If we had to be really honest, when we created Lost in TV we might have called it Lost in Jay Ryan, because Jay struck us in a peculiar way, he made us to find each other and kept us united.
Now that it’s his birthday, it’s natural for us to talk about him.
And we thought to “celebrate” him with you, without claiming to be complete, quite simply with a reel to make a toast to his talent, his honesty, his choices.
A bit of Jay Ryan, a bit of what he did, a bit of what he thought, a bit of what they told about him, a bit of what struck us.
MARY KILLS PEOPLE
“Bringing his radiant energy and joy to a role that slowly peels back its fascinating facade and reveals a deeply layered and rich dichotomy of contradictory emotions, Jay Ryan is more than simply riveting in MARY KILLS PEOPLE, he is downright addictive. It will be easy to see how and why Mary, as phenomenally portrayed by Caroline Dhavernas, falls immediately under his character’s spell, which subsequently leads to a taut game of cat-and-mouse.” Tiffany Vogt, from Shining The Spotlight on Jay Ryan, SEAT42F
(Mary Kills People)… “it’s a serious and stylishly watchable drama, thanks mostly to Dhavernas’s capable performance of a morally ambiguous person with too many dangerous irons in the fire, and Ryan’s portrayal of a hurt-and-handsome lawman struggling to do his job, even though he’s in love with his suspect.” Washington Post
“…Tassie and Amy Cameron assembled a divine team and are true and hungry storytellers themselves. But at the end of the day everyone was on the same page, out to make a work we all believed in lead by the phenomenal Caroline Dhavernas — what more could you really ask for.
…The role of ‘Joel’ came with a responsibility that shocked me when I read the final pages of Tara’s script. I didn’t see it coming and that ‘edge of your seat’ feeling was just as exciting to read as it is to watch this series. Also knowing that it was allo to be helmed entirely by one director (Holly Dale) over the entire project was very appealing. There were very clear visions of what we were making from the beginning.” from Shining The Spotlight on Jay Ryan, SEAT42F
“People are talking about [having more women in the lead] in the industry like, ‘Yes this is what we should be doing’, but this is actually one of the projects that has managed to pull it off and create something amazing, and successful and fresh,” Why Jay Ryan ditched Beauty and the Beast for Mary Kills People – NZ Herald Entertainment
About his character:
“It wasn’t wrapped up in the six episodes about who exactly he was and I was never sure if I was going to get to play him again. We wanted to play that ambiguity in him. I like that about him, that you never knew who he really was and there wasn’t a lot to say who he was or who he used be.” Kiwi Jay Ryan ageing gracefully as Hollywood drama star, Stuff NZ Entertainment
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
“The original theme of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is don’t judge a book by its cover. Love what’s inside.”
About Vincent… “It’s like playing two characters, the two extremes of someone’s personality or moral compass. All characters that I play have the good and the bad, and for me, this is just the extreme. You can’t have one without the other and we all have this wild part of us which we keep hidden and maybe only show in our darkest moments, or to our most loved ones. For me, it’s the complete gamut of the character.” from ‘Beauty and the Beast’: Jay Ryan May Be An Animal, But He’s Romantic at Heart – the Huffington Post
“There’s this whole thing about, “Oh, you’re too good-looking to play a beast.” Sure, that’s what they were after and that’s what they cast, but I’m very much about being true to what a beast can be. For me, his beast is on the inside. It’s not about the physical. It’s about the demon that is within him. It’s quite opposite to what the beast usually is. Everyone thinks the beast should be this creature, but beasts don’t advertise. You don’t know who a beast is. The nicest looking person can be that serial killer, or whatever. They’re more dangerous to me. It’s more relatable to an audience to deal with the beast within us. ” Jay Ryan Talks Beauty and the Beast – Collider
TOP OF THE LAKE
“Being an actor is tough. You take what you are offered. You can’t be too picky in the early days but finally I’ve got my chops up and people have seen me in a different light.
“A lot of that has to do with Jane (Campion) casting me in Top Of The Lake. That was a real page-turner for me in my career. It got me in front of certain people who I really wanted to work with.” Kiwi Jay Ryan ageing gracefully as Hollywood drama star, Stuff NZ Entertainment
“I really would like to see where the Mitchum Brothers from TOP OF THE LAKE ended up a few years down the track after the end of Season 1. I had the opportunity to return for Season 2, but the scheduling didn’t work out traveling between Toronto and Queenstown. I’m cheekily hopeful. There’s a lot more story there, I remember Jane Campion toying with some ideas about those two characters’ futures when we shot the first season.” JR on Top of the Lake, from Shining The Spotlight On Jay Ryan, SEAT42F
“When I read Kev on page for the first time, I had an instant idea of who he was, he jumped off the page for me, and I knew the character was within me strongly already. It’s not something I have to play really.
“All of Kev’s reactions, all that sort of stuff just happens naturally, I just jump into him.”
But he sees their differences too.
“Kev is me if I had stayed in West Auckland basically. I grew up out west and if I’d stayed there and if I wasn’t an actor, I’d probably be there and have an apprenticeship, and maybe had a couple of kids and a house or something.”
From Stuff.co.nz – Go Girls Stars Tackles Your Questions:
Toni asks “One of the best male Kiwi actors we have, Jay, what made you get into acting in the first place?”
Boredom of childhood. I truly think that’s what got me acting, making s**t up in my head, working the imagination, make believe and all that crap. Yeah I guess it all started there.
Kirsty asks “Do you have close friendships with women like your character or are you mostly a bloke’s bloke?”
From my very early teen years I was raised in a house full of women (possibly a little McMann style). So yes, I have some very close female friends. They are the best friends to have – they smell better, they are a lot easier on the eye and generally can give a more constructed emotional response than “Yeah, Nah”.
“I was lucky enough to actually go into a surgery and witness a caesarean being performed, which was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my life. What I will never forget is the image of this baby’s face, eyes closed, totally silent, and then without its eyes even opening, you can see it’s face change and register that it’s in a new world, and it breathes in air.”
“We’d have these 2-week-old babies, and they’d come on set for about 10 mins. And they’d be covered in jam to make it look real, so these babies are really slippery, super fragile, and I’ve got these latex gloves on. So I’m freaking out trying to remember my lines, and trying to hold them properly. And the live babies are between an actress’ legs, so it’s kind of uncomfortable. And then they call action, and you’ve gotta keep it all together.” NZHerald.co.nz It’s all in the delivery
A day in the life of Spider – Jay Ryan
What about his sensitivity as producer?
Looking forward to watching Sunday Fun Day, which had its premiere last July at Auckland International Film Festival, enjoy Tuffy and Schnipples
We wish this ride through Jay’s career left our readers a little more in love, enchanted and intrigued by this guy who, totally and permanently, bewitched our hearts.
Happy Birthday Jay.
Angela, Elisa, Federica
A special thanks to @JulesCrem who helped us to find gold dust…