When Debbie moots the idea about staging the robbery at the Bistro, how is Ryan feeling about his life, is he a bit disillusioned, does she catch him at a low point?
I think so yes, Ryan’s on the periphery of Alya’s life, but he’s in no way with her, and as every day goes by he feels that’s less and less likely to happen. He’s lost all his DJ gear, his real passion which is music just isn’t happening for him, he’s called a couple of part time jobs that are going nowhere, he’s not got many friends, his family are overseas, so he’s not got much going on for him in Weatherfield. I think he’s lonely and he just wants more for himself.
So how does he feel about Debbie’s suggestion of an insurance job?
When she first mentions it he thinks she’s just messing around, Ryan is an opportunist of sorts but he’s not one to really cross a line and he doesn’t really take to time to convince himself that this is the right way to go. He knows it’s not right, but it’s his current position in life that ultimately guides him towards the decision to go ahead with the robbery. He feels it’s his last chance and once someone engages with that idea, that you’ve got one last shot, all other options go out of the window and it becomes his sole focus.
He makes the decision to do the robbery, so how does he feel when Debbie goes back on it and says it’s off?
By then Ryan’s already convinced himself that there’s an opportunity in Ibiza for him, starting up a bar with some friends, if he can just come up with cash. So at that point he’s already tasting that familiarity of the only other home he’s ever had, he’s manifesting and he’s decided it’s his only way forward. He’s all in by the time that Debbie says it’s off so at that point it’s just a case of convincing her that this is the right thing to do for both of them.
Ryan goes ahead with staging the robbery and Debbie is forced to roll with that, however when the police are called does Ryan suddenly think what have I done?
In retrospect he does think what have I done, but the fact that Debbie was involved gives him a bit of security, she’s that bit older and wiser so he thinks surely she wouldn’t have come up with something that’s not going to work. To him no one has got hurt, it’s a victimless crime and that’s the main appeal for Ryan, he doesn’t want to hurt anyone, it’s just an insurance claim. I think he’s very calm in the beginning but as soon as it backfires and the police start asking questions he immediately regrets what he’s done.
As the police close in on Ryan, Debbie denies any involvement, is he shocked that she’s prepared to hang him out to dry?
I think he’s confused more than anything, shocked initially, yes he’s not the sharpest tool in the box but he’s not soft. He could bring her into this at any time but I’m not sure he will for two reasons: 1. he’s developing a relationship with her, their friendship is sort of a blessing in disguise and he does see that she’s drowning in debt and he can relate. 2. if she goes down then there’s no way for them to claim the insurance. As long as she isn’t caught there’s still a way for him to get his cut of the money, even if the worst happens and he has to do some jail time, then he can make his escape from Weatherfield after that.
How does he feel about Alya finding out about what he’s done, does her opinion of him still worry him?
Her opinion is the most important thing to him in Weatherfield, he doesn’t really get the chance to explain and the idea that she just thinks he’s committed a robbery of his own back is what troubles him the most. He can’t really explain as then the dream will be up and there will be the money.
He’s left between a rock and a hard place isn’t he?
Yeah, he could tell Jenny as well and not be thrown out on the street but he doesn’t, the opportunity to get the money, invest in the bar, leave and go back to Ibiza is still a brighter situation for Ryan than having nothing in Weatherfield. He needs to keep that option open as this one closes because within days the whole street seems to know and turns against him. He’s walking around carrying a lot of shame so for him to continue he at least needs to have an option, and as long as Debbie’s out there trying to sort the insurance claim then there’s still an option for him to leave.
You’ve said before Ryan isn’t the sharpest tool in the box but do you think he’s steely enough to do prison time or do you think he’ll come clean?
Four years ago when he came back to Weatherfield I think he would have just cried to his mum and come clean but he’s a bit older now and he’s learnt a lot from what’s gone on in the past four years and he grounded himself in the people around him who’ve all now turned their back on him. So when Ronnie shows up for him and proves that even a stranger can have your back it shows him some morality and I think will influence his decision on what to do. Ronnie’s probably the first role model he’s had in his life since his mum left and it’s been years since he had a male father type figure in his life so it will be an interesting angle to explore.
Do you feel sorry for Ryan because he is a bit lost in Weatherfield right now?
Yeah as an actor you’ve got to try and relate to your character and I can see part of the younger me in Ryan and I feel for him. I feel like he’s got a good heart and he’s not really had the opportunity to show it, weirdly this might be that opportunity as scary as it is. It could be a real coming of age moment for him. No one cares enough to hear his side of the story and he realises in that moment that his family are gone and he’s very much alone in this.
Coronation Street airs hour-long episodes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8pm on ITV.