Over the course of New York Comic Con, we here at Universal Monsters Universe were privileged to be able to interview comic book writers, toy makers and celebrities. The television show Constantine only lasted one season but it developed a solid fan base and made Matt Ryan a household name in comic books and television.
The DC Animated Universe (DCAU) has just come off the success of The Killing Joke and is now set to release Justice League Dark in 2017. John Constantine is one of the many characters included in the film and the creative team knew that they had to bring Matt Ryan on board to reprise the role. I had the opportunity to sit down with Matt and he wasted no time talking about getting back into the role.
“I miss wearing the trenchcoat because in the studio I was just in my civies so I would have liked to put the costume on. I was thinking about bringing a jacket to get into the character. It’s great man. I mean look he’s such an amazing character to play and I love him so much. I loved playing him on the TV and to get to do him in this medium as well has been great.”
From the Hellblazer comic series to the show, John Constantine is a great character. Speaking of comics, I asked Matt if he knew anything about the comics before he took the role which lead into his thoughts about playing the character for the first time.
“I was familiar but I had to really do my research. A friend of mine, his favorite character was Constantine and he loved the Hellblazer comics so when I told him I got the job he actually sat me down he was like, ‘write.’ I was most nervous seeing what he thought of the TV show really because this is my friend and he loved the character and of course all of the fans in a way. It’s trying to do the character justice but doing Constantine in this context as well is great. After the show got cancelled to be back on Arrow and to come back as the voice I mean it’s great.”
It is clear that Matt enjoyed playing Constantine whether it be live-action or doing his voice in animation. When it came to the differences of live-action vs. voice acting, there were quite a few and he even supplied a great story to illustrate the differences.
“It’s cool, man. It’s cool. You don’t have to worry about make-up. You can wear sweatpants. You can actually do it in your pants if you want to, your boxers. Actually they were telling me there is this one voice actor who kind of does that. He makes them turn the lights out and he kind of gets semi-naked. I think next time I do it, if I’m lucky enough to do it, I might do that just to try it out and see how it feels. It’s great. There is a huge difference. You’re not interacting with the actors on set. You don’t have as many time constraints as you have in terms of television and there’s a lot more you can do in the animation world, a lot more magical stuff you can do without having to spend lots of money on special effects and stuff. It was a really kind of interesting medium to play and I’ve only ever done one other thing before which is I was Edward Kenway in Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, which most of that was motion-capture so that was like working on a movie in a studio. Then I did two days of the voice stuff which was just shouting commands and stuff. Yeah, it’s my first animated movie and I’d love to do some more of it. It was really good fun.”
Even though the medium changed from live-action to animation, the character remained the same from what he wore to his personality. We asked Matt what his favorite part of Justice League Dark was and he came up with an answer that should please many DC fans.
“There’s a couple of them. My favorite part of the film is his relationship with Batman. He calls him ‘Batsy’ and pulls out his boomerang or whatever it is. Their interaction is really witty and funny and I love that but also his relationship with Zatana. There is a real emotional history, emotional connection there and kind of getting to play that out, even though I was playing it out to myself because there was no actor there, just kind of exploring that which is something I didn’t get to do on the TV show and that was really cool.”
It was an honor to be able to talk to Matt Ryan and hear his thoughts about John Constantine, a character who he has become the face of. I was a fan of the show and cannot wait to hear him reprise the role in Justice League Dark. Universal Monsters Universe would like to thank Matt Ryan and Justice League Dark for a great interview.
(Joe Grodensky – @JoeGrodensky)