Matt Ryan On How Justice League Dark: Apokolips War and Legends of Tomorrow Are Resetting His John Constantine

Matt Ryan, who just turned in his final-for-now performance as an animated version of John Constantine in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, still has the live-action world to wrestle with. The actor, who plays Constantine on DC's Legends of Tomorrow, is facing a shift in John's world following the events of the current season, and he knows it. The event that drives so much of the character's motivation -- the so-called "Newcastle incident," when a young and cocky Constantine inadvertently damned a young girl to Hell while trying to take on forces beyond his control -- is being explored in depth this season on Legends, much the same way it was already tackled in one of Constantine's stand-alone animated projects.

And while the Newcastle incident didn't play a big part in the version of John that Ryan played in the Justice League Dark animated films, his character was a major focus in Apokolips War, and got to resolve dangling plot threads from the DC Universe animated world. So of the different takes on Constantine that Ryan has been responsible for, all of them have essentially completed their character arc now.

"I haven't thought about it, but that's really, really true," Ryan told "Thinking about that drive for Constantine with the Astra Logue storyline, I'm still there in a way, and I haven't made that switch, and it's really funny that [this conversation] has actually triggered me now to go, 'okay, well let's look over here,' because I was kind of in holiday mode and going like, 'okay, that's done. Let it settle,' but you've literally just triggered me now to go, 'all right, yeah, next thing.'"

Finding that next thing -- a next challenge, or a next thing to push him forward or drag him down -- is likely key to figuring out what's next for Constantine going forward.


"He needs something to push against," Ryan explained. "There's a problem when John Constantine doesn't have anything to do, then what's he going to do? In the earlier comics, he's always constantly trying to almost get away from magic and stuff, and it keeps on falling his lap, and it's almost like if these things didn't come across him, then I don't know who he would be. He needs something to be wrong for him to be spurred into action. He's one of those people who will drink about it, smash glasses about it, curse about it, but then at the same time go and get the job done."

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is available on digital video on demand platforms now. DC's Legends of Tomorrow will air tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT, following The Flash on The CW.