During our conversation with Constantine star Matt Ryan yesterday, we wanted to try something a little bit different.
Since Constantine went off the air at the end of its first season, its vocal fan base kept hope alive for more new content, leading to a guest appearanceon tomorrow's episode of Arrow. When Ryan spoke to us, we got a few questions out of the way and then handed the virtual microphone over to the #Hellblazers hashtag, where a number of fans submitted questions about the character's past and future.
Ryan, for his part, was happy to oblige...
You know, when I spoke to fans to get some questions for this article, there were a number of them who were like "Oh! I saw him outside the theatre yesterday!"
Oh, bless 'em, bless 'em. Do you know what's amazing, man? Lots of Hellblazer fans have been turning up to see the show, and [Therese Raquin] is a show that's a classical piece of theatre and to have fans who are actually fans of a genre TV show and comic actually turning up to see this kind of work that I'm doing right now, is amazing.
I wanted to ask you about the fan experience. Everyone always asks, "How was your first Comic-Con," but after that they kind of lose interest. Is the way fans are following you from the show to other works kind of new to you?
Yeah, it is, man. I've got to say, doing Constantine is something I'd never experienced before. The fans, the Comic-Con scene, the cult following, has been a great experience. It's been great to see the fans who maybe wouldn't see a play like this, coming to see the play because they've taken an interest in me. And that's wonderful I think because they get to actually experience something outside of what they would normally go to see, as well.
How early were you tipped on to Arrow?
I was actually doing a bunch of comic conventions at the time, and people kept saying, "You know, there's this rumor you're doing an appearance on Arrow." And I was like, "Is there?"
It was actually quite late in the process, and what's amazing is that they moved heaven and earth to get me there. The episode we shot was supposed to be shooting while I was doing the play, which would have meant that I couldn't done it. So they actually switched it around to get me there, which is absolutely fantastic. All of the producers and everyone were really keen to see these characters unite.
It wouldn't have been the same if they were just like "Show's over. Let's just bring in anybody as Constantine."
Yeah, absolutely. You know what's great, man? This season, you're introducing magic into the world of Arrow and really, who better in the DC Universe, if you've got access to those characters, than John Constantine to help you out in that situation?
So now that you've done Arrow, do you have any interest in doing another DC show?
Do you know what? At the moment, I'm concentrated on the play. I'm doing this play til January. But I love this character; it's one of my most favorite characters I've ever played and having this chance to play him again has been great. I wouldn't say no to another opportunity of donning the trench coat again.
Obviously, as John you were in Mucus Membrane, and you in fact do sing and play guitar. Is there an album on your horizon someday?
That's an interesting question! Do you know what? I used to be in a band called the Kings of Camden when I was younger. It is something I'd like to do, yeah, is music and writing and stuff. What's funny is that Jonjo O'Neill, who plays Gary Lester on the show, is one of my oldest friends and he plays guitar as well. And we were talking about, if the show got picked up, how we were going to maybe write something for Mucus Membrane as well. Obviously that didn't come to fruition because the show was cancelled. But it is something that I'm interested in. No plans on the horizon as of yet, but it's something that I'd consider.
You're a guy who has varied tastes. Is there any part of you that sees not being locked into a TV series lead forever as a blessing?
In terms of my career, I'm interested in the medium of film, television and theatre, as you know. But as I said, this character has been so enjoyable to play that it's something that I would jump into at any time, to be honest with you. I think that ultimately, in terms of the scope of my career, I'd like to be able to play a wide range of characters, but you're not in control of that as an actor, so we'll see what comes.
Stephen said a few weeks ago that after the first take, you had to step away and kind of shake it off and psych yourself up a little, even though everyone else there thought you were doing great. Was it odd kind of stepping into this same role, but with a different cast and setting and everything?
Yeah, it was strange. On the set of Constantine, we had a team. The crew, you get to know people, and this was doing the same thing in a different environment. But what's great about Stephen and all the cast and crew of Arrow, is how much they made me feel part of their family on their show, and they've been doing it for four years.
And he's great, man. He's been a champion of the show, trying to get it picked up and all those things. So it was great to actually sit there and talk about it and to get to play this amazing, iconic character opposite the Arrow and see how these two characters interact. But it was funny because we were doing this walk and talk shot and I was like, "Oh! What's going on here?" I've been working on this play, thinking about a lot of other things, and then I was on Arrow and it was like "Oh, John Constantine."
And it was great, because he just came back to me after the first take. It was terrific.
If you were to come back at some point down the line, either here or on Legends or whatever, would you want to get Zed and Chas back? I feel like the chemistry you guys had was something special.
Yeah, exactly. I also think that John is someone that -- Chas has a certain skillset, Zed has a certain skillset, and there's a reason that they are around him in his world. So they would be integral to anything that John would tackle, really, because they have these specific useful skillsets.
And also, do you know what would be great? Is just to work with those guys again.
There's a Hellblazer music podcast, and so fans are wondering: if you yourself had a theme song or an anthem, what would it be?
Wow! A theme song or an anthem? I have no f---ing idea, to be honest with you. I listen to a lot of music in my work. At the moment, I'm doing a classical play so I listen to a lot of classical music before I go onstage, but when I was doing John Constantine, I was listening to a lot of rock music. I would listen to the Sex Pistols and the Stones and stuff, to get you into a mood. So I'm so changeable that I couldn't pin it down to one song.