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Tragic loss Rex Ryan drank an 'obscene amount' to cope with dad Gerry's sudden death

"I went on a pilgrimage to Thailand. I needed to get away. Dad died right before my final exams in business school."

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Rex Ryan stars in One Hour to Ron Montana at the Glass Mask Theatre. Pic: Gerry Mooney

Rex Ryan stars in One Hour to Ron Montana at the Glass Mask Theatre. Pic: Gerry Mooney

Rex Ryan stars in One Hour to Ron Montana at the Glass Mask Theatre. Pic: Gerry Mooney

Actor Rex Ryan has admitted that he drank an “obscene amount” to cope with the death of his father Gerry.

The 31-year-old was working towards his business degree when his legendary broadcaster dad died aged 53 in 2010.

In an in-depth interview with Hot Press Magazine, Rex explained that he dealt with his grief by packing his bags and travelling to Asia, which he described as a “profound journey into the soul.”

He said: “I went on a pilgrimage to Thailand. I needed to get away. Dad died right before my final exams in business school.

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Gerry Ryan was one of RTÉ’s top stars.

Gerry Ryan was one of RTÉ’s top stars.

Gerry Ryan was one of RTÉ’s top stars.

“They said ‘do you want to defer?’ and I said ‘No, f*** that.’ I did my exams and the next day I flew to Southeast Asia and stayed there for a long time.

“It was like Apocalypse Now. I had two kick-boxing fights and I drank an obscene amount. I meditated with monks. I climbed mountains.”

He continued: “I went into solitude. And then a lot of my schoolfriends ended up over there. So, it was a real journey.

“I had no money, no nothing. I was quite happy and at peace there as well.

“It was probably the best thing that I could have done because I lived quite an incredible existence there, on nothing.

“And I got away from the maelstrom of media that was blowing through Dublin.

“It was a real release for me. It shaped me a lot. It also made me very good at living with nothing, which is necessary as an actor.”

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Rex, who graduated from the Gaiety School of Acting in 2013, said that his dad always encouraged him to follow his dreams and pursue his acting career.

He shared: “Dad said ‘Rex Ryan will be a good stage name.’

“It’s the opposite of some parents, they’d say ‘Rex, you should really consider a fallback.’

“He almost forced me to be an actor. We’d be watching films and he’d go ‘You could do that.’ I’d say ‘Dad, that’s Al Pacino in Heat, what are you on about?’

“Dad seemed to have some sort of supreme confidence that I was going to be a performer of some sort – and not on the radio.

“He seemed quite convinced that I could be an actor. I think it was inevitable that I was going to become an actor.”

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