Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Rhys Ifans: 'Howard Marks is still stoned' |

Rhys Ifans: 'Howard Marks is still stoned' | "Rhys Ifans looks very relaxed. He’s sitting by the pool just down the coast from Malaga, on the Costa del Sol, in his shorts and an open shirt, tall drink in one hand, long blazing reefer in the other. He’s not, contrary to first impressions, indulging in a hedonistic holiday. The 42-year-old Welsh actor is, believe it or not, hard at work; he’s midway through production on the big-screen adaptation of Mr Nice, the autobiography of fellow Welshman Howard Marks, the Oxbridge-educated valley boy, one-time cannabis smuggler and now full-time folk hero.
‘This feels kind of right, sitting here, playing Howard,’ begins Ifans, once his sitting-in-the-sun scene is done, drink and spliff put aside as hair and make-up people fuss around him. ‘I met Howard 13 years ago when he came out of prison, at a Super Furry Animals gig in Pontypridd.’
This was after Ifans’s active involvement in the band and before the publication of Marks’s best-selling 1996 book (Super Furry Animals put Marks’s image on the cover of their debut album, Fuzzy Logic, which was released in the same year as Marks’s autobiography). ‘We kind of made a verbal agreement there and then,’ continues Ifans, ‘that if ever there was a film to be made of Howard‘s life, I’d play him. At the time, I hadn’t really acted all that much, so it was a bit of a pipe dream.’ He pauses. ‘If you’ll excuse the expression.’"

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