The idea for Foxtel’s sizzling new drama series, Fighting Season emerged in a crowded US airport lounge.
Over a loud speaker came a call for military personnel to board their planes first, a simple nod to their service and a subtle thanks from a respectful nation.
As the show’s producer, Kylie du Fresne — along with her Goalpost Pictures producing partner Rosemary Blight — noted it was a shocking reminder that “in Australia, our troops are completely invisible.”
“At the same time we were seeing newspaper and magazine articles about PTSD in Australian
soldiers and we started thinking that this was really interesting subject matter that hadn’t yet been explored on Australian television,” du Fresne said.
Until now, with the six-part series — to premiere on Foxtel’s showcase channel at 8.30pm, October 28 — set to spark a national conversation about the shocking realities of our longest war in Afghanistan and the toll it takes on those serving and their families.
Starring Jay Ryan, Ewen Leslie and an impressive cast of new talent, including George Pullar and Julian Maroun, it tracks the fallout for a returned army unit, after a sortie goes fatally wrong — with the subtitle: “you don’t stop fighting just because you’re home.”
Ryan, who researched the impact of PTSD for his first major US role, in Beauty And The Beast, plays Sergeant ‘Speedo’ Collins who tries to bury his own demons with his unit commander, killed under mysterious circumstances.
His wife and young children are struggling to cope with the angry man who has come home to them, and the damaging, violent impact he is having on their lives.
As lead director Kate Woods points out: “we send these young men to war and teach them to kill and when they do, and it becomes part of their life, how do they assimilate that into themselves as human beings when they come back home? And what responsibility does the Armed Forces have for that?”
The series’ writer, Blake Ayshford was born into an air force family and welcomed the opportunity to explore some of the authentic issues being tackled by the limited series.
“We tried to deal honestly with that situation — not all people who return from war suffer from PTSD, but for those that do, it can still be a source of great shame for the soldiers themselves.”
Legacy Australia chief executive, Scott Warr welcomed the series as a way to continue raising awareness about the issues facing today’s military family and the battles personnel face after their time in service.
“It [PTSD] doesn’t affect every veteran that leaves service, but the key thing is those it does impact it does so significantly … not just on the veteran but those around them. We’re talking being disengaged from the family, to being moody, being different to what he or she was like before they went [to war] … through the whole continuum up and including, unfortunately the veterans not being able to cope with it and sadly taking their own lives.”
Warr said mental health resources and support, whether via Legacy or the Department of Veterans Affairs, had improved greatly, but broader understanding in the community about these issues was essential.
“Anything that can keep raising these questions [because] we haven’t got it all right yet. We’re still getting veterans who kill themselves and at Legacy we see the results of that. Unfortunately, the contemporary families and helping young widows are probably the only growing part of our business.”
* Fighting Season will premiere 8.30pm, October 28 on Foxtel’s showcase.
Lots going on here at Jay Ryan Web. The site can now be located at Jay-Ryan.org as well as Jay-Ryan.net. We also have a new Twitter so be sure you are following us there. The old one has a notice to follow the new one as the old one will no longer be updated.
I’ve started to merge the missing content and photos of Jay-Ryan.org with Jay-Ryan.net, so expect lots of updates in the coming weeks. Check out the first batch of updates below.
World Screen Pre-MIPTV Edition
Sky Vision E-Catalogue
The Packer: Poster/Art
The Packer: On the Set
The Packer: Stills
Unknown Theatre Production #01
Unknown Theatre Production #02
You Wish!: Screencaps – replacements
The Tribe: 4×38 – Screencaps
The Tribe: 4×39 – Screencaps
2012 San Diego Comic Con – additions
Producing Schnipples & Tuffy: Behind the Scenes / On the Set
The first footage from It: Chapter Two was shown at Comic-Con on Wednesday, a behind-the-scenes glimpse which provided fans with their fist look at the adult versions of the Losers’ Club.
The second part of the blockbuster film adaptation of the Stephen King classic only started shooting a few weeks ago in Toronto so it was too early in the sequel’s production to show too much of what they’re working on.
A behind-the-scenes featurette anchored by director Andy Muschietti revealed James McAvoy as Bill, Jessica Chastain as Beverly, Bill Hader as Richie, Isaiah Mustafa as Mike, Jay Ryan as Ben, James Ransone as Eddie, and Andy Bean as Stanley.
There were on-set virgnettes of the actors filming various shots, as well as glimpses of Bill Skarsgård back as the monstrous demon clown Pennywise.
While there was nothing truly revealing or scary shown — and almost all of the footage was of the filming of scenes rather than the scenes themselves — the footage did show the adult Losers’ Club reuniting at a restaurant years after the events of Chapter One. Hader’s Richie asks the group, knowingly, what they’d like to talk about …
There was also some footage from the first It featuring the younger members of the Losers Club: Jaeden Lieberher as Bill, Wyatt Oleff as Stanley, Sophia Lillis as Beverly, Finn Wolfhard as Richie, Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben, Chosen Jacobs as Mike, and Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie.
