MCM: Matthew Rhys


Matthew Rhys may not have a very extensive list of historical films under his belt, but that’s ok. He more than makes up for it in quality over quantity.


The Abduction Club (2002)

A fun little period romp with passable costumes. Just don’t think too deeply about it.


Beau Brummell: This Charming Man (2006)



The Edge of Love (2008)

Rhys plays poet Dylan Thomas in a story of increasingly complicated love.


The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012)

Based on Charles Dickens’ last novel, Rhys plays John Jasper, the opium-addicted uncle of the titular character, who may or may not be responsible for his nephew’s death.


The Scapegoat (2012)

What would happen if you met your doppelganger and he turns out to be a complete bastard?


Death Comes to Pemberley (2013)

Rhys plays Mr. Darcy, who is forever bailing the feckless Wickham out of whatever stupidity he manages to get himself into…


The Bastard Executioner (2015)

Rhys has a cameo as Welsh rebel Gruffudd y Blaidd in the drama about a 14th-century Welshman trying to exact revenge on a wealthy English knight by going undercover as an executioner. As one does.


Come What May (2015)

Rhys plays a Scottish soldier trying to find a way back home after his entire unit was wiped out during the Battle of Arras.


The Post (2017)

Technically this falls outside of our 1969 cut-off for historical films, but only by 2 years. And since it deals with feminist icon Katherine Graham (played by Meryl Streep), I’m just going to include it on this list. It’s a great film, definitely watch it.


Do you have a favorite Matthew Rhys historical film role? Share it with us in the comments!


About the author

Sarah Lorraine

Sarah has an undergraduate degree in Clothing & Textile Design and a Master's in Art History and Visual Culture, with an emphasis on fashion history. When she’s not caught in paralyzing existential dread, she's drinking craft cocktails and writing about historical costume in film and television. She's been pissing people off on the internet since 1995.

12 Responses

  1. ljones1966

    You forgot his greatest role . . . Philip Jennings, the 1980s Soviet spy impersonating as an American travel agent.

  2. Nzie

    I have only seen him in a few things, only one a frock flick, but he’s quite good. Loved Death Comes to Pemberly (also love the main actress). Have a few more things to keep an eye out for after this list.

  3. Barbara

    He may not be the most swoon-worthy of all the Darcys (#firthforever) but he was still SO good in Death Comes to Pemberley. I may have to re-watch that this afternoon – thanks for the reminder! :)

  4. Tanya Stewart

    I’d never seen or heard of him before now—he definitely knows how to smoulder!

  5. Jessica

    He was actually my favorite Darcy (don’t tell my forever boo Colin Firth). I wish he had played Darcy in an actual P&P adaptation. Might have made me like the 2005 version more.

  6. Jacqui Gauld

    I know timewise it’s way out for you, but he was really good in Brothers and Sisters.

  7. LE

    I don’t want to be that person but he also played Count Dzerzhinsky in the movie Virgin Territory, based on the Decameron.

  8. darlenemarshall

    I know, I know, I shouldn’t mention his greatest role of all time (Koff phillipjenningstheamericans *koff, koff) but I’d love to see him in an Austen flick other than P&P. Maybe as Captain Wentworth? And how about a new Mr. Rochester? I’ll always have the most love for Timothy Dalton in the _Jane Eyre_ role, but I’d watch Matthew Rhys give it a try.

  9. Misti Nicole

    I only became aware of Matthew Rhys because of The Americans (SWOON) and I fell IN LOVE with him as an actor and a beauty. I will definitely be watching these films now. Love y’all’s work!