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Wild? I prefer to play golf -- Rhys Meyers

Hollywood superstar Jonathan Rhys Meyers has insisted that his bad boy image is way off the mark.

The star claimed that far from partying and drinking he actually prefers low-key pursuits such as golf.

In an exclusive interview with the Herald, the Irish actor admitted that he has spent some time in Middlesex staying with a counsellor but denies that he was in rehab.


Reports have said that Jonathan has taken the title of Irish wild child in LA from Colin Farrell and has had a public battle with alcohol addiction. But the Corkman has claimed that the reality is far removed from this Hollywood lifestyle.

"I live an incredibly low key life. I think people would like to think I'm a hell of a lot naughtier than I am actually," he said. "I am actually quite a boring guy. I spent the last week and a half playing bloody golf. Me, Jonathan Rhys Meyers! If anyone saw me in those stupid golf clothes on the golf course, there would have been a different story written!" he laughed.

The actor has had a difficult time over the past two years, including the break up of a long engagement to Reena Hammer and the sudden death of his mother, Geraldine.

The 31-year-old failed to show up to collect two different awards for his work -- at the IFTA event in Dublin and at the Oscar Wilde event in Los Angeles -- as well as pulling out of appearances on late night chat shows in the US.

But he insisted the no-shows were not a sign that he was going off the rails.

"I just felt I needed time off and I didn't need to go to awards ceremonies," Jonathan explained.

"You can get slightly waylaid as an actor doing that sort of thing and I'm never that comfortable at them anyway."

Jonathan, who is famed for his role as Henry VIII in The Tudors as well as starring in a range of blockbusters, including Match Point and Mission Impossible III, said that "all actors are frustrated rock stars". But he denied that he has any difficulty pursuing a career in the intense show business.

"People say that the film industry is a very competitive industry, but I don't see my enemy," he laughs.


"I think as an actor, you've just got to be the best actor that you can possibly be, keep yourself as focused as possible and be open."

"I'm 31 years old now and I really, honestly I believe everything I've done has been an apprenticeship so far," he added.

"What I do from 31 to 50 is probably my career so I haven't even started yet," he said.

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