaps the closest picture of himself when he talks about the lighter moments of shooting, about the practical jokes he played on Allen (wearing, for one photo-shoot, the glasses for which the 70-year-old had been loudly searching for half an hour beforehand), and when he imitates the timid whine of Allen's voice with perfect - and genuinely funny - pitch.