Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Ifans slams Government over arts

Rhys Ifans says the arts are 'vital' to society

Rhys Ifans has criticised the Government - saying it should be "shot at dawn and filmed" for not supporting the arts.

The Notting Hill star - who has donated £1 million to improve drama facilities in his hometown of Ruthin in Wales - slammed the coalition Government over arts investment.

Rhys reportedly told The Guardian: "The older I get I'm really reminded how important the arts are to our wellbeing as a society."

He added: "When you're young, you know it's important, but you don't quite understand why. But now I'm 42 and it's f***ing vital. And if you have a Government that can't understand the importance of that, that doesn't have the spiritual aesthetic to arrive at that place, that is so morally bereft that it has to punish what it thinks is not useful, that is very disturbing.

"That is why I would like the Government to be f***ing shot at dawn and filmed."

He added: "Every time the Tories get a bit of power they rip off all the things I love... The mining industry. Milk."

In July, the Department For Culture, Media And Sport said the UK Film Council would be axed to save money.

Rhys stars as the famed Welsh drug dealer Howard Marks in new film Mr Nice.

He said: "I think the way Howard reclaimed his life means the film has a Grecian arc to it, narratively. It's an odyssey.

"It's Robin Hood with cars - that's the kind of frequency the film plays at. Of course in real terms it's far more complex and delicate. But (the film) is a celebration of a good story."

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