Thirst Trap

Thirst Trap: Matthew Rhys

I come to you as a long-time who’s gone through an untold number of “phases”. Now, the weirdest ones are the individuals to creep up on you. There’s nothing special about them the first time out. In fact, some of them sit on the edge of your consciousness, only to spring suddenly into crush territory with no warning upon a single viewing. This describes what happened with today’s subject. 0 to super sexy spy in an hour of television…

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I’m embarrassed to admit that while I’m a fairly regular television viewer, the critical darling spy drama The Americans stayed off my radar for the longest time. In an almost painful showing of irony, I discovered the series in November, mere months after the lengthy run wrapped. When I watched the pilot, my eyes were suddenly opened to the delight that is Matthew Rhys.

“He’s Welsh?!?!” You ask. “How did you miss this?”. Now, in my defense… the man possesses a skill with accents which seems to rival only the all-time chameleon herself, Toni Collette in sheer skill. I honestly would not have known he was Welsh till I looked him up.

I suppose I should hand in my… “Me” card.

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Anywhoo, it’s early days in this crush. You know when you’re bright, chipper and brimming with the prospect of a full filmography to dive into? There’s such hope when you’re still at this point in a phase! I love it.

It seems Matthew Rhys is the chameleon of actors, which I guess, shouldn’t be suprising considering his very particular set of skills in The Americans. The man pulled off blending into his surrounding in what must have started out as a very cheap wig budget. I somehow missed him in a quiet, but drastically important part in The Post. It’s very much a blink and you miss it kind of role; however, he manages to make his even short screentime memorable.

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All at once, My Mr. Darcy list got much more complicated…

Now (cracks knuckles) speaking purely from a fangirl perspective, there is sooooo much to like here. As my “phase” deepened, I fell down a bit of a YouTube rabbit hole (as I’m apt to do!), and plunged so much deeper into my fangirl glee. Are you a fan of The Americans? I dare you to dive into some Matthew Rhys’ YouTube videos and not figure out the exact same thing… particularly as (looks around sheepishly) his relationship with (co-star and now partner) Kerri Russell deepens. Rhys is fricken adorable! (Y’all know I’m a shipper… I don’t hide it).

Where do we start? The accent? The chemistry? The sense of humor? Diving into the inevitable Matthew Rhys rabbit hole shows just how delightful he is… and how unbelievable amazing his physical chemistry with Russell is. I could even forgive his sometimes questionable facial hair choices…

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Things look to be on the uphill swing for Rhys, who now has some more free time with the end of The Americans. A quick look over his filmography shows a few parts waiting in the wings. Most notable for this fan of all things vintage is that Rhys is now tied to the Perry Mason reboot which has been floating through development hell for years. While this project is still in early stages, hope remains that things might finally be solidifying as the long gestating project transfers into new hands. Meanwhile, Rhys will also be co-starring opposite Tom Hanks in the incomparable Marielle Heller’s next film: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

While as an avid television watcher, and a fan of good TV, I’m embarrassed that it took me so long to get to The Americans, I’m glad to be finally hopping onto the Matthew Rhys train. The adorable Welsh actor is an absolute joy to watch, and here’s hoping for much, much more from him in the future.

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