I was going to ask if you’re ever going to use your Welsh accent on television, but then I realized you did—playing the villain in the last-ever episode of Columbo. Did you know it was going to be the last going in?
No, no, we didn't at all. And that was a crushing moment for me because I always pride myself on working hard at dialect and accents. And Peter Falk, said “I want [your character] to be a Cockney from London.” So I worked on my Cockney accent. And he picked me up at LAX—Peter Falk picked me up when I landed at LAX. Unbelievable. In his Range Rover. Walked into arrivals. It still blows me away.
Then he goes, "I want to rehearse right now." I was like, "Oh! Okay." So we drove to Universal, we drove to his office, and we're rehearsing for a few minutes and I'm giving my best London Cockney that I've worked on. And he went [Peter Falk accent] "Where are you from?" And I said, "Oh, I'm from a place called Cardiff in Wales." He said, [Peter Falk accent] "Why don't you play him as a guy from Cardiff in Wales." And I was like, “Oh my God, Peter Falk just destroyed my Cockney accent.” So it was kind of a crushing moment for me, but yes, I did get to use my own native accent in the last-ever Columbo.
Monday, August 10, 2020
Matthew Rhys talks about appearing as the villain on the last episode of Columbo
From a wide-ranging interview: