Irish actor and screen hunk Jonathan Rhys Meyers has just turned 33 and personally and professionally he's coming into his own. But it's been a rough few years for the Irish star - he's recently lost his mother, and he's had some bouts of public drunkenness that made the headlines. However now he says he has a fresh perspective and he's working to put his recent troubles behind him.

"It's time to start thinking seriously about things," the Tudors star told the press this week. "I wouldn't want to do the 20s again, you know? You go through your 20s sort of like a chrysalis in many ways, stretching into your own skin and trying to bust out of a cocoon. You want to be a butterfly and you just think of everything as, 'Ooh, what fun can I have here?'"

"But, after a while, you realize that things are getting in the way of you growing up and being who you really want to be. And when you look harder at exactly what it is that is getting in your way, you quite often find that it's yourself."

There's a good reason for putting his life in order, he says: "I just don't want to be sitting in the pub and someone says, 'See him - he could have made a fortune, but he just p****d it up against the wall.'"

Rhys Meyers first role was in the 1994 comedy A Man Of No Importance, which was released when he was just 17, and he has been working steadily ever since. And that, he has hinted, may well be part of his current problem.

"When you go all the way through from your late teens to your late 20s on film sets, it's a very strange introduction to the world," he says. "It can take a long time for some people to find out how to ground themselves, and film sets are an odd atmosphere to do it in - especially if, like me, you finished school early."

And being famous has been a doubled edged sword he says. "That's a funny thing, fame. People definitely do treat you differently. When you begin to be successful, people say, 'Don't go changing.' Well, that's easy to say, but the fact is, you don't change at all - other people do."