The B.B.C. America historical television series, Copper is now enjoying its second season and is considered a must see among discerning television viewers. The police drama takes place in 1860's New York within the "Five Points" area of the city. The procedural drama follows the story of Detectives Kevin Corcoran(Tom Weston-Jones) and his partner, Francis Maguire(Kevin Ryan) as they investigate crime-on and off the books. The show has received much acclaim for a keen sense of detail to the era and the story line. Kudos have also been showered upon the lead actors of the drama, especially directed to the charismatic, Kevin Ryan whose Francis Maguire is an honorable, but surly character whom the viewers have embraced with enthusiasm! It was time once again to follow-up with the actor and producer and see what has happened in the year since this Examiner.com writer talked to him.
There is an old classic standard that was written as an homage to Ireland which was written by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff, Jr. The song is called, "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" and it is that physical feature of the strikingly handsome, Kevin Ryan that is first noticed and one could almost conclude that the song was written as a dedication to the actor instead of his native country! It is a tribute to his acting abilities that he is able to control that aspect of his physical features because his character on the show is a far cry from the real Kevin Ryan. The actor and I met over drinks at a scenic restaurant deck of a Santa Monica, California hotel and we immediately picked up where we left off in the previous interview.
The subject of Copper immediately came up! Kevin begins, "last year there was so much going on with the relationship between Corcoran and Maguire. This year, Maguire has his own sort of set life. It was shown at the start of the season that he was left desolate on his own. He had to rebuild his life. When he went undercover, it was a way of seeking redemption and absolution for his mistakes!" Ryan continues, "I have to be very careful with my approach on Maguire because on paper he's a bad guy. Everything is morally incorrect with him. How do you find that likability for him in justifying his reasons for everything he has done and also have people root for him. I had to be very careful how I played that and approached it. I never approached him as playing any of the scenes or objectives for the wrong reasons. They were always very positive in terms of growth for the character. I think people identify with that because there is always an emotional charge behind Maguire and I think people see that. I think people do relate in a very real living sense in their problems in day to day life."
The current season of Copper is taking place in the year, 1865 and that year brought one of the most and still shocking presidential assassinations to a nation still healing from the aftermath of the Civil War. Kevin addresses this and speaks of how the show will address it. Ryan comments, "we do go right into it. It is very relevant for that time period and politically for what we are addressing in our show. It was very exciting to be a part of a show that addresses that because it was such an interesting political movement that was going on back then. I think to do any show that addresses the issue of Lincoln is a very exciting thing!"
As we continued to discuss Copper, this columnist brought up the popularity of both the Maguire character and Kevin himself. Speculation on the part of this columnist began about a possible spin-off series highlighting that character. Ryan grinned and replied, "Maguire has so many layers and is interesting! You can go anywhere with this character!"
There is a little known aspect of Kevin Ryan that the fans and the general public have little knowledge of and that is his love for the medium known as the comic book. This led to further speculation on roles that this reporter and others believe Ryan would be incredible portraying. The film adaptation of the Marvel Comics' character, Dr. Strange is currently in early preproduction. Kevin Ryan resembles the character and that brought up interest in the character. Kevin enthusiastically responds, "I know Shane Black(director-Iron Man 3) very well and I am very much looking forward to Dr. Strange. Whether I have anything to do with it or not is another question! It would be a fun one because no one really knows who he is!" The discussion continued as Kevin stated, "I am a big Marvel and D.C. fan, so anything they do-I am all over it. I met with D.C. a while ago about doing a character, so we'll see. It is something that they are looking to cast next year!" I pushed him for more information on what is basically a major revelation, but Ryan held his ground out of respect for the process and perhaps a confidentiality clause. Kevin added, "they are talking about casting it next year. The character is Irish and they are looking to make a series. It would be fun to do! It is one of the few Irish comic book characters!" The revelations did not end there. Kevin continues, "I met the producers about a role in the new X-Men as well, but it conflicted with Copper. I can't reveal what role I was up for-sorry!" That statement alone will cause many to immediately pore over the history of the X-Men to see what character it might have been!
This article in this column will debut the concept artwork developed by the cutting edge film production company known as Edge of L.A. Productions. The artwork featured in this article is illustrated and executed by art director and illustrator, Douglas A. Sirois from conceptual ideas by development producer, Erik Von Wodtke. The two amazing illustrations are conceptual character studies of how remarkable actor, Kevin Ryan would be as Dr. Strange and a Blade Runner respectively. The artwork can be seen in the slideshow portion of this interview.
As a lifelong fan of the comic book genre, Kevin Ryan reveals his talent for drawing and writing comic books. Kevin comments, "I used to sketch a lot and draw many times as a kid. I was asked to work by this company in Ireland to write and direct their comic books, but when Copper came on board-I was just too busy to go in at that time. I was talking to B.B.C. as well to do a Copper comic book. I would like to do something in that world."
An aspect of the actor's skills that are well known is the fact that he was and still is a rather talented dancer. There is a role that the actor would love to clinch and his skills as a dancer would definitely be put to the test if such a film were mounted. Kevin reveals, "if there was a remake of Saturday Night Fever, I would love to do something like that! That is on my list! I know that there are so many dance films, but I think the incredible thing about that film is that it captured a time and certain styles and I am definitely a fan of those early Travolta films."
Another film that is in very early preproduction at this time is the proposed sequel to the Ridley Scott directed classic film, Blade Runner. The proposed sequel is being planned and the speculated working title is Blade Runners. Kevin Ryan recently had the pleasure of meeting one of his acting and film idols-Harrison Ford at a premiere red carpet event who starred as replicant hunter, Rick Deckard in the original film. Speculation has begun on casting and how brilliant it would be to cast Kevin Ryan in the lead role for the film and there can be no doubt that the idea of working with Harrison Ford would thrill the actor. Kevin speaks, "that would be great. I am going to have my people look into it!" The actor's enthusiasm was readily evident and even more so when we discussed the plot points of the film which cannot be revealed in this article. This columnist can say that there will be two sequels being made of which director, Ridley Scott is on board!
As a producer, Kevin has been working with director, Matthew Spradlin on two ideas for both motion pictures and television. Kevin reveals, "I have a pilot that I am doing with him. We shot some tests for it. It's about two Irish hit-men who aren't good a their jobs. They're sort of banished from life in Ireland and sent to America. They are working on jobs out there and get sucked into a life of crime. It has a similar feel to the film, In Bruges. I also have a screenplay we are working on called War Machine which is kind of like Good Will Hunting meets Heat or The Town."
As a working actor, Kevin Ryan is always looking for great work. Ryan expands, "I am just looking for good directors, scripts and actors at the end of the day. For me-it all comes down to the script. A good director will make a good script great! If you have a bad script, then it is very hard to make a great film out of it. The script is the key foundation in anything. I have just been looking at scripts recently, so I signed on to a film that shoots in Ireland and New York and it was the material and it will be a fun little piece!"
Throughout the interview, Ryan displayed a humble sense of gratitude to many, but it is the fans of his work and to Copper in particular that he directs a sincere sense of thanks. The charismatic and impossibly handsome actor concludes, "I think the support that they have given us over the two seasons have been tremendous! I obviously want to continue to see it where it goes. I cannot thank my fans enough and I love the support that we get! It blows me away!"