What to Watch

What to Watch With Matt Ryan, Star of Constantine and The Halcyon

British actor also reveals what to expect from animated Hellblazer series based on the comic book.

by | September 25, 2017 | Comments

(Photo by Ovation)

Matt Ryan’s relationship with DC Comics TV series Constantine and its lead anti-hero role has been like a romantic comedy: Guy gets role, show gets canceled, guy gets to play role again on an episode of Arrow, then guy gets to keep doing the voice of the character for an upcoming animated series.

Then, of course, guy follows-up with a dramatic and super-stylish live-action rebound on The Halcyon.

In the World War II drama, Ryan plays Joe O’Hara, not a historical figure, but a journalist in the vein of history’s great reporters like Edward R. Murrow. For his backstory, Ryan says O’Hara was born in Illinois, but traveled the world and settled in New York for work. Now staying at The Halcyon hotel in London, O’Hara has a front-row seat to the European front.

Ryan spoke with Rotten Tomatoes by phone about his role on The Halcyon and what to expect from the Constantine animated series. But first he shared what he’s watching on TV.


WHAT’S APPOINTMENT VIEWING FOR YOU?

(Photo by BBC America)

I’m a huge fan of nature and science programs. I watch a lot of things like Planet Earth and Brian Cox’s Life of The Universe. So as soon as there’s a new science program that comes on, I jump all over it.


WHAT’S ON YOUR DVR?

Army of the Dead, Game of Thrones, season 7, episode 7 (Courtesy of HBO)

(Photo by Courtesy of HBO)

On my DVR at the moment is Game of Thrones season 7. I haven’t had time to watch it yet, and I’m trying like mad to avoid spoilers because everybody has seen it and everybody’s going crazy about it all over the internet. So that’s a little bit difficult, but I’m really excited to get into that show.


WHATS ON YOUR STREAMING QUEUE?

Kristin Chenoweth (Easter), Ricky Whittle (Shadow Moon), Ian McShane (Mr Wednesday) - (Starz)

(Photo by Starz)

I’ve been watching recently American Gods on Amazon [via Starz], which I think is fantastic. It’s a great show. I’m a big fan of Neil Gaiman. I’ve been watching that show.


WHAT’S COMING SOON THAT YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT?

Stranger Things season 2 (Netflix)

(Photo by Netflix)

I’ve got to say, the second season of Stranger Things. I loved it so much. It’s such a throwback to my childhood and encapsulated all those shows that I grew up with. I love the setting. I love science fiction as well, so it was really one of my favorite shows when it came out. I’m really excited to see what happens in the next one.


(Photo by Ovation)

Fred Topel for Rotten Tomatoes: Were you like one of those Stranger Things kids?

Matt Ryan: I wish I was, but I wasn’t quite as ballsy as them. They’ve got a lot of guts, but they’re fantastic. All those actors that play the kids are just outstanding as well. I think for everyone, kids and adults, watching those guys, they just really do it for everyone. Hats off to them.

RT: Did Britain have the same youth culture where kids rode bikes together and played outside in nature?

Ryan: Yeah, we did. I grew up in a little small town called Gorseinon just outside of Swansea in Wales. We all used to hang around the village and meet up on our bikes. We all had walkie talkies. It reminded me of growing up in a very rural setting. It was a real throwback.


RT: After playing Constantine in live-action and animation, were you looking for something completely different than a comic book show?

Ryan: Yeah, I was looking to do something completely different to Constantine. Constantine is one of my favorite characters I’ve played. He’s an amazing character, but I wanted to do something, one, that was so far away, and something in the U.K. as well, because I hadn’t done any TV or film work in the U.K. for quite a while, just theater. So I was looking to do something in the U.K., and also I wanted to do something in an American accent on television as well.

RT: Did you do more historical research for The Halcyon or comic book research for Constantine?

Ryan: You know what, I read about 150 of the comic books for Constantine. I always had a comic book with me everywhere I went, whenever I was on set. It was a constant reference to what I was doing to have the comic book with me.

