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January 25th, 2013 by admin

(Source: metro.co.uk)

Jay Ryan says he worked hard to prep his body for Beauty And The Beast

Actor Jay Ryan talks to Metro about going from Neighbours pretty boy to Beauty And The Beast.

If you’ve seen Beauty And The Beast, then you’ll know this new TV imagining is a long way from magic castles and singing teacups. ‘I got my ass down to the gym,’ says former Neighbours star Jay Ryan on prepping to play the very 21st-century Beast, victim of a military experiment gone wrong.

‘Since his beastly qualities are manifested from cross-species DNA, I went to town on creating physical traits that come from some of the fiercest animals on the planet.’
When he’s not throwing his toys out of the pram, he’s the conveniently good-looking Vincent, an ex-soldier trying to re-integrate into civilian life. ‘I looked into stories from veterans returning home,’ adds Ryan. ‘How it felt to immerse themselves back into society and the mental and social challenges they can face.’

Happily, there’s Beauty (Smallville’s Kristin Kreuk) as, for all the conspiracy theory shenanigans, thematically Beauty And The Beast is still a love story at heart.
‘It’s an epic romance set in a modern, high stakes New York City,’ says Ryan. ‘He is a man struggling to suppress this creature within him – which luckily for me means I’m only in the full Beast prosthetic make-up a couple of times a week.’

Until now, New Zealand-born Ryan has worked mainly in his native country and in Australia, including a three-year stint as Neighbours womaniser Jack Scully from 2002. Now that he’s on a glossy US production, does he feel all Hollywood? ‘Surprisingly not,’ he says. ‘It’s filmed in Toronto, and the crews in Canada have the same work ethic and way about them as back in Oz. I guess the only difference is the amount of producers you have on a US show. There are a lot. Every little detail of the production has to be approved by each and every one, so costume fittings and make-up tests can take a lot longer than they do back home – and, unfortunately, they are my least favourite part of this kind of work.

‘I guess I did get to tick a big one off the bucket list, though, and that was being on a giant billboard smack-bang in the hub of Hollywood Boulevard. That was… well, pretty Hollywood.’
Next up you’ll see Ryan in BBC drama Top Of The Lake, co-starring Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss and directed by former Oscar nominee Jane ‘The Piano’ Campion.

‘Working with Jane in our native New Zealand, with a smorgasbord of some of the film world’s top talent, pretty much ticked all the boxes for me,’ he enthuses, before revealing his most exciting project of all. ‘Later this year I am to become a father. Perhaps that’s my biggest challenge yet…’

Beauty And The Beast is on Wednesdays at 9pm on Watch.


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