Interview: Ryan at Risk

The one person Ryan Connor doesn't want to get on the wrong side of is Gary Windass - Ryan Prescott teases him doing just that!

Do you think Ryan is naive enough to think he could get away with stealing the money from Garu?

As that point in the story, most definitely. I think it was a mixture of naivety and also Ryan being oblivious to anything other than himself. He’s got things going on with his brother, Ali and also new romance with Alya. He also has a constant DJ gig, so in his world things are starting to get better, so I think he was focusing on the positives, without it ever occurring to him that he could be putting himself in hot water with Gary.

Ryan clearly has financial woes, does he manage to get the cash back to Gary?

He manages to get part of it back, and the reason for this is because Gary and Ryan’s relationship changes and shifts over the coming weeks. There does reach a point where it’s maybe not necessary for Ryan to get the full amount back to Gary, although I’m sure he will. Since being attacked by Gary over the lost funds, he certainly becomes more motivated. Part of this is through fear, but also knowing that these troubles could reach back to his Mum and Alya, who are the only people he cares about enough to protect.

How is Ryan going to deal with the situation, knowing he can’t use his Bistro wages to pay Gary?

He jumps in to sacrifice straight away. He sells his prized laptop for a fraction of its worth, which is a huge lesson for Ryan. All of his tunes are on there and it’s how he manages to DJ, but at the same time it’s the only possession he has of any financial value.

Gary and Ryan - Coronation Street - ITV

Playing Gary is clearly going to get Ryan burned, is this the end of the manipulative relationship between them, or can we expect the abuse to get worse?

There’s more abuse on the way, but there is a transformation from a blatant ‘cat-and-mouse’ relationship to more of an unspoken compromise in which they first start to understand each other. This all begins when they’re both taken aback by how far Gary went during the fight. Gary starts to question his extreme actions after the fight and seemingly scared himself, and behind his aggression, we start to see a layer of compassion and even an inkling of regret.

Do you feel it’s possible that Ryan has strung Gary along too far for the money situation to truly resolve itself?

Because they’ve both been shocked by the extent of each other’s actions, I think it places them in even balance. Nobody was expecting their tensions to transition into the early stages of a corrupt companionship. This whole issue moves Ryan to a place where he can help himself by helping Gary in a way which resembles rehabilitation, and likewise, Gary starts to get satisfaction from this and also realise that Ryan has much more value to him when he’s played and not attacked.

Emotionally, how does Ryan deal with the strain that Gary is putting on him?

At first, he didn’t seem overly fussed, which is exactly what you’d expect from someone who downplays crisis. He shrugs it off and is very trivial about it, but deep down he’s regretting his decisions. Ryan is very much an opportunist, and in his head, this money created opportunity, but instead, it caused a lot of emotional upset. He has the same motivation as any hedonist his age: women. After having 6 years of partying in another country, he’s realised that he’s not invested in a relationship, which is why he’s being so protective over Alya.

Michelle, Alya and Ryan - Coronation Street - ITV

Unbeknownst to Ryan, Gary is also being hindered by Derek. Does this thin the ice even more for Ryan?

It’s totally does. Poor Ryan has no idea, and that’s the most frustrating bit. Gary knows he’s not living it up, Ryan is skint. He knows he’s done wrong and until he can see the ice start to thin under his feet, and Gary’s approach to the missing cash change, it’s at this point that he knows there was never a true friendship there. Even when he sees that Gary isn’t his mate, he still is completely unaware of Gary’s loansharking and what he’s truly capable of.

Gary has a record for killing, could the owed money put Ryan on his ‘hit list’?

Yes, Ryan is in the line of fire and Gary is checking his arsenal because he is living with remorse. Knowing that he is a killer, Gary has really had to adapt or die and this is bad news for Ryan. I like to think that they’ll find a middle-ground, but their relationship is so volatile that anything could happen.

Is the future bright for Ryan?

It depends what day of the week it is. Everything seems very sweet for him at the moment with Alya and their trip to Copenhagen. I think we’ll see more of Ryan’s insecurities and also see just how well he paints over his antisocial tendencies. In my heart, I hope we’ll see him grow, whether he has to go through a traumatic time or not, but all I know is there is still a lot to explore with Ryan Connor.