Name change: 'Johnny O'Keefe' doesn't have the star quality of 'Jonathan Rhys Meyers'

Jonathan Rhys Meyers in 'The Tudors'

Aoife Anderson

IRISH actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers has revealed he changed his surname because he thinks his real name, Johnny O'Keefe, is boring.

The 30-year-old Cork star decided to adopt the name Rhys-Meyers at the very beginning of his acting career to make himself sound more interesting.

The Tudors heart-throb said the two different names enabled him to separate his work life from his personal life.

"Jonathan Rhys-Meyers was the name I wanted the world to know me by, and not my birth name," he said.

"I wanted to create almost this different person, which I suppose doesn't really exist.

"People think it's all premieres and parties and glamour. And I suppose Jonathan Rhys-Meyers has some of that.

"But Johnny actually sits at home, plays his guitar badly and hangs out with his friends.

"It's good that there's a line for me to draw," he added.

The Golden Globe-winning actor is staring in a new movie August Rush, directed by Jim Sheridan's daughter, Kirsten.

Jonathan plays Irish musician Louis Connelly, who fathers a son after a one-night stand.

Meyers said he felt drawn to the role because he had no father figure in his life while he was growing up.

"I was raised without my father, yes, but I had my mother.

"I have got a really close relationship with my father -- but as adults, not as son and father," he added.

Meyers is rumoured to be back in the arms of his long-time on-off love Reena Hammer, however, he said he has no plans on settling down or having children himself in the near future.

"I love children -- I used to be one. For years I was in that club. Some people might say I still am. My birthday is on July 27. I was 30, so I went to see The Simpsons.

"This is what movie stars do on their 30th birthday -- they go to see The Simpsons.

"Yes I love kids -- but I have no intentions to be a father this minute," he added.

The actor also revealed that, if he wasn't lighting up the big screen, he would have like to have become good enough at playing the guitar to become a musician.

"I play music -- I just never wanted to do it as a job," he said.

"My father is a musician, my brothers are musicians.

"But if I had pushed it, I am sure I could have learned to be a bit better, to promote it," he added.