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.


(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.


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.


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.


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

indiana jones worst movies DirecTV cults ABC Signature dceu technology richard e. Grant french adventure San Diego Comic-Con Star Trek name the review FOX Chernobyl TIFF Bravo DC Comics MCU screen actors guild TBS Pop TV VH1 Set visit remakes talk show casting Apple TV Plus TCM true crime Western psychological thriller PaleyFest RT History Paramount Network dramedy jamie lee curtis Reality golden globe awards disaster franchise 2021 Mindy Kaling Countdown DGA fast and furious Epix Tumblr The Walt Disney Company green book ITV Awards Tour slashers BAFTA 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Writers Guild of America Amazon Showtime Drama cops SXSW comiccon cats based on movie Schedule crime Travel Channel revenge LGBT Pet Sematary Ghostbusters prank Christmas popular Fantasy 2015 zero dark thirty Emmys comics zombie Nominations concert kong BET Awards Cartoon Network dragons blaxploitation rotten movies we love monster movies spanish Martial Arts Marvel Television Cosplay Character Guide travel canceled President hollywood kids TCA Endgame Paramount Plus romantic comedy WarnerMedia facebook comic books PlayStation period drama stand-up comedy best Netflix ESPN Mystery TruTV indie zombies Disney streaming service football Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Arrowverse Winners historical drama E3 Vudu USA spider-man History Freeform Sundance TV Mary Tyler Moore nature Pixar Animation CBS All Access Disney+ Disney Plus New York Comic Con cooking Tomatazos Summer SundanceTV Sundance Now serial killer Thanksgiving Awards Shudder discovery hispanic australia Brie Larson Song of Ice and Fire Hallmark Christmas movies trailers women DC streaming service comic American Society of Cinematographers First Look mutant Spring TV renewed TV shows blockbuster Dark Horse Comics harry potter MSNBC versus Hulu critics TV canceled TV shows deadpool strong female leads vampires Avengers MTV Star Wars video on demand superhero science fiction jurassic park cancelled diversity halloween tv BBC America Masterpiece foreign ViacomCBS video Turner Sony Pictures Music asian-american comedies Comics on TV Television Academy Rom-Com robots reboot biography Starz james bond Women's History Month tv talk IFC Binge Guide christmas movies CMT FX 2019 festivals elevated horror Grammys aliens APB kaiju Captain marvel A&E television cancelled television 2018 Apple Heroines AMC cancelled TV series nfl venice werewolf Discovery Channel 45 Marvel SDCC satire Ellie Kemper dc animated Crackle Fall TV Academy Awards Comedy Central Watching Series Alien movie Stephen King TLC Quiz parents independent pirates of the caribbean Amazon Studios Red Carpet Ovation quibi anime DC Universe Nickelodeon halloween CBS Marathons classics mockumentary award winner scorecard Lucasfilm Chilling Adventures of Sabrina The Witch 71st Emmy Awards Amazon Prime Video Lifetime Christmas movies a nightmare on elm street social media cancelled TV shows Netflix Christmas movies Warner Bros. worst twilight Film Festival Acorn TV Family ghosts stoner 2020 docuseries political drama Elton John laika screenings Mary Poppins Returns 007 movies USA Network game of thrones telelvision Tubi Turner Classic Movies GoT docudrama RT21 FXX toronto OWN romance reviews Fox Searchlight streaming witnail superman Musical ABC Family Broadway thriller HBO Box Office spanish language binge cars Super Bowl Trophy Talk ID 4/20 breaking bad Shondaland Biopics series razzies child's play Musicals Best and Worst book Rock BBC One police drama E! joker Creative Arts Emmys Esquire ABC universal monsters Amazon Prime boxing Comedy VOD 20th Century Fox Premiere Dates Horror YA natural history NYCC latino OneApp WGN Polls and Games justice league See It Skip It Peacock The CW Reality Competition all-time Funimation psycho BBC The Purge Spectrum Originals festival theme song VICE spy thriller GLAAD TCA Awards rom-coms Logo 72 Emmy Awards GIFs sports NBC 2017 Teen Disney Plus Kids & Family children's TV Pirates Extras IFC Films Emmy Nominations films Spike supernatural The Walking Dead documentaries Superheroes mission: impossible TCA 2017 blockbusters PBS Sundance directors Calendar cartoon Lifetime Pop Classic Film Pride Month Rocketman Film Mary poppins die hard Paramount unscripted TV One Action Superheroe rotten finale HBO Max dogs boxoffice Anna Paquin what to watch obituary Holidays Apple TV+ japanese singing competition Valentine's Day 21st Century Fox king kong sitcom Mudbound batman Tarantino nbcuniversal Winter TV Year in Review Cannes Hallmark stop motion Universal Opinion italian space TNT CNN First Reviews Exclusive Video south america crossover black anthology X-Men composers Crunchyroll The Arrangement news game show dark Disney Channel Video Games sequels emmy awards cinemax hist 2016 archives Lionsgate YouTube Syfy Trailer Infographic National Geographic A24 El Rey free movies Toys godzilla war Baby Yoda Rocky sequel Certified Fresh politics The Academy Sneak Peek Country ratings Food Network Interview toy story Comic Book Hear Us Out YouTube Premium medical drama TCA Winter 2020 chucky criterion HBO Go adaptation TV renewals spinoff crime thriller scary movies 24 frames fresh Nat Geo spain Television Critics Association documentary BET FX on Hulu transformers LGBTQ Holiday doctor who Black Mirror Election 99% Photos Podcast Britbox YouTube Red Trivia sag awards Oscars Legendary miniseries Columbia Pictures hidden camera crime drama golden globes Black History Month Fox News Walt Disney Pictures Marvel Studios Sci-Fi Disney rt archives TV Land teaser Adult Swim CW Seed