As you may know we attended ArcCon in Brussels on the 25th and 26th of June. One of the guests was Welsh actor Matt Ryan. Matt was added to the guest list quite late after some cancellations. He plays the role of DC character John Constantine in two episodes of “Arrow”. This was a reprise of his title role in the NBC series “Constantine” (unfortunately the show was cancelled after one season). John Constantine is a chain-smoking demon hunter and a master of the occult. He struggles with his past and while saving the innocents, he constantly balances upon the line of good and evil. Constantine is kind of a reluctant antihero and he is not somebody, who would go out of his way for somebody other than himself. I’m a big fan of DC and Constantine is a great example of why I like the DC characters. They all have an edge and Constantine is a rebel, I like that. Matt Ryan is also known for his role as Mick Rawson in “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” and for his voice and motion capture of Edward Kenway in Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag”.
I instantly loved Matt Ryan in his role of Constantine when he made a guest appearance in “Arrow” (at that point I didn’t know Matt played the role in NBC’s Constantine). When Matt Ryan was announced for ArcCon I was very enthusiastic about it and I knew I wanted to meet him. He was only announced for Saturday, so when we arrived at ArcCon I bought a photo op ticket and an autograph. I had seen him as well in Arrow! That was a great episode. Before we went to Arccon, I decided to watch a few episodes of Constatine. I liked it! And I decided to get an autograph from Matt!
Matt Ryan's Q&A
We attended two of his Q&A’s; he had one alone and the Full Meeting Room (which had all of Saturday’s guests). Based on these we will give you some (fun)facts about Matt Ryan:
- Matt voted “remain” in the “Brexit” referendum (this answer was followed by a big applause); he is disappointed about the outcome of it.
- He talked about the reprise of his character John Constantine in Arrow. There were a lot of rumors about him appearing on ‘Arrow” as Constantine. He was just about to start working a play in New York, when he got the phone call that they wanted him to come and do it. At first he said he couldn’t because he had to do the play, but the makers of Arrow moved the schedule around so he could do it. He dyed his hair blonde and flew him to Canada, he did the episode and they flew him back to New York, where he dyed his hair black again. He also talked about how he had to “search” for John in the first take, but then he shook his body around and jumped up and down and after a few takes he thought: “There he is...” and it all came back to him.
- He has spent a lot of time in the US in the last couple of years, but being a Welshman, he wants to explore Europe more in the future. He owns a motorcycle, so he would like to do a motorcycle trip through Europe.
- Just like (almost) everyone else Matt likes watching Game of Thrones, but (just like everyone else) he doesn’t like to have to wait for the next episode. He likes to binge watch a whole season.
As for his favorite characters on the show, he says Jon Snow is one of his favorites, but the character he likes most is Bron. He feels like "there is a little Constantine in Bron".
- There was a question about why the character “Liv” was replaced by the “Zed” character after the pilot. (Why would you do that Liv is such a beautiful name!). Apparently the writers wanted a female lead character that would push John a little more, so they looked at the comics and they thought “Zed” would be a better female lead. They felt that she was a character that could get into John’s face a little more, with the “Liv” character it was more like a father-daughter relationship. John was looking after Liv and the needed more tension between the lead characters.
- About playing in Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior: “That was a really cool experience. It was my first time working in the US. To get a chance to work with someone like Forest Whitaker was unbelievable and it was a really fun experience”. “I think what happened with that TV show was, ultimately we were supposed to investigate international smuggling, child trafficking, all of these kind of international cases. But we ended up, for some reason, doing domestic murders just like the other team and I think that was a sticking point. The new show “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” that is what we were originally told it was gonna be, but then it didn’t turn out that way. But we all had a great and a great time on it and it’s a shame it only went on for 13 episodes.”
- He used to watch “Neighbors” when he was younger
- The best gift he ever received was his first motorbike, when he was 11 years old.
- He does not see himself as a celebrity, he sees himself as an actor playing around in a big sandpit doing make believe… and getting paid for it "...so that’s pretty cool".
- Who he thinks are the heroes and villains in real life? “Like Donald Trump is the villain?”(big applause)
- In his spare time he likes to ride on his motorbike and playing computer games. Sometimes he still plays Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. He hasn’t completed the game yet. He likes to play it and “go for a little sail on the boat, kill some people, generally just playing with myself” (lol).
- When he was asked how to get his special attention, he answered that he wants to give everyone the same attention and he doesn’t like to treat people differently.
- Being an actor is the biggest risk he has ever taken.
- What sports do you enjoy? “Football, football and football…and football. But I do like to play a round of golf every now and then. I’m absolutely terrible, but I still kind of enjoy it you know...”
- Matt is “kind of afraid of heights” and on his 30th birthday he made himself jump out of a plane. (“And I think I was still drunk from the night before”). Squirrel suits intrigue him. He would like to free fall and fly ("But I will probably be to terrified to do it")
- He has a thing for sunglasses. Every time he is on an airport he goes to the duty free shop and buys a new pair.
Photo op & autograph Matt Ryan
It was a very amusing Q&A to attend and afterwards we had the full meeting room with all the Saturday guests. We actually almost missed this because we misread the time it would start. We were going for lunch when we noticed this and we had to run back to the venue (with an empty stomach). But I’m glad we did, 'cause the Full Meeting Room was great fun. It was very intimate, with a very small group of people. We were on the second row.
After this it was time for the autograph. Carola had an autograph ticket to and we made our way to the queue. At first there was a bit of confusion going on, because there was a limited time to get the autographs. We knew we could only get the Matt-autograph, because we had a Bow pass and would have to get the rest of the autographs on Sunday. But where was the queue? Eventually we arrived at the Matt queue and we had a lot of fun talking to other people, who were also confused. Because of this I didn’t have time to make myself nervous and when we walked in I felt pretty relaxed. Matt was very kind. My aunt lives in the UK and sometimes when we visit her, we also visit Wales. Matt is a Welshmen so this was my chance to ask him where I should go when I visit Wales. He said I should go to The Gower and we talked for a bit. Afterwards I noticed that I WAS pretty nervous, because I forgot the name of his travel tip (lol). Luckily I still had the photo op and when I hugged him I told him I forgot and he very kindly spelled it out for me. When I got home I searched for it on internet and it seems like a beautiful place. So thanks for the tip Matt, I will surely try to visit next time I’m in that neighborhood. Being in the queue was actually a lot of fun. It felt a bit like we made up the queue ourselves because everyone was wondering where to stand. It was great to talk to all the other people and we had a lot of fun. When we went to Matt for an autograph, I wasn't so courageous yet haha. I was glad Liv already had large talk and I could lift on that a bit :). Matt was a very great guy. Very kind and also very energetic.
Matt Ryan is a very relaxed guy and he is o so kind. I hope to meet him again sometime and I certainly hope to see more of him in “Arrow” or other projects.