The It: Chapter Two presentation was part of New Line Cinema’s “ScareDiego” panel touting their upcoming horror slate, which included The Nun and The Curse of La Llorona.
It: Chapter Two scares its way into theaters September 6, 2019.
Principal photography has begun on It Chapter Two, with New Zealand actor Jay Ryan taking his place among the sequel’s cast.
Ryan will be playing the part of the adult version of Ben.
The first part of the film was one of 2017’s biggest films, grossing over $700 million globally, and also the highest-grossing horror film of all time.
Bill Skarsgard will return as the evil clown Pennywise.
Ryan will join a cast of well-known actors to play the adult version of The Losers’ Club, first seen in the first part of the adaptation of Stephen King’s seminal book.
Ryan will be joining the likes of Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Isaiah Mustafa, James Ransone, Bill Hader, and Andy Bean in the sequel to the massively popular It.
Jay Ryan has been cast as the adult version of Ben Hanscom in New Line Cinema’s It: Chapter 2. The younger version of this character was played by actor Jeremy Ray Taylor in It.
The actor can be seen on the eOne/Hulu rights-to-die drama series Mary Kills People, the second season of which premiered this month. A New Zealand native, Ryan first broke through on stage with his one person show The Packer in which he played eight characters. The piece played to raves at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where reviewers likened his performance to a live stage version of Trainspotting re-situated in New Zealand. Ryan then went on to play Mark Mitcham, the crafty son of a drug lord in the Golden Globe-and-Emmy Award-winning BBC/Sundance Channel miniseries Top of the Lake for directors Jane Campion and Garth Davis. That same year, the actor was cast as the titular lead in the CW’s award-winning sci-fi series Beauty and the Beast
Ryan is repped by United Talent Agency, Management 360 and Ziffren Brittenham. His Australian agent is Independent Artists.
The sequel to 2017’s record breaking horror movie ‘IT’ is set to hit cinemas in 2019 but who will be playing the adult versions of the kids in the Losers’ Club?
1. Who will play adult Bill in ‘IT: Chapter 2’?
Bill was played by Jaeden Lieberher in 2017’s ‘IT’ and will be portrayed by James McAvoy in the sequel.
2. Who will play adult Beverly in ‘IT: Chapter 2’?
Beverly was played by Sophia Lillis in 2017’s ‘IT’ and will be portrayed by Jessica Chastain in the sequel.
3. Who will play adult Richie in ‘IT: Chapter 2’?
Richie was played by Finn Wolfhard in 2017’s ‘IT’ and will be portrayed by Bill Hader in the sequel.
4. Who will play adult Eddie in ‘IT: Chapter 2’?
Eddie was played by Jack Dylan Grazer in 2017’s ‘IT’ and will be portrayed by James Ransone in the sequel.
5. Who will play adult Mike in ‘IT: Chapter 2’?
Mike was played by Chosen Jacobs in 2017’s ‘IT’ and will be portrayed by Isaiah Mustafa in the sequel.
6. Who will play adult Stanley in ‘IT: Chapter 2’?
Stanley was played by Wyatt Oleff in 2017’s ‘IT’ and will be portrayed by Andy Bean in the sequel.
7. Who will play adult Ben in ‘IT: Chapter 2’?
Ben was played by Jeremy Ray Taylor in 2017’s ‘IT’ and will be portrayed by Jay Ryan in the sequel.
8. Who will play adult Henry in ‘IT: Chapter 2’?
Ben was played by Nicholas Hamilton in 2017’s ‘IT’ and will be portrayed by Teach Grant in the sequel.
Bringing his radiant energy and joy to a role that slowly peels back its fascinating facade and reveals a deeply layered and rich dichotomy of contradictory emotions, Jay Ryan is more than simply riveting in MARY KILLS PEOPLE, he is downright addictive. It will be easy to see how and why Mary, as phenomenally portrayed by Caroline Dhavernas, falls immediately under his character’s spell, which subsequently leads to a taut game of cat-and-mouse. In an exclusive interview, Jay Ryan talks about his fascination with MARY KILLS PEOPLE and shares his perspective on his incredibly rich and rewarding career, so far.
What initially appealed to you about the role of Ben and working on MARY KILLS PEOPLE?
JAY: A dynamite script! It was refreshing to receive a pre shooting script in such tight form, with a sensational female protagonist that I had never seen framed in such a light before – it oozed a tone like no other and I felt this really was truly ‘Original’ content from the mind of a very talented individual. The role of ‘Joel’ came with a responsibility that shocked me when I read the final pages of Tara’s script. I didn’t see it coming and that ‘edge of your seat’ feeling was just as exciting to read as it is to watch this series. Also knowing that it was all to be helmed entirely by one director (Holly Dale) over the entire project was very appealing. There were very clear visions of what we were making from the beginning.
