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Matthew Rhys reveals battle to get Owain Glyndŵr biopic made

17 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Matthew Rhys appearing on the Rob Brydon & podcast

Hollywood star Matthew Rhys has lifted the lid on how he has tried to get a film about Owain Glyndŵr off the ground.

Appearing on a recent episode of the Rob Brydon & podcast, the two Welshmen discussed Rhys’ latest projects and how the Cardiff-born actor was busy pitching ideas, but admitted he was currently ‘stuck in development hell’.

“I’m in development for a number a number of things,” he explained. “I suppose the one thing that I’m genuinely excited about that I’ve been trying to get made for so long is a story of Owain Glyndŵr.

“That’s been that’s been the uphill slog that’s been about a 12 year development.”

When asked to explain to the non-Welsh listeners of the podcast just who Owain Glyndŵr was, The Americans and Perry Mason star, said: “Owain Glyndŵr was who many deem the last Welsh Prince of Wales, who in the 16th century led an incredibly successful rebellion against the English when things turned for the worse for Wales as they did for Scotland and Ireland.

“Glyndŵr united a very divided Wales. He not only retook Wales but started to push into England incredibly, until the English said, ‘this is far far too much from the Taffs’ and they came back with a vengeance. They took his family they came back upon him with a vengeance, the like of which we had never seen, which kind up set up modern Wales as it is now.”

When podcast host Brydon enquired whether the film could have a happy uplifting ending, Rhys replied: “Yes, you’d probably end it with when we won the last Grand Slam!”

The actor, who won many plaudits for his portrayal of the famed defence lawyer Perry Mason in the self-titled TV series, which ended last year, said he’s been searching for the next role, but because of his TV successes Stateside his agents have been very selective of which roles he is put forward for.

“Because, some things did well – Perry Mason did relatively well. So then you’re approached by a number of people to start developing. I am what is known as in the midst of development hell where there are about 10 projects, books mainly that you’re in constant zoom meetings about, notes on treatment, notes on the script, what to do, who do we pitch to next? You’ll just sit in this round robin slog pitching to people like Apple and Amazon and Netflix and HBO. I’ll be in meetings saying ‘oh this project is my life’s work’. And my agent said you’ve got to stop saying ‘this is my most important part’, because you said that a few times the last time we pitched.”

The actor, who once shared a flat with fellow Welsh acting titan Michael Sheen, did however bring a play about Dylan Thomas to the stage when he was part of a special performance to mark International Dylan Thomas Day in New York to celebrate the Welsh poet and writer.

The specially commissioned one-act play ‘Dear Mr Thomas’ was premiered at 92Y and features the Emmy Award winning actor, along with his partner and The Americans co-star Keri Russell, plus Richard Burton’s daughter Kate Burton.

International Dylan Thomas Day is held each year on 14th May, the anniversary of the date when Under Milk Wood was first read on stage at 92Y The Poetry Center, New York in 1953.

Listen to the full Rob Brydon & podcast


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Riki
Riki
27 days ago

Owain Glyndwr, the man who effectively gave Wales back its autonomy and directly led to the victory of the British forces at Bosworth field over the English. This would go on to have devastating results because as the people of Wales do best, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory….The traitorous Henry VIII sold his homeland out. Er go, Wales isn’t joined to English law because they conquered us, but rather because we beat them and one of our rulers of England sold us out. Owain Glyndwr is not only the last Prince of Wales, but the last legitimate British… Read more »

Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
26 days ago
Reply to  Riki

The man who fought against the Scots with the English King. There are also monuments in England to men who fought with him.

CapM
CapM
26 days ago
Reply to  Rhddwen y Sais

I’d be interested in these monuments.
Please tell me where they are.
Diolch

Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
26 days ago
Reply to  CapM

I was mistaken. I had read been told not sure which that a monument in Shropshire was to Glyndwr’s son in law. I have just checked and the monument is to his son in law’s grandfather.

Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
26 days ago
Reply to  Riki

Henry 7th victory was celebrated by the Welsh nobility who put him on the throne. There is no question about that.

Riki
Riki
26 days ago
Reply to  Rhddwen y Sais

Henry the VII was indeed a patriot, his son, not so much! We see Henry VII noble side in the fact he left Wales alone. Knowing full well he had no legitimacy over his homeland…This fact was of little concern to Henry VIII however. I mean, He had to please the Pope somehow after what he had done.

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
26 days ago

Such a film is long overdue. It would help raise the profile of Owain Glyndwr in Cymru, many people in our country have either never heard of him or know very little about him. It could also boost our economy by raising our global profile. It would also help educate people across the world that we are not part of England but are a country in our own right. Cymru Rydd.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
26 days ago

‘Kate Burton’…

Liz Taylor had a son who had a band out of Aberystwyth in the early seventies, His name was Michael Wilding jr, a good sport. He and the band played on the side of the hill above Llyn Celyn for us after seeing them play in Aber, his mum was in Aber in 75 !

hdavies15
hdavies15
26 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Did he tell you about an earlier episode, about 1968 or 69 ? He was a student around that time but had to step out ……. Got into a spot of bother with Dyfed Powys Old Bill. Stuff that would probably get dismissed as minor, personal use these days.

Geraint ap Iorwerth
Geraint ap Iorwerth
26 days ago

Who is Matthew working with? Who is in his ‘team’? Who has he approached? Who is in charge of the script? What OG angle is he promoting – the European context of the day? Religious conflict?

Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards
25 days ago

Yes these practical questions need answers. This project needs to stop going round in circles and get real BTW I have started the script. There are treatments which make sense and those that don’t. Anyone interested please email me.

Brad Bull
Brad Bull
25 days ago

Just need to find the right Australian to play the lead.

Evs
Evs
25 days ago

I hope it doesn’t come off the ground. They’ll ruin it I can see it now, Matthew Rhys and Michael Sheen will split the main role, Ryan Renolds will turn Crach Ffinant into DeadPool. It’ll all be about appealing to the yanks. As a Scottish historian said about Braveheart “its like Lethal Weapon is drag”. Leave Owain alone. Do somethimg less boring instead and read RR Davies, JE Lloyd or Michael Livingstone & John K Bollard Mind you we do have a dragon so maybe a Game of Thrones version, a nice big wall to the east to keep out… Read more »

Ron Biggly
Ron Biggly
25 days ago
Reply to  Evs

In 2022, US visitors accounted for 21 per cent of all overseas trips to Scotland and 38 per cent of all overseas spend.

That’s the Braveheart effect.

Evs
Evs
24 days ago
Reply to  Ron Biggly

I would suggest it’s more to do with Scottish family ancestry, the awesome Scottish landscape amongst many other things, Buckfast included

Not a 30 year old Hollywood fantasy starring Mel Gibson

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