Matthew Rhys did his "greatest work" while quarantining with his family.

Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell

Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell

The 'Perry Mason' actor - who has four-year-old son Sam with partner Keri Russell and also helps raise her kids River, 13, and Willa, eight - admitted it was a challenge keeping the kids entertained while schools were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: "I feel like I’ve done my greatest canon of work in the Catskill Mountains, as I’ve played the part of more superheroes during the day than anyone I know.

"To stave off screens or boredom, you’re always trying to come up with something new or imaginative. What small house can we build to catch a fairy?”

The 46-year-old star also found it hard to keep the kids focused on their school work and they all experienced an overwhelming sense of "freedom" when lessons ended.

He told America's Esquire magazine: "We had three kids on three screens, and it was just this perennial bargaining to keep them there for their allotted time. Then school finished, and we felt this great sense of freedom.”

Matthew and his 44-year-old partner did a lot of bargaining between them so they'd each get some time alone away from the kids.

He admitted: "I’ll say to Keri, ‘I’ll take them to the lake for a couple hours,’ which was basically just a precursor to saying, ‘If I take them out of this house for two hours, can I please have maybe an hour and a half, or two hours, for myself to go run up a hill?’ "

Meanwhile, the former 'Americans' star is busy restoring a 90-year-old boat, which is one of only four in the world.

He quipped: “I’ve had more setbacks than the Democrats."

Ernest Hemingway owned the most famous of the vessels, named Pilar, and Matthew is considering making his boat a charter, complete with a 1930s experience of gramophones and cocktails in homage to the writer, joking he may even dye his lockdown beard white to be more like the author.

He said: "So, I’m telling Keri, '‘Look, this beard is now a part of the charter experience. I don’t have a choice about shaving it. I have to grow it . . . in earnest. She thinks that’s a terrible f****** joke.”