As He Tries to Find Fame in the States, Actor Matthew Rhys Writes Home to Keep His Family Informed of His Luck. Here's His Letter from America

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), May 2, 2003 | Go to article overview

As He Tries to Find Fame in the States, Actor Matthew Rhys Writes Home to Keep His Family Informed of His Luck. Here's His Letter from America


Byline: Matthew Rhys

Dear Mam and Dad

WELL, here I am in the City of Angels, otherwise known to you as Los Angeles. But I'm leaving tomorrow for Toronto because, guess what? I've got myself a job!

I'm going to be playing an American rookie cop in a pilot show for CBS, so I'm busy learning my lines and trying to sound less Cardiff and a bit more broad Boston.

To be honest I was lucky to get something so quickly. I say quickly, but as you know I've been out here since just after Christmas looking for work, like thousands of other jobbing actors. And that's just the British ones.

It's strange to go back to being a relative unknown quantity here but it certainly keeps you on your toes because you can't take anything for granted.

I'm glad to be getting out of LA, though, if only to go and shoot Violent Crime; that's the name of the show. LA is a really odd place, really unreal if you know what I mean.

I don't think I'd ever get used to living here but it's nice to stay for a bit. Any longer and I'm sure I'd go mad, mind.

It's difficult to explain what it's like if you've never been here or, worse still, lived here like I have.

I'm still sharing with Sara Sugarman but I don't see much of her as she's busy getting ready to direct that film Catherine Zeta Jones is going to be making in Wales. Do you think if I did more washing up she'd get me a part in Coming Out? That's the title of Cath's film, see.

Sara's got a lovely place here in the LA hills with the obligatory swimming pool, of course. Her house is lovely but you wouldn't believe some of those jotted around it. It's like city planners will let anyone build anything anywhere, so from her back yard you can see these great mountains and the landscape is very much like that in the V alleys, but then you've got these horrendous homes that look like large blobs of concrete. Honestly, some of these places are so ugly it looks as if someone has got their hands on a lump of pink concrete, thrown it up against the mountain, prayed for it to stick and then just moved in.

I've started to get used to the weirdness after all this time coming back and forth from Londonand Cardiff to here, but it never ceases to amaze me how crazy this place is.

It's nice to be living in a house, though, and Sara is just great. I'm sure you'd love her.

When Ioan (Gruffudd) and I were sharing a flat here when we were out last year trying to find work we spent a lot of time in her company. Now that Ioan has got himself a nice little house off Melrose Place she said it was silly for me to be renting elsewhere when I could use her place and look after her dog, Violet, who's adorable.

I can tell you something for nothing, though - if it wasn't for walking that dog I'm sure I wouldn't see another human being apart from casting agents and directors. You can't do anything in LA unless you have a car, so every morning I load Violet into the car I'm renting and take her for a walk around the canyon. Everyone goes there to get some fresh air and that's where I bumped into Paul Rhys the other day.

You remember him, don't you? He's from Pencoed, so it's nice to hear another Welsh accent amongst all these American drawls.

Anyway, Paul's doing the rounds too. He was in that Chekhov play Ivanov in the summer and has done a bit of telly with Caroline Quentin. I think it was a comedy which I didn't catch on ITV called Made in Heaven. Did you see it? Anyhow, he's here trying to get his face known, like us all.

I've seen loads more actors but not many names that you'd recognise, I don't think. …

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