What I loved about doing The Halcyon and doing the actual historical research — I had done plays like Henry V where I researched The 100 Years War, [and] that was a great undertaking as well — so I actually went back to World War I and studied all those books into World War II —where we are in The Halcyon — to kind of get a bearing on things. Also, I really looked a lot into journalists of the time, people like Edward R. Murrow, to get a feel for how they were researching and dealing with the times, as opposed to how journalists operate today. It was a great eye-opener into what happened, the two tragic World Wars that happened but also these incredibly brave people that stuck their necks out on the line to bring the news to the rest of the world.


(Photo by Ovation)

RT: How did you like the fashion of The Halycon era?

Ryan: I love that. I’ve got to say, the costume designer and costume people were so great. To get to wear the double-breasted suits, the tuxedos, and the fashion of the time, all of that was a real joy. The one thing I didn’t like too much is I have to clean shave every day, because everybody was clean shaven back there. I hadn’t actually clean shaved for about six years. So when I started it, I had a bit of a rash, but I got used to it and it was fine in the end.


Constantine star Matt Ryan (NBC)

(Photo by NBC)

RT: When will we see John Constantine again in the animated series?

Ryan: I don’t know, man. I’m waiting to hear. I’ve recorded it and the script was absolutely great. I’m really looking forward to seeing it and hopefully soon. I have no news on that I’m afraid.

RT: Does it pick up right where we last saw John on Arrow and Justice League Dark?

Ryan: No, what we’ve done is we’ve taken a very popular Hellblazer story from the comics and then adapted that. The John Constantine that I play in the TV show, the DNA of the character is in the Justice League Dark movie and in the animated TV show as well. It’s all the same John, but we’ve taken a very specific story and adapted that. I was really pleased about that story because I was reading the comics and I was hoping we’d be able to do. It was great fun to play that out and John is such a beloved character by all the Constantine and Hellblazer fans. It’s just been a pleasure to play him in these different medias and hopefully I’ll get the chance again.

RT: Which Hellblazer arc was it?

Ryan: “All His Engines.”

RT: Is that a story they couldn’t have done live-action?

Ryan: No, we could’ve done that live-action, but I think where we were going with the show, we had plans to do some more comic book storylines, but we didn’t get there unfortunately. I don’t know if Daniel [Cerone] and David [S. Goyer] had thought of it. There are so many great comics out there to adapt. I hope that one day we would’ve got there, but it’s set in Los Angeles as well.


The Halcyon premieres Monday, October 2 at 10 p.m. on Ovation; live-action Constantine season 1 is now streaming at CW Seed.

