No Payday Until Production Completed

Taking a chance on Jonathan Rhys Meyers despite his addiction problem meant a conditional arrangement that included withholding his pay until the first season of Dracula was a wrap.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers

NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt always knew who he wanted to play Vlad Tepes/Alexander Grayson on NBC's production of Dracula — Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Greenblatt had worked with Rhys Meyers before, while Greenblatt was the president of entertainment at Showtime and oversaw production of The Tudors, in which Rhys Meyers starred as King Henry VIII.

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, Greenblatt's familiarity with Rhys Meyers' previous work — and Rhys Meyers' ongoing struggle with addiction — didn't dissuade NBC from courting the handsome, talented actor to anchor Greenblatt's pet project. However, it did drive the network to create a little safety net to ensure its production would be completed.

According to sources, the network paid Rhys Meyers, 36, a per diem and expenses but withheld his salary — which is reported to be approximately $100,000 per episode — until all of the episodes had been shot. It was an incentive package.

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The journey was not as easy for the Irish actor as expected. According to sources, Rhys Meyers suffered a setback midway through filming and left Dracula's shooting location in Budapest to head back to London, where he was hospitalized for a short time after a meltdown. He later returned to the Dracula set and resumed filming with a sober companion.

Rhys Meyers has long struggled with alcoholism, and many believe he attempted suicide through pills in 2011, although that was later denied. None of it has affected his performances, although it might have interrupted his production schedule.

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Rhys Meyers is a two-time Golden Globe nominee for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Drama for The Tudors. He also won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, and he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for his portrayal of Elvis Presley in Elvis.

The jury is still out on whether or not Dracula will be a success. Though it premiered to relatively solid ratings, it's been in a steady decline ever since, although the DVR numbers make for a more solid figure when factored into the equation.

NBC declined comment on the story to The Hollywood Reporter, but sources for Rhys Meyers told the magazine, "Jonathan's in a really good place, and he's healthy."

That's the best news.

Image courtesy of Nino Muñoz/NBC


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Comments on "NBC puts the bite on Dracula star's addiction problem"

Carol April 02, 2014 | 3:10 PM

We really miss Dracula, I just hope it does not get cancelled, I truly hope Mr. Myers gets his life back on track, I never missed an episode of the Tudors, and The Elvis movie, we are all pulling for you, and know that you are a fantastic Actor, don't waste your great talent!!!!!!

lspinny March 17, 2014 | 2:45 PM

Please bring back Dracula. I cannot say enough about this awesome show - all the actors, the sets, the costumes, the writing - absolutely wonderful! I'm addicted to it and would like to know it will be back for a few seasons, please!

Shay Jones March 06, 2014 | 12:42 PM

I can't believe how the Network shows I fall in love with continuously get canceled! Dracula was a truly well-produced, intelligent show. It was so great to look forward to Grimm followed by Dracula. But now Hannibal gets to take the place of such an awesome show?! Dracula had so much potential! Dear network executives - please bring Dracula back!

vampie fang February 17, 2014 | 7:39 PM

From my late teens to early 30s I partied my arse off . . . ah the signs of youthful days. In 22 years since then I matured and that's in all in the past. I believe JRM stated "he has changed and all is now in his past" in a few public interviews. God give him the courage and support he'll need in his life for sobriety. There is a massive amount of pressure physically and mentally in the entertainment industry. Often it can take years to reach a level of healthy management for this type of lifestyle. Fans give him your support! The media should focus on his outstanding abilities as an entertainer! On a positive note: >>NBC Dracula is the breakout sleeper hit of the year 2013. It's one of the best renditions of this old folklore story portrayed in recent years. It would be wise to allow this show to remain in production for several seasons to come. As it is a brilliant show and enjoyable to view. The show is genius, superbly written, and the cast of actors and actresses are a force to be reckoned with. Their performance's abilities are outstanding. It's refreshing to have a show for the mature viewership and one that reaches out to an all gender audience. The NBC Dracula face book page has proved success for this drama series by having well over 700,000 "Likes" & it seems to grow by a 1,000 plus every few days. To have this unique show Dracula for just one season would be unjust to the viewers. Please renew this outstanding drama.

