Matthew Rhys plays rival chef to Bradley Cooper's character in 'Burnt,' a film about a chef who gets a second chance at success in the culinary world. Contrary to what you may think after seeing the film, Rhys doesn't cook all the time, and he says getting a glimpse into the inner workings of a restaurant kitchen put him in awe of the profession and gave him enormous appreciation for what chefs do.
"What I learned was how little I know," he shares. "It's not like cooking -- it's an art or a science. It's like a combination of art, science and insanity. Because I've never seen it at that level ... There [are] so many elements. My head wanted to explode on set, so God knows what they go through in a kitchen when the orders come in."
The trickiest dish for him to learn how to make while preparing for the film was a French omelette. It may sound easy, and when Rhys saw it in the script, he thought it would be too -- until one of Marcus Wareing's cooks told him how important it was to learn as a cook in a Michelin-starred restaurant. (Wareing served as a chief consultant to the film, alongside Mario Batali.) The cook showed Rhys how it should be done, and when he tasted it, he says it was like "a cloud."
When it was his turn to try his hand at the omelette, it wasn't exactly executed as it had been demonstrated. "I must've tried about 18 different omelettes," Rhys shares. Eventually, the cook Rhys was working with suggested she cook the final product for the scene, and simply hand it to him before the take, which he gladly agreed to. "It was the omelette that was my culinary undoing," he jokes.
That's not to say Rhys hasn't tried his hand at cooking before. Growing up in Wales, he had a number of uncles who were sheep farmers, so lamb was a frequently cooked dish at home. When he moved to Los Angeles, he and his Welsh friends would gather to roast a whole lamb with rosemary, garlic and salt and serve it alongside roasted potatoes.
If Rhys' food stories aren't making you hungry yet, it's likely you will be ready to eat after seeing 'Burnt.' "I know it's a sort of obvious thing to say, but everyone comes out of the film going, 'I just want to eat now' -- because it's like watching food porn, it's so good," Rhys shares.
See photos of Matthew Rhys:
Matthew Rhys through the years
Matthew Rhys reveals his 'culinary undoing' while learning to play a chef in 'Burnt'
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Matthew Rhys and Mario Batali attend AOL BUILD presents 'Burnt' at AOL Studios In New York on October 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Zak Photography/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: Actor Matthew Rhys arrives at the 'Burnt' New York Premiere at Museum of Modern Art on October 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: Bradley Cooper and Matthew Rhys attend the New York premiere of 'BURNT', presented by The Weinstein Company, Sassoregale Wine, Castello Cheese and FIJI Water on October 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Matthew Rhys at 'The Americans' Press Conference at The London Hotel on February 11, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 18: (L-R) Actors Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich speaks onstage during the 'The Americans' panel discussion at the FX Networks portion of the Television Critics Association press tour at Langham Hotel on January 18, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 17: Actors Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys attend the 2015 Fox All-Star Party at Langham Hotel on January 17, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 19: Actor Matthew Rhys attends the 4th Annual Critics' Choice Television Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 19, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Critics' Choice Television Awards)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 02: (L-R) Producer Joel Fields, actors Noah Emmerich, Annet Mahendru, moderator Dominic Patten and actor Matthew Rhys attend the Awardsline/Deadline screening of 'The Americans' at Landmark Theatre on June 2, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images for Awardsline/Deadline)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 29: (L-R) Actors Travis Fimmel, Kevin Bacon, moderator Debra Birnbaum, actors Hugh Dancy, Demian Bichir, and Matthew Rhys attend the Variety Studio powered by Samsung Galaxy at Palihouse on May 29, 2014 in West Hollywood, California (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Variety)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 29: Actors Demian Bichir (L) and Matthew Rhys attend the Variety Studio powered by Samsung Galaxy at Palihouse on May 29, 2014 in West Hollywood, California (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Variety)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 47 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Matthew Rhys during an interview with host Seth Meyers on May 14, 2014 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 18: Matthew Rhys at 'The Americans' Press Conference at the Russian Tea Room on March 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 30: Actors Matthew Rhys and William H. Macy attend the Variety Emmy Studio at Palihouse on May 30, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/WireImage)
BROTHERS & SISTERS - 'Walker Down the Aisle' - As Sarah and Luc's nuptials approach, plans go horribly awry and the Walkers learn several surprising lessons about the real meaning of family, on the Season Finale of 'Brothers & Sisters,' SUNDAY, MAY 8 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty Images)MATTHEW RHYS, LUKE MACFARLANE
Actors Matthew Rhys and Rashida Jones attend Vogue Dinner Celebrating The Book Launch Of 7 For All Mankind's The Seven Senses on November 11, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/WireImage)