Born in Pembrokeshire in 1967, Rhys Ifans graduted from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He was heavily involved in theatre in his early work, such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Volpone and Under Milk Wood at the National Theatre.
Before his film career took hold, he appeared in numerous Welsh-language television programmes. Moving onto film, he played the role of Jeremy Lewis in Welsh film, Twin Town, before gaining exposure internationally following his role in the popular British film Notting Hill. He then appeared in a number of films including The Replacements, Vanity Fair and Hannibal Rising. In 2010, he played the role of Xenophillius Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1. Two years later, he starred as the main villain in The Amazing Spider-Man.
His stage work includes the 2003 production of Accidental Death of an Anarchist at the Donmar Warehouse. He returned to the Donmar Warehouse three years later to star in Don Juan in Soho. He also played the role of Danny in Protest Song at the National Theatre in 2013.
In October 2016, Ifans played Fool alongside Glenda Jackson, Jane Horrocks and Celia Imrie in Shakespeare’s classic King Lear, which ran at the Old Vic. A year later, he returned to the Old Vic to originate the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in Jack Thorne's adaptation of A Christmas Carol. In 2018, he starred in Exit the King.