Deborah February 10, 2014 | 2:40 PM

I just learned from a co-worker who I told about Dracula, that the show might be canceled. Say it isn't so! Great show, give it a chance.

Rdeana t. February 07, 2014 | 9:05 PM

Please do not cancel Dracula. It's such a good show. I make sure I never miss it. The acting is awesome. It's one of the few network shows I watch. A special treat every week. Big fan, RT

Nick February 07, 2014 | 6:42 PM

It's nice to see I'm not the only guy on here. Great show and I totally forgot the lastepisode was the finale, very sad because I looked forward to a Friday night show to unwind and look forward to after long weeks in the office! Bring it back and Mr Meyers, great work from this to your earlier stuff! Many look up to you and I hope this alleged addiction issue isn't anything. After leaving the military I battled my own demons but life has a lot to offer my friend! Hope to see you soon. Thanks!

MJ February 06, 2014 | 10:00 AM

Please, there must be season 2! This show is so addicting to watch! I think we watched 6 episodes in a row last night and could of kept going but we hit the finale! JRS was tremendous in The Tudors and is again here! The cast , wardrobe, settings are top notch! Please Do Not Cancel Dracula! NBC this is your Best show! Nothing comes close!!!!

Big green Arrrow/ big green Arrow fan jr. February 04, 2014 | 6:37 AM

I read the comments on NBC Dracula and I am glad that they are positive so far. I really hope to see a second season of NBC Draacula. The simple fact is that it has to be more than one season of Dracula one is not enough. I want more blood, bites, revenge and more Looove! I think JRM is the right choice to play Dracula he does a suberp job and I need to see more. I was sorry that they killed off Rhenfield in Fact I almost threw something at the TV. My girl Mina, I love Mina she is hot hot hot and more hot. The chemistry between her and Alexander Grayson is like nothing I ever seen before. I never thought that I would find myself rooting for the bad guy although technically I don't see Dracula as a bad guy. I see him as a tragic lonely figure that just wants his love back. As far as the rumors of JRM addictions I am sadden to hear them. All I can say about that is that I hope he gets his act together and I hope that he realize that his life is so much more than just drinking booze out of a bottle. May the Lord bless and keep you. Big Green Arrow fan Jr. here adding a little support to the top characters. Mina you are a good actress and I like your optimism as far as your career and Alexander Grayson is concern. Who would not want to be with some one who is educationally successful? Now Harker poor fellow he jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. I can,t see how his end is going to turn out good. He definitely has to make a 360 degree turn and even then it may be to late. Rhenfield You will be Missed I hope not for long because Dracula can still bring you back. It would be your choice if you want to become as your master Alexander Grayson. LASTLY IF it is not possible for your return you played your role magnificently! what can I say about Lucy, what a mess she has become first a fluzie woman and now a fluzie vampire how sad. I quess it had to be done if she want to stay in the show. I am interested in seeing her role for the second season it should be interesting. The question is how dangerous she will be to the people of London and Dracula himself. Will Dracula be able to use her to get close to Harker only time will tell? I hope for Dracula sake he has some kind of mystical control over Lucy other than that she could be a wild card. Poor woman will she ever play a decent character? She played the villain on Merlin and now she is playing the Villain on Dracula. I hope you have More positive rolls in the future. I hope Dracula has a future altogether and less not forget more love scenes between Dracula and Mina.

Lanier February 01, 2014 | 4:32 PM

I've been a fan of vampire movies since Tom and Brad's "Interview with a Vampire", and then really got hooked on the "Twilight Saga". The "Dracula" TV drama series is nothing short of amazing. There is something exremely provacative about the main characters, especially Alexander and Mina. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is handsome and y as hell. I love that the character shows his vulnerable more human side. I have DVR'd every episode and cannot go more than a few days without replay. I can hardly wait for season II. Please rescue me from my endless playback addiction and keep this series evolving.

