Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Rhys wants to make Welsh Braveheart

Matthew Rhys wants to bring the Welsh equivalent of Braveheart to our screens

Matthew Rhys has revealed he is determined to make the Welsh equivalent of Braveheart for the big screen.

The Cardiff-born actor - currently appearing in hit US spy drama The Americans on ITV - confessed his dream role would be to bring to life the story of Llywelyn The Last.

He aims to one day star in a biopic of the last prince of an independent Wales before its conquest by Edward I of England.

However Matthew said he fears the patriotic tale of a Welshman's fight for freedom may be too similar to Mel Gibson's award-winning film about William Wallace, who led the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I.

He said: "It's a bit tricky because Mel Gibson beat us to the post. There's a very similar Welsh story to Braveheart, Llywelyn the last true Prince of Wales.

"But Braveheart's done it, so it would be hard not just be a Welsh Braveheart really."

The 38-year-old Brothers And Sisters star - who played Welsh poet Dylan Thomas in biopic The Edge of Love in 2008 - is hoping to go ahead with his pet project in a few years time, when he hopes memories of Braveheart, which won Gibson the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director in 1996, have faded a little more.

Matthew said: "It's a tough one, you need a few more years for a new audience. Braveheart was almost 18 years ago, so I think a few years and you might have an audience ready for it."

The actor is now based in Los Angeles and has carved out a successful career on US TV.

But he has just returned to the UK to film an adaptation of PD James' Pride And Prejudice murder mystery spin-off, Death Comes To Pemberley. Matthew will play Mr Darcy in the BBC drama, which is about to begin shooting in Yorkshire. He said: "I love coming back. I love working at home. It's a treat to be able to do both."

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