Rhys Ifans portrays Mycroft Holmes on Elementary.
Early life and career
Ifans was born in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales, in 1967, the son of Beti Wyn (née Davies), a nursery school teacher, and Eirwyn Evans, a primary school teacher. His first language is Welsh. Ifans grew up in Ruthin, North Wales, and received his primary education at Ysgol Pentrecelyn, before attending Ysgol Maes Garmon, a Welsh language secondary school in Mold, Flintshire, where he sat his O levels and A levels. He also attended youth acting schools at Theatr Clwyd, Mold and trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
In 1990, Ifans presented Stwnsh (Welsh for "Mash"), an anarchic children's quiz programme. A total of 31 fifteen-minute programmes were broadcast on Welsh-language TV channel S4C.
Ifans appeared in many Welsh-language television programmes before embarking on his film career, as well as performing at the Royal National Theatre, London and the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.
He was briefly lead vocalist of the rock band Super Furry Animals before they released any records.
After his role as Jeremy Lewis in the Swansea-based movie Twin Town (1997), he gained international exposure in his role as the slovenly roommate Spike in the British film Notting Hill (1999). According to the DVD's commentary, Ifans did not wash or brush his teeth, in preparation for the role. He played Adrian, the pompous eldest brother in Little Nicky (2000).
His film roles include: Eyeball Paul in Kevin and Perry Go Large (2000), Nigel in The Replacements (2000), Iki in The 51st State (2001), William Dobbin in Vanity Fair (2004), and Vladis Grutas in Hannibal Rising (2007). He played Jed Parry in the film version of Ian McEwan's Enduring Love and the lead role in Danny Deckchair (2003) as Danny Morgan.
In 2002 he gained some controversy in the British media for his alleged support of Welsh nationalist group Meibion Glyndŵr, a militant group who burnt more than a hundred empty, second homes in the Welsh heartlands in the 1980s. This was mainly because of comments he made in an interview conducted by Mariella Frostrup for The Observer newspaper.
In 2005, Ifans won a BAFTA for his portrayal of comedian Peter Cook in the TV film Not Only But Always. Later that year he made a guest appearance for the rock band Oasis in the video for their single "The Importance of Being Idle" for which he accepted their award for Video Of the Year at the 2006 NME Awards. He has also made appearances in the music videos for "God! Show Me Magic", and "Hometown unicorn" by the Super Furry Animals, "Mulder & Scully" by Catatonia, and "Mama Told Me Not To Come" by Tom Jones and the Stereophonics.
In December 2006, he returned to the London stage in Michael Grandage's production Don Juan In Soho at the Donmar Warehouse (run ended 10 February 2007). He had appeared previously at the Donmar in 2003's Accidental Death Of An Anarchist. Earlier stage work includes Hamlet at Theatre Clwyd, A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Regent's Park Theatre and Under Milk Wood and Volpone at the Royal National Theatre.
On 16 July 2007, he received an Honorary Fellowship of Bangor University in north Wales, for services to the film industry.
Since 2007 Ifans has sung with Welsh psychedelic rock band The Peth (peth is Welsh for "thing"), featuring Super Furry Animals' Dafydd Ieuan, which played a number of concert dates in South Wales and in London in the autumn of 2008. The band played its first date outside London or Wales on 28 September 2008 at the Southampton Soul Cellar.
Ifans revealed on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, on 27 March 2009, that he was to appear in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1. He played Xenophillius Lovegood, editor of the wizarding magazine "The Quibbler" and father of the eccentric Luna Lovegood. In the same interview, he also announced that he would play the title role in the film Mr. Nice, based on the life of Howard Marks who was released from prison for helping illiterate criminals to read and write, so they could get an education behind bars. He played the father of the protagonist Nemo Nobody in Mr. Nobody, starring Jared Leto and Diane Kruger. He played a villain in Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, which also starred Emma Thompson and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
On 11 October 2010, the Associated Press confirmed that Ifans would portray the villain in the Spider-Man reboot movie, The Amazing Spider-Man. The villain was revealed as the Lizard a few days later, and the film was released in July 2012.
In September 2012 Ifans became patron of the newly formed Living Paths Society, to further and develop the Welsh language Wikipedia.