Karen January 31, 2014 | 5:28 PM

Come on folks, finally something to look forward to on Friday nights. I may go into withdrawals if it is canceled. My friend told me about the Tudors and History never looked so good ! I actually paid attention for once. The dracula series is exciting,daring,and Hot ! Did I mention Hot! The setting, costumes actors/actress are fabulous. What a great escape from a long week. Someone needs to tell those T.V. Executives to go sink their teeth in to some other show and let us ladies enjoy our Dracula . Think outside the box for a change. Throw us a bone guys and go away. There are plenty of crappy shows y'all can cut. I might even stop watching this network if they cut Dracula and I will complain to anyone and everyone who will listen.... So network executives excuse yourselves nicely.. I have no doubt the star will dry out with the proper incentive.. Someone just needs to figure out what that might be . Hey Dracula take care of yourself your female fans need you. Happiness is not in the bottom of any bottle ,and your too talented to have your star go out. With hugs & and bites!, especially the bites.

Marzell Cohen January 30, 2014 | 6:59 PM

This show is the best series on television It is about time that there is something wonderful on network tv I have been watching Cable because there nothing good on prime time Until I discovered Dracula on NBC Now I look forward to fridays. And now all my friends watch Dracula because it GREAT Vampire series for mature adults I am hoping that this series will continue. I love this series so much that I have pre-ordered the entire first season PLEASE CONTINUE THIS SERIES

Ruth January 26, 2014 | 11:48 AM

There must be a season 2!! JRM is a brilliant Dracula, obviously vampirism is done to death at the moment but credible actors is what makes the series so good. Needs more spice ( wink, wink) and slaying to keep the viewers. Shame Mina is a bit boring though. Keep it coming!!!

kathy&mike Vaughn,sally&Nate rogers January 25, 2014 | 11:03 AM

Not only best show this season on TV,but in several.Why watch another cop show,reality pablum,or Good Lord-a cannibal!!NBC don't make the mistake of canceling this top notch series.Remember Star Trek?

Patricia Ann Viles January 24, 2014 | 11:14 PM

I love watching Dracula and Jonathan Rhys Meyers is superb. It seems like putting Hannibal on in its place is a step way below what is airing now. What a shame. If addiction is the problem I can understand but it sounds more like the usual ratings game. I hope there is a season 2.

smb12321 January 24, 2014 | 10:09 PM

Dracula is one of the few shows that actually improved with each episode. My biggest complaint was the dark sets but the "cure" solved that problem. The acting is tremendous. Rhys is sublimely subtle, the monster ready to emerge at any time. His one true love is also wonderful. Jonathan and Lucy have darkened considerably (for that matter, everyone is going over to the dark side) and even if the wireless doesn't work, Alexander will have his revenge. The only one out of place is Renfield who seems more a man-servant than a confidant.

Barb Zabelny January 24, 2014 | 9:02 AM

Probably the best show on television. Would be a shame to see it go. Have watched each show repeatedly.Hopefully, problem with addiction can be overcome.

Jonathon J. HIlmn. January 20, 2014 | 8:51 PM

Simply put, the show must go on. And without Jonathan Rhys Meyers, there would be no show. The engagingly intellectual plot thickens with each passing episode. I personally have yet to miss an episode, although I must watch each one during the week of airing through my DVR. Thus, NBC!!!, please do not discount this fantastic leap of faith on Primetime television. As fans spread the word and those yet to view become aware of the phenomenal show, the numbers will rise. Please refrain from discounting the passion the show inspires in us. Cheers.

Alexis Dixon January 17, 2014 | 12:05 PM

I just love Dracula and whilst I was suspicious of whether Rhys-Myers could carry the role off he just seems to get better and better in it. To not do a Season 2 would be very disappointing.

Aimee January 17, 2014 | 6:30 AM

I really enjoy Dracula and hope that it doesn't get cancelled. The show deserves a 2nd season!

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