Jonathan Rhys Meyers says Spitzer’s fall “borders on the puritanical”

NY Magazine has a new interview with “The Tudors” star Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and the sexy androgynous actor is matter-of-fact about the steamy scenes in his Showtime series portraying life in Henry VIII’s court. He says that all that sex was common among 16th century aristocrats because there wasn’t much else to do, but that it’s not that much different from the modern celebrity lifestyle.

[Henry VIII] Did seem awfully fickle with his women.
It’s not just a case of him being fickle. You read magazines on supermarket stalls, and some movie star is dating this person and then that person and then that person, and people are like, “Why do they hop from one to another?” Because they can! It’s that simple.

Do you feel like the show is over the top with all the steamy sex?
Oh, come on. Sex is sex. These people didn’t have TVs, they didn’t have cars, they didn’t have iPods. They had sex. What else do you think they did?

Got drunk?
Well, what do you do today? Drink and have sex. You live in New York City. You go out Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. But also remember that in that time, sex was very, very important. Sex changed nations.

Why do you think Henry had so many affairs, knowing the stakes?
[Sigh.] Because men are men.

That’s it? Can you think of another reason? Just another instance of wielding his power because he could.
You’re confusing wielding his power with wielding his dick.

[From via The Huffington Post]

When asked for his thoughts about Governor Spitzer’s fall from grace, the Scottish Irish-born Rhys Meyers says that Spitzer having to resign after that scandal broke borders “a little on the puritanical”

Speaking of the intersection of sex and power and politics, I assume you’ve heard over there in London about our governor’s fall from grace?
Yeah, for having sex! Doesn’t that border a little on the puritanical? If I know the story right, he had sex with a $15,000-a-night hooker.

I think their last liaison cost him $4,300.
Oh, so he was having sex with a cheap hooker.

God, I hope that’s not what’s considered cheap.
I don’t know. I don’t patronize hookers. But what I’m saying is, come on, look. Did your president not almost lose his presidency over a blow job? That would never have happened in Henry’s time. Unless it was Henry’s wife, giving a blow job to somebody else.

Kate Beckinsale said something similar on “The Late Show” last week. She told David Letterman that Spitzer’s hooker affair wouldn’t have been big news in England unless there was a diaper involved.

There is something to be said for the constant media persecution of Spitzer that happened after he was caught. You do understand how salacious a story it is and how anyone would jump on it. Investigative journalist Greg Palast points out that Senator David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, did have a scandal where he was caught paying prostitutes to put him in diapers. Vitters is still in power and not much was made of his involvement when the Feds busted the prostitution ring that supplied him, but Spitzer, an outspoken opponent of you-know-who, had a very public downfall. Prostitution is still illegal, and politicians should be called out when they commit even minor crimes, but it doesn’t seem quite fair that one guy took a fall while another one got a pass.

“The Tudors” season two premieres Sunday March 30th at 9pm on Showtime. You can watch the full first episode online now on the Showtime website. [No one has paid or contacted us for this promotion.]

Photos are stills from The Tudors, thanks to

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19 Responses to “Jonathan Rhys Meyers says Spitzer’s fall “borders on the puritanical””

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  1. Trillion says:

    You go, CB!

  2. Scott F says:

    I think it’s pretty obvious why Spitzer was treated differently: he was the biggest fucking hypocrite most of us have ever seen. When you make your entire political career about rooting out corruption, you had better make damn sure you’re not corrupt.

    And for crying out loud, can we all drop the ‘Clinton got impeached for a blowjob’ nonsense? He was impeached for lying to a grand jury ABOUT a blowjob.

    Same thing with Spitzer. He didn’t take a fall for sex, he took a fall because he was paying for sex. I don’t care if you wanna screw around, but there are plenty of legal ways to do it. This guy didn’t have a secretary?

  3. Kate says:

    “Unless it was Henry’s wife”

    Too bad Rhys Meyers missed that little nod to hypocrisy. And who cares what he thinks about Eliot Spitzer’s case, anyhow?

  4. Bodhi says:

    Well the interviewer obviously cared what he thought or he wouldn’t have asked the question.

    it doesn’t seem quite fair that one guy took a fall while another one got a pass

    Ditto all the way!

  5. Bellatrix says:

    That’s what happens when you set European raised people free in America (or just ask their opinion about what’s happening abroad).

    The sex thing in Europe is just not the same kind of matter as it is in other parts of the world… It’s due to history, culture, evolution of traditions, takes on religion, etc.

    Apart from that, Rhys Meyers is looking mighty good.

  6. headache says:

    Not just paying for sex, Scott, but for a hooker to cross state lines to have sex and rewiring money around in illegal ways to pay for said sex and keep anyone from finding out about it.

    It proved, as did Clinton’s lying under oath, that the public could not trust him to tell the truth.

    I guarantee Clinton would not have faces an impeachment trial if he had just admitted to the affair and Spitzer would still be in office if all he had was an affair.

    Foreign celebs should really research the particulars before they address such questions or admit that they don’t know the full details.

  7. xiaoecho says:

    …er, some-one should tell NY Mag that Meyers plays Henry VIII not Henry VII

    Hardly surprising ’cause Henry VIII had red hair and if the producers couldn’t even be bothered getting that right, why should they give a toss whether the publicity’s a generation out?

    The Tudors is an embarrassment to watch even if you know only the basics of Tudor history. The true story is far more depraved (and interesting)

    as for whatsisname…..what did he expect leading a double life?? …a round of applause?

  8. Randi says:

    Scott F is absolutely right about the role of hypocrisy in Spitzer’s fall. Why the hell do journalists bother to ask actors their opinions on history and politics? Playing Henry VIII doesn’t make you a historian.

