Jack James Ryan Talks About Life With A Corrie Dad
Jack James Ryan reveals all about life for Jacob now his dad has made an appearance.
How has Jacob been feeling since his dad came back into his life? At first he didn't want him around but has Jacob started to warm to him and think maybe he is here for the right reasons?
Yeah, definitely. It's really difficult for Jacob because he knows from his past experiences with his family, especially with his dad, that he’s bad news, he’s let him down time and time again. But in his heart, the thing that Jacob wants the most is a loving family, he doesn't have anyone that has been there for him throughout his life. So that hope that his Dad is here for him in this moment is so strong for him.
Jacob’s turned his life around in the last year, he’s got Amy, the flat, he loves his job at the factory, so what makes him agree to leave Underworld to go work with his dad at the bistro?
Yeah, it’s a really big decision for Jacob because he's worked so hard to get this job and he really has a lot of love for Carla and the opportunity she has given him, despite everything that happened with Simon. She’s really given him a chance and gone out on a limb for him so it’s really hard for Jacob to take the decision to leave the factory because he really loved working there. But I think there’s been a lot of manipulation from Damon, he really preys on the fact that he knows Jacob would do anything for his dad to build this relationship. Damon has really played up to the idea of them building this empire together and Jacob being is right hand man. Jacob has just been craving that love and attention from his dad, so much so that he is willing to sacrifice everything for the slight chance that he might be able to have a future with his dad.
Quite quickly it turns out to not be what he anticipated at the bistro, when Damon tells him to expect a delivery and he assumes it’s drugs, how does that make Jacob feel?
He's literally devastated but everything happens really quickly and Jacob realizes he’s in way too deep from the offset. There isn't a way out of this and in a weird way I think he does want to protect his dad as well. He doesn't want his dad to go down so he’s between a rock and a hard place where he realises he’s going to have to do this to protect him, even though Damon has never done anything to protect Jacob, he feels that responsibility now. It all just happens so quickly, he doesn’t have the time to process it, he just wants to find a way out that won’t affect anyone, including his dad.
Does he worry about what Amy and other people might think if they find out he's back into drugs because everyone's given him a chance haven’t they?
Massively and I think this is the hardest thing for him. He loves Amy, he’s absolutely besotted with her, she’s his whole world and he’s just absolutely devastated. He’s been introduced to the Barlows, spent time in their home, seen how amazing Steve and Tracy are together, even though they’re a bit unconventional they love each other, so the thought of them all finding out that he’s back into drugs when they’ve given him such a chace is gutting. He knows it will be devastating for Amy and for the whole family because they’ve given given him such a chance, it’s been a journey for them to trust him which makes this so hard.
Damon attempts to pin everything on Jacob and tells him he has to run, would you like to see Jacob clear his name?
Definitely, Jacob absolutely adores Amy and this is the hardest thing he’s ever had to do in his life but when you love someone so deeply, sometimes what you have to do is let them go. Jacob will not risk Amy getting hurt or anything bad happening to the Barlows, even Nick and Leanne, Jacob has got to a place where he has a lot of respect for them even if they haven’t for him and he doesn’t want to be the reason that anybody gets hurt.
How did you feel filming the story? Did it make you feel sad to see Jacob taking the blame after you’ve watched him turn his life around?
Yeah of course it’s really sad, Jacob is like my baby brother, I’ve put my heart and soul into the character. After initially joining for just three months, I’ve then been able to build the character, making him live and breathe and be relatable. I think what I really like about Jacob is he’s a character that’s been able to show the younger generation that you can make mistakes, and yeah Jacob’s made some pretty big ones, but he’s been able to turn his life around. It can feel with cancel culture at the moment that you make one mistake and you’re done but I think it's really important to show that you can make mistakes but if you really want to try and turn your life around then you can do that. I've been so proud to tell that story with Jacob and I hope the audience can see him as sort of a troubled hero, he’s doing the things he does to keep people safe.
The relationship with Amy has been really important to you, have you and Elle enjoyed working together and building that relationship?
The viewers have really embraced them, when we started we had no idea what they would think of them together, obviously Amy Barlow is one of the nation's sweethearts so I was kind of nervous, I wanted it to work so badly. Me and Elle are now best friends but I think from very early on we really wanted this, every time we came onto set we were like right what can we do, we were both bringing ideas, throwing different things in the hat, we were constantly working with the directors and the writers to really make this relationship tangible, authentic and to feel real. I hope we’ve got there, it was a bit of a whirlwind but I do think that their relationship resonates with people.
What’s it been like working alongside Ciaran Griffiths and Jacob having an on screen dad?
Oh, my God, I absolutely loved working with Ciaran, he’s a gift of an actor. When you get to work with someone who is such an amazing actor it’s just fantastic. My sister (Rebecca Ryan) got to work with Ciaran on Shameless, then obviously he’s been living in Australia, so the
last time I got to see Ciaran I was like 10 years old on the set of Shameless, I remember looking up to him and thinking wow this guy's really cool. Then when I found out he was playing my dad I thought it was such a good casting choice, we instantly hit it off and it’s just an absolute treat to act alongside him. When someone gives you so much on set it's just amazing to have that to bounce off and he's such an amazing guy as well. I think everyone's going to be really impressed by his work and what he's got to offer the show, I'm excited for his future as well.