Tag Cloud

Syfy Teen natural history TBS A&E Showtime Animation E3 24 frames Cartoon Network PaleyFest Awards Pride Month Song of Ice and Fire Rocketman indiana jones dogs ratings stop motion Apple theme song PBS Peacock Lifetime cars witnail harry potter 21st Century Fox Mystery Podcast name the review blockbuster Amazon USA best criterion 45 Brie Larson Trivia IFC green book Thanksgiving BET Awards Drama zombie ghosts robots DC Comics Warner Bros. Disney child's play Star Wars Pet Sematary Film rotten movies we love TV Fox News Mary poppins rotten medical drama President technology Classic Film laika fast and furious festivals Schedule Sundance TV Captain marvel comedies psycho halloween TLC NBC spy thriller Red Carpet cults Lucasfilm Spike spanish language Spectrum Originals Emmys Kids & Family mockumentary Spring TV historical drama binge Black Mirror twilight spanish 2018 sitcom asian-american FX on Hulu Disney+ Disney Plus thriller critics History VH1 Logo french romance Disney Channel Binge Guide Tubi anime Ghostbusters worst movies Paramount Network golden globes festival cops IFC Films Elton John The Academy Holiday richard e. Grant aliens serial killer films chucky zero dark thirty romantic comedy Fall TV Nat Geo Oscars Funimation a nightmare on elm street GIFs PlayStation documentary facebook crime thriller Epix RT History Television Critics Association New York Comic Con Rocky Nickelodeon Disney streaming service Superheroes BAFTA First Reviews tv talk Toys Rock See It Skip It classics football concert HBO Max werewolf nfl video on demand stoner Hear Us Out Marvel Television based on movie batman Reality Competition space Dark Horse Comics spider-man remakes The Walking Dead Photos parents Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt National Geographic FOX Avengers Crackle Reality cartoon franchise SXSW Star Trek BBC One Grammys CBS Bravo Chernobyl Biopics slashers YA Extras docudrama versus emmy awards spinoff obituary Esquire game show MTV Mary Tyler Moore 2016 Paramount DirecTV 20th Century Fox CMT Summer Hallmark Food Network Heroines dc USA Network dceu The Arrangement Christmas GoT Apple TV+ TCM Valentine's Day Opinion 71st Emmy Awards sag awards casting Rom-Com Cosplay Mary Poppins Returns GLAAD scorecard Best and Worst nature Trophy Talk foreign Year in Review Writers Guild of America Watching Series Sundance Superheroe Anna Paquin children's TV Amazon Prime Video quibi spain TIFF crossover Emmy Nominations Pop TV The CW Black History Month miniseries HBO Go archives Sony Pictures DC streaming service Starz boxoffice YouTube Premium Super Bowl canceled crime jamie lee curtis cats sequels canceled TV shows Shondaland Family Nominations LGBTQ toronto OneApp Fantasy 2015 Country Creative Arts Emmys adaptation Quiz cooking A24 TCA composers FXX television Set visit die hard MCU joker Tomatazos reviews Sci-Fi TCA 2017 Western what to watch Comedy Action cancelled television Stephen King justice league YouTube Red Lifetime Christmas movies E! Video Games Apple TV Plus Endgame VICE talk show anthology elevated horror renewed TV shows Baby Yoda Interview Hallmark Christmas movies Calendar teaser Premiere Dates 72 Emmy Awards Comedy Central Lionsgate social media Marvel war biography strong female leads Ovation Tumblr Universal WarnerMedia Disney Plus animated Mudbound Sneak Peek kids dramedy Masterpiece MSNBC universal monsters Horror comiccon zombies crime drama screenings Countdown 007 cancelled diversity independent hispanic YouTube cinemax BBC America Holidays Ellie Kemper sports Winter TV TNT halloween tv reboot discovery Awards Tour worst Marvel Studios Film Festival BET CBS All Access Pirates series First Look breaking bad Pop 2019 movies sequel nbcuniversal politics Music Musical LGBT game of thrones 2020 Cannes revenge south america latino Netflix Christmas movies Fox Searchlight ESPN OWN award winner TCA Awards police drama Columbia Pictures SundanceTV Mindy Kaling Turner transformers Acorn TV Adult Swim disaster cancelled TV series Walt Disney Pictures Comics on TV Discovery Channel RT21 San Diego Comic-Con science fiction ITV Martial Arts documentaries political drama finale Polls and Games book Trailer Marathons Television Academy SDCC blaxploitation Shudder Arrowverse ABC Family Turner Classic Movies mutant stand-up comedy period drama ABC all-time American Society of Cinematographers HBO singing competition italian supernatural Vudu BBC Box Office dragons Musicals Comic Book vampires NYCC AMC hist travel The Purge Crunchyroll cancelled TV shows El Rey dark adventure mission: impossible venice Tarantino TruTV TV renewals satire superhero streaming comics Women's History Month Amazon Studios Election VOD Academy Awards psychological thriller Amazon Prime Certified Fresh Infographic The Witch Travel Channel unscripted christmas movies Freeform WGN toy story directors CW Seed indie Sundance Now 2017 Character Guide movie Winners hollywood X-Men Britbox news free movies TCA Winter 2020 4/20 screen actors guild DGA comic Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Pixar FX TV Land Hulu Netflix doctor who APB true crime DC Universe CNN video scary movies