Jay Ryan is responsible for the pain, violence and occasional shirtless scene on Beauty and the Beast.
What has the experience on this CW drama been like so far for the actor? What can fans expect from Vincent and Cat on the second half of Beauty and the Beast Season 1? Read on for an exclusive TV Fanatic interview with Ryan and consider yourself spoiler warned...
TV Fanatic: How is it feeling being in Vincent’s skin now that you’ve been playing him for awhile now?
Jay Ryan: It’s been great. I’m really loving that the writers are steering head on to the mythology side of the show, which was kind of what drew me to the piece in the first place. So that’s really lovely working with that and having Vincent’s point of view a little bit more within the show as well, and sort of discovering his backstory a little more, where he came from. I feel like the skeletons in his closet are of his people from his life before the experiment took place.
TVF: Would you say at this point that Vincent’s biggest issue, or problem, is control?
JR: I think it’s control and understanding of what is in and how that dark side of him is triggered. Once he understands the process of how he becomes the beast then he can control it, I guess, to some extent, and then live somewhat of a more normal life than he is at the moment. But there all these kind of demons within that he needs answered before he can really open up in a relationship with Catherine. Even though this is quite a dark thing for him to work through, and I think it’s going to be worth it for his ability as a man and opening up emotionally.
TVF: Do you want Catherine and Vincent to get together soon, or do you think it’s better to tease it a little longer?
JR: I think we have to be aware of our audience and know what they want, and from what I’m sort of getting is they want something to happen soon not later. And you know it is a slow burn, kind of romantic kind of genre about Beauty and Beast. But I think the kiss is pretty nigh. I think it’s pretty sure it will happen in the next four episodes through number seven. By episode seven I’m pretty sure they’ll come back together and have that magical kiss that everyone is waiting for but I could be totally wrong.
TVF: In this week’s episode, we’re going to get a big chunk of Vincent’s past with everything in Afghanistan and how he became the Beast, right?
JR: That’s right. Vincent has really not asked this question before jumping from the top of Brooklyn’s Bridge, and how he lays covered in blood, and he has no recollection of what he’s done or has been. So he basically imprisons himself in a cage that Vincent and the boys had at their lair, or the loft, if anything like this ever arose.
So J.T. is running tests on Vincent and generally things are going to counteract [and] tap into him. It sends Vincent to these past flashbacks that are being suppressed for some reason. So he stops the flashback and unravels the answer to how he is created and who he is created by. And we also reveal how he got back. It kind of ties into the whole thing with the pilot about Catherine’s mother’s connection.
TVF: How did you approach playing that flashback side to him because I’m guessing he probably wasn’t quite as dark as he is in present day?
JR: Yeah it was really fun just to liven him up a bit, and I get to bring him more into basically who I am and the element of that cheeky side. And just to show that he was a guy with good intentions to serve his country. It’s interesting to see that side of Vincent’s world to counteract the kind of troubled man that we are currently seeing.
TVF: J.T. and Vincent have had such a solid relationship but that’s also been tested in these last episodes. Will we see more of that?
JR: Yes. There is a moment where Vincent loses control and he gets into this fugue state in this blackout. But while he’s in these blackouts reliving these flashbacks and these memories flood back, that’s sort of what’s making him physically violent. It’s in these flashbacks in his mind that physically he is unaware of what he’s doing. So he really tries to attack J.T. and he’s totally unaware of it. So J.T. had to sort of [put] him out for a while and basically put in this cage.
TVF: What else is on the horizon?
JR: From these few little blackouts what we’ll discover in later episodes is that they are actually growing pains, I guess, of the DNA mutating in the beast. He discovers that he has somewhat of this extra beast super power. I don’t want to give away what it is but he discovers that he has this new ability as the beast.
And then also he has a flash of the past and runs into his ex-fiancé (played by Bridget Reagan of Legend Of The Seeker fame) so that becomes really tricky and pushes Catherine and Vincent apart for a while. And Vincent sort of has to face up to the relationships of does he want to still go back with his fiancé who has no idea of his predicament? She thinks that he’s on the run from some higher power and got into trouble in the war, but she has no idea that he has this creature quality to him.
TVF: You’re on the CW and they like the guys to take their shirts off once in a while. Have you had to change up your workouts to always be ready for that?
JR: Oh yeah, especially for this week’s episode. I’m shirtless in a lot of it so five days a week I’m working out. But you know I’ve pleaded with the writers to give me at least like two weeks’ notice of shirts coming off.