How would you describe who Ben (aka Joel) is?
JAY: ‘Joel’ as we meet him for the first time is struggling – struggling to be good at what he does and struggling to convince Mary that the best thing for him and his situation is to die with some sort of dignity. He’s a bit of a lonely soul and Mary manages to shake his guard just enough, before they both make big mistakes.
What do you most admire and/or like about Ben?
JAY: That he’s a trickster with a heart of gold.
What is it like working with such a strong ensemble cast?
JAY: Brilliant. Strong cast, strong crew, strong creative team! I had the pleasure of mostly shooting alongside Caroline [Dhavernas], Richard [Short] and Lyriq [Bent] who are all phenomenal pros – previewing the series, I was in awe of every single character in this show, the guest cast, the girls who play Mary’s daughters, Charlotte Sullivan, Greg Bryk as Grady — everyone compels and moves the story on a deeper level.
You have a number of scenes with Caroline Dhavernas. What was it like filming those scenes with such an under-current of sexual tension and verbal sparring?
JAY: It felt bloody good. When so much is given to the actors already within these scripts — there is a calmness that the work can come from in rehearsals. We didn’t have to panic and search for how to make it tick, it all very freely came giving us room to add and experiment with what we could give one another in each moment.
In the cat-and-mouse game between Ben and Mary, is Ben secretly rooting for Mary or does he really want to catch her?
JAY: That is the question! I hope we keep you guessing until the final episode.
What has been your favorite part about working on this project?
JAY: The collaborative approach from the very beginning — Tassie and Amy Cameron assembled a divine team and are true and hungry storytellers themselves. But at the end of the day everyone was on the same page, out to make a work we all believed in lead by the phenomenal Caroline Dhavernas — what more could you really ask for. This show has a strange warm humor to it with a taste of the ‘thriller’ genre and it was exciting to tackle from such a new perspective.
What you have learned from the show and its thought-provoking point of view on the right to die?
JAY: Everyone has their own valid reasons for where they stand on the subject. It’s a very tricky debate — but if you honestly ask yourself the question “would I want the right to go on my own peaceful terms” and do away with terminal suffering, can you answer? If good honest Palliative care was accessible to all those in need, then perhaps there would be no warrant for Mary’s little business.
What has been the one thing you as an actor haven taken away from working on MARY KILLS PEOPLE?
JAY: Life is short — choose good scripts.
What do you hope viewers continue to take away from watching MARY KILLS PEOPLE?
JAY: The pure feeling of being solidly entertained and connected to a well told story.
Did working on MARY KILLS PEOPLE require a bit of a brain-switch after portraying Vincent on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST?
JAY: I had at least 6 months between finishing one and starting the other. Because of the way the character’s health is revealed in the first episode of MARY KILLS PEOPLE, I had to switch off from training and eating like a CW super-hero and drop some kilos and live a little to complete the transformation to Joel — a dying loner with a cool old truck. Yes, I immensely enjoyed it.
What has surprised you most about your career so far?
JAY: That I’m still lucky enough to be in a profession and industry where boarders are crossed and mixed with different artists collaborating from all parts of this world.
At this stage of your career, what do you think you have learned from the amazing variety of roles and projects you have worked on?
JAY: Keep every door open until you find the most inviting room.
Then what are the perks of where you are in your career right now?
JAY: I get the luxury to travel to many different places around the world with my family and immerse ourselves in a new community of creators every 6 months or so. We love it!
If there were one role you would like to revisit, which would it be and why?
JAY: I really would like to see where the Mitchum Brothers from TOP OF THE LAKE ended up a few years down the track after the end of Season 1. I had the opportunity to return for Season 2, but the scheduling didn’t work out traveling between Toronto and Queenstown. I’m cheekily hopeful. There’s a lot more story there, I remember Jane Campion toying with some ideas about those two characters’ futures when we shot the first season.
You seem to take on roles that are very challenging. Do any of your characters and the situations they find themselves in ever leave a lasting impression on you?
JAY: I’ve played many roles. Each has a place in time.
Has there been any great advice you have gotten? What advice would you offer to other upcoming and aspiring actors?
JAY: Curiosity and empathy are key.
Do you have any other upcoming projects that you can share that fans should keep an eye out for?
JAY: I’m just about to start work on another brilliant original 6 parter in Australia titled “Fighting Season” from the creators behind Sundance TV’s “Cleverman.” A very different role for me to tackle. Wish me luck!
To see the sexy, and deceptive complex role that Jay portrays in MARY KILLS PEOPLE, be sure to the in for the premiere on Sunday, April 23rd at 10:00 p.m. on Lifetime.