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

stand-up comedy concert Trophy Talk justice league Travel Channel die hard travel The Academy Film game of thrones SundanceTV 2015 batman Walt Disney Pictures italian Rock Peacock Turner Classic Movies TV E! jurassic park Classic Film LGBT video book obituary Year in Review technology SXSW Teen toy story 24 frames fresh spain james bond robots halloween Emmys Opinion Sci-Fi VICE Comic Book Superheroe series hidden camera Ghostbusters festival President video on demand MSNBC new star wars movies documentary Winter TV PaleyFest superman reboot Marvel Television supernatural BBC 2018 Pixar 007 medical drama cults Disney streaming service foreign Election Toys X-Men politics reviews crime drama kids 2017 Elton John rom-coms 4/20 versus Trailer worst movies Mary poppins best Watching Series AMC Disney+ Disney Plus Starz MTV dogs japanese Amazon Studios marvel cinematic universe ITV Grammys venice finale Rocketman elevated horror canceled Tumblr spy thriller Marvel Sundance TV First Look Lifetime 45 transformers revenge DirecTV Countdown emmy awards Warner Bros. crime Brie Larson Reality Competition Binge Guide witnail science fiction cancelled TV series Superheroes Crackle aapi rt archives TIFF Writers Guild of America critics talk show golden globes Paramount Network Disney Channel remakes HBO TLC OneApp spider-man Acorn TV natural history football Black History Month TCA Valentine's Day PBS game show TV One Mary Tyler Moore Apple Video Games french joker Nickelodeon boxing Tubi Awards Tour 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Hallmark Christmas movies anthology historical drama Martial Arts ABC Family Awards satire asian-american halloween tv Lionsgate screen actors guild Logo LGBTQ Best and Worst parents Pacific Islander CW Seed SDCC zombie superhero Apple TV Plus 2020 heist movie Action Baby Yoda Spring TV richard e. Grant festivals police drama cancelled E3 comic Columbia Pictures name the review theme song HBO Max Trivia anime Rocky universal monsters Premiere Dates mission: impossible toronto Lifetime Christmas movies vampires films ID worst Academy Awards RT History Podcast The Purge archives Epix Winners Marathons 21st Century Fox Universal Adult Swim docuseries Amazon TBS cops Women's History Month cartoon BBC One 99% Bravo Holidays Marvel Studios space 2019 CBS VOD screenings free movies dragons CNN all-time new zealand Cartoon Network sequel Endgame classics FX green book Television Academy monster movies Discovery Channel golden globe awards Britbox Song of Ice and Fire Esquire fast and furious Box Office cancelled television GoT ESPN Fall TV Masterpiece TCA 2017 Paramount Funimation BET Awards indiana jones 72 Emmy Awards Country DC streaming service nature dc Calendar scene in color international Ovation Disney Fantasy romance psychological thriller christmas movies discovery Creative Arts Emmys Black Mirror USA Musical Sundance ABC Signature kaiju mockumentary Sony Pictures Comics on TV Spike casting award winner First Reviews biography Food Network rotten movies we love NYCC political drama nbcuniversal prank Pirates singing competition Shudder breaking bad Christmas Music scary movies children's TV dramedy chucky quibi A24 diversity nfl cancelled TV shows cats FOX war Reality Rom-Com Fox News Crunchyroll romantic comedy Stephen King zombies History stop motion Set visit PlayStation tv talk Film Festival Oscars Polls and Games Tarantino black Netflix Christmas movies documentaries The Walt Disney Company popular high school ratings Western composers Comedy Central DC Comics cars 93rd Oscars target Thanksgiving The Witch movies rotten movie animated kong television south america Showtime American Society of Cinematographers A&E Shondaland Pride Month renewed TV shows National Geographic Arrowverse Mary Poppins Returns TCM Nominations slashers Mystery independent Mudbound sitcom USA Network Avengers disaster pirates of the caribbean Image Comics directors Hear Us Out spanish language 71st Emmy Awards Emmy Nominations latino San Diego Comic-Con Animation Interview Broadway OWN laika dark FX on Hulu Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Extras Paramount Plus BET mutant VH1 Television Critics Association saw Exclusive Video TNT Amazon Prime Video Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt blockbuster Anna Paquin ghosts TruTV streaming women sports king kong cinemax Cannes trailers Syfy social media new york miniseries Vudu godzilla Turner New York Comic Con 20th Century Fox streaming movies Star Trek jamie lee curtis Nat Geo Pop harry potter know your critic zero dark thirty adaptation period drama 2016 BAFTA doctor who blaxploitation WGN crime thriller spinoff aliens psycho Amazon Prime Quiz Lucasfilm hollywood Netflix cooking thriller a nightmare on elm street sequels comics what to watch CMT APB Certified Fresh blockbusters Spectrum Originals Summer Tomatazos Heroines Ellie Kemper stoner based on movie IFC Holiday true crime Family australia live action TV movies Fox Searchlight Chernobyl Character Guide Sneak Peek Captain marvel YouTube Premium lord of the rings book adaptation DGA RT21 news TV renewals indie binge scorecard The Arrangement razzies dceu TCA Winter 2020 Freeform Musicals twilight ABC strong female leads crossover Apple TV+ deadpool Dark Horse Comics The Walking Dead TCA Awards Legendary MCU Star Wars adventure docudrama Disney Plus TV Land Comedy serial killer Hulu YouTube Red The CW child's play Super Bowl Cosplay franchise Biopics WarnerMedia Drama Infographic CBS All Access El Rey hist GLAAD comiccon Schedule Sundance Now 2021 IFC Films telelvision YA Photos FXX Horror canceled TV shows Pet Sematary sag awards criterion boxoffice werewolf BBC America spanish See It Skip It comic books DC Universe facebook Alien GIFs Hallmark Mindy Kaling ViacomCBS YouTube NBC unscripted hispanic Kids & Family comedies teaser Red Carpet Pop TV HBO Go