  9. Anonymous says:

    CB, Jonathan Rhys Meyers Was born in Dublin, Ireland not Scotland.

  10. Anonymous says:

    but it is OK, does not really matter.

  11. Anonymous says:

    And I agree with all the comments above.

  12. RC says:

    Also, Infantilism, while definitely kinda weird, isn’t illegal, and it’s not illegal to pay someone to treat you like a baby, even if it is for your own sexual pleasure. it’s a fine line, because, while clearly sexual to the people who engage in it, it’s not sex in the legal sense – same with professional dominatrices, as long as nothing overtly sexual occurs. not to mention spitzer’s tough-on-crime, tough-on-corrupiton stance. oof. it’s only funny if the public figure has denounced his own behavior in the past.

    Kate – I wouldn’t be at all surprised if JRM said that on purpose, as a barb. He ain’t the sharpest tack in the box, but he’s not oblivious either.

  13. Shane says:

    I am a Democrat and I ALWAYS vote Democratic. I vote Democratic because I have a social agenda far different than the Republican party. If I lived in New York I would have voted for Spitzer. But, Spitzer was a liar and a fraud and he let us all down. He was caught spending somewhere around $80,000 on hookers over a years time. It was many girls. Read into the full story.

    Yes, Vitter & Craig should have been run out of Washington long ago. Yes, it’s unfair that Spitzer got crushed but those two scumbags continue to have a vote in DC.

    But, Spitzer made his entire career on being Mr. Clean God Bless America. He even prosecuted prostitution rings while he was Attorney General! The guy broke the trust, and as a Democrat I don’t want our party protecting a man who would do something like that.

  14. Anastasia says:

    The Tudors is a show I’d enjoy if it were even the slightest bit accurate and if it didn’t amount to nothing more than soft-core with costumes. I’m no prude, I love a bit of cheeky fun, but honestly there’s so much sex in that show it really gets old after awhile. Oh hey here’s a dark-headed (eyeroll) Henry VIII boinking someone else. Oh hey here he is in the next scene getting a blow job, waddaya know? And now here’s some random dude with two women and an old guy wanking in the woods, whoooo! Zzzzzzzzzzz.

  15. snappyfish says:

    xiaoecho I am glad I am not the only one to notice. The costumes are glorious but the story isn’t even CLOSE to being acurate.

    It is a great story, it should be told. Not turned into soft porn as you say. The other boleyn girl was also horrific for the same reason, story ALL wrong and the costumes were bad.

    But rhys meyers is hot and the girl playing Anne is lovely

  16. Gracie says:

    Good grief. Why have laws at all if they are not enforced, especially if the enforcers are breaking them?

    We have something called equal justice in the eyes of the law in America. Meaning, if it’s a crime for one person, it’s a crime for all.

    Yes, reality means that $$ can get you better lawyers, etc., but people who ignore the basic point of a nation lof laws and not men scare me.

  17. Mairead says:

    I would like to interject with the perspective of an Irish person the same age as JRM.

    We Irish up until very very recently didn’t have the “European” view of sex. Marriage out of wedlock was the worst thing imaginable, with those who couldn’t have shotgun weddings being shipped off to secluded mother and baby homes (at best) or Magdalene laundries, with many babies being forcibly adopted in Ireland and America.
    So I must disagree with the assumption that JRM has no clue about conservative sexual values.

    HOWEVER, the Irish do have a very odd take on what corruption really is. To us, Clinton got into trouble (Whitewater aside) because of sexual foibles and lying about it. It’s true, we liked Clinton, and his help in Northern Ireland has left behind an improving society to which the whole country is grateful. We’ll revel in the salacious detail as much as anyone, but in general we’re willing to let anyone who wants to do the job get on with it. The few times I remember a politician stepping down from politics was (1) interference in an incest case (2) drink driving and nearly killing someone

    The point is that we here are still in the midst of The Mahon Tribunal. It’s one of many tribunals that allegedly aim to get to the bottom of corruption in politics and property development in the 1980s and 1990s. Feckin’ joke.

    Our Benevolent Leader (Bertie Ahern) has already been proven to be either a blithering mass incompetent or chronically corrupt – and what is the Irish public’s response “Aaahhh leave him alone”

    So you’ll understand that we Irish really don’t give a damn what happens behind closed doors (or in the local cottaging or cruising grounds) as we’re more than happy to re-elect the properly corrupt as we don’t seem to see the point of a Government as actually “governing” – more a shower of eejits that we want to tear the backs out of once they get into power.

  18. FF says:

    I thought the ‘constant persecution’ was because it’s an election year.

    Otherwise, it’d be business as usual.

    Anyway it’s not a matter of ‘just having sex’ its a matter of the context. If you’re going to have sex try not to break (federal) laws to do it. Don’t do when you’re publicly persecuting other people for doing the same thing. And don’t do it when you taken vows saying you won’t.

    Just be honest. That’s all women ask of men most of the time. If you want to have an affair say so, and your wife can stop wasting her time but don’t try and have your cake and eat it.

    Why is that so hard?

    Could it be that a lot of men feel entitled to as many women as possible? Well, that would be your first mistake.

  19. gg says:

    Love the comments! Rhys Meyers is a petulant, self-important jerkweed. Every interview I have EVER read with him has him bitching his head off about how people are prudes. I sorta liked him as an actor (assuming he was ACTING, and not playing HIMSELF) until I saw his lengthy Gormenghast interview. What a jerk.

    That said, I bought the Tudors and consider it fluff. I am a european history fiend and did not expect HBO to make an accurate historical drama. Only the BBC does that right, usually.