bonding | 

Hollywood-based Irish actor Kevin J. Ryan relished the chance to film TV crime caper Harry Wild

‘You have to be a sponge around someone like Jane’
LA-based Kevin J. Ryan loved coming home to work in Dublin

LA-based Kevin J. Ryan loved coming home to work in Dublin© ??%_(/O??

Kevin J. Ryan with Jane Seymour and Rohan Nedd in Harry Wild

Kevin J. Ryan with Jane Seymour and Rohan Nedd in Harry Wild

Deirdre ReynoldsSunday World

Small screen mystery Harry Wild edges closer to its conclusion this week, but star Kevin J. Ryan says fans won’t have to worry about binge-watching withdrawal for long.

Already a hit in America, UK and New Zealand before premiering on RTÉ last month, the mild-mannered thriller stars Jane Seymour as the eponymous, newly retired university professor who turns supersleuth after being mugged.

And co-star Kevin — who plays her Garda detective son, Charlie — reveals that that the pair could soon be spotted filming around Dublin once more, after a second season was greenlit by streaming service Acorn TV earlier this year.

“I’m over the moon,” he tells Magazine+from his home in LA. “I think they’re looking to get going end of August through December.

“I’m very much looking forward to getting back. I’m trying to enjoy my time here as much as I can before I jump back down the rabbit hole again.”

Penned by Irish crime author Jo Spain and American writer Dave Logan, the show has also proved popular in Canada, Spain and South America, with Amy Huberman featuring as Charlie’s wife, Orla.

Kevin J. Ryan with Jane Seymour and Rohan Nedd in Harry Wild

Kevin J. Ryan with Jane Seymour and Rohan Nedd in Harry Wild

As well as being gripped by the writing, Kevin admits he couldn’t resist the opportunity to get home to the capital after global circumstances kept him across the Atlantic for longer than usual.

“I was stuck out here during the pandemic,” he explains. “I was dying to get home and see my friends and family, but every time I even thought of booking flights, my family were like, ‘No, don’t come, we don’t even see each other’.

“Then to get back and work, especially on a script of this calibre — it was a gift.”

Discovering that he would be acting opposite the Golden Globe-winning star of Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman only sealed the deal, continues the 38-year-old.

“I had no idea whatsoever. When we got the offer in then, I was told it was opposite Jane Seymour, and I was just like, ‘Oh my God, perfect’ because I thought she could play that really well.

“Jane is 71 now and she has more energy than most 20-year-olds. Always on set, the energy comes from the top — your lead actors, your directors, they all set the tone for the show. With this, every day Jane was just working so hard that everybody stepped their game up, and I think that’s why the performances are on the level that they are.

“With Jane, you gotta be a sponge around her because there’s so much experience and knowledge there — if you’re not paying attention to it, you’re doing yourself a complete disservice.”

With a CV packed with credits in shows such as cult US soap Days of Our Lives, The Blacklist, starring James Spader, and Crossbones, starring John Malkovich, it’s not the first time the actor has shared the screen with Hollywood royalty.

“John is a force to be reckoned with,” says the Dubliner, who also played Detective Francis Maguire in period drama Copper. “To put it mildly, he’s one of the most prepared actors I’ve ever worked with, and one of the most interesting.

“I remember sitting in the makeup trailer with John and not only did he know his own lines, he knew my lines for the next three episodes. He would know other actors’ lines that weren’t even in the scene — that was the first time I saw that on that level.”

The former professional dancer next appears in Lost Nationas American revolutionary war patriot Ethan Allen. But the actor, who appeared in Irish dramas Rawand The South Westerlies, reveals he has his agent and manager on high alert for more projects in his hometown.

“I definitely want to work more in Ireland and I told my guys that a while ago,” says Ballinteer man Kevin, who trained with renowned acting coach Aaron Speiser, whose other clients include Will Smith and Jennifer Lopez. “They came up with Harry Wildso I was very happy about that.

“The [film and television] industry in Ireland is booming right now, but a lot of the shows and movies are set elsewhere.

“When you do these things, you don’t know how they’re going to be received. It’s just a nice feeling to say we did a show based in Ireland, set in Ireland, with Irish characters — and then it does really well worldwide.”

  • Harry Wild continues this Wednesday on RTÉ One at 9.35pm

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