In tonight’s episode (Wednesday 19th April) Ryan finds the courage to face his fears and see the scars caused by the acid attack for the first time.
With Carla there for support, Ryan tells the surgeon he’s ready to look at his injuries. But as he stares at his face the surgeon breaks the news that he is not healing as they had hoped and he needs a skin graft.
Daisy and Carla head into Ryan’s room only to discover him missing and his backpack gone.
A search party is organised. Daisy and Carla find Ryan by the tram station clearly traumatised. Daisy tells Daniel that she can’t bring herself to tell Ryan that Crystal wants nothing more to do with him.
‘I am never going to have love in my life again. I am going to be the one that people look at in the street.’explains Ryan Prescott
I wanted to do this storyline because I thought it was a great responsibility to be able to open up a dialogue about acid attack survivors, especially after some research I realised how much more prevalent acid violence is than what I originally thought. I knew that the prosthetics was always going to be part of it and that was one of the positives to it.
What were your first thoughts when you saw your face for the first time with the prosthetics?
It was a process so there was no one defining moment or real shock for me. I knew what to expect and Gillian (Walsh – Head of Hair & Makeup and Special FX Coronation St) and I had experimented with a few layers of prosthetics before anything was even set in stone about the stages of Ryan’s recovery. I already had lots of ideas of what it was going to look like.
What was going through your mind when you were getting the face cast?
The face cast fully covered my whole head apart from a tiny hole near my mouth where I could breathe through. It can take hours to do a face cast but we were done in 45 minutes so I wasn’t sitting there for a long time. It was quite relaxing if I am honest, because I couldn’t hear much or see much. It was just like being in a little cocoon, it was nice! Davy and Gillian (Head of Hair & Makeup at Coronation Street) were always checking in with me, every five minutes, asking if I could still breathe!
The stages of fitting the prosthetics to your face is an impressive process and Coronation Street worked alongside Emmy, BAFTA and RTS Award winning SFX artist Davy Jones and Makeup Prosthetics Supervisor Beks Scott. What was it like working with a team who has experience working on films such as the Pirates of the Caribbean?
It was so impressive to have the opportunity to work with someone like that. I went to Davy’s workshop in the Wirral to have a cast made that covered my whole head. Davy’s workshop was wicked; he has done some big films and he had a lot of pieces of prosthetics around from The Blade trilogy and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. He works magic in that studio.
How much does it help you, as an actor, to get into the mindset of the character when the prosthetics look so real?
People say to me, “It must really help with the acting,” but to be honest I can’t see or feel the prosthetics when they are on! I have got so used to wearing them now, even on weekends I don’t hold my phone up to that ear or that side of my face anymore! It doesn’t really play into things unless I am looking into a mirror on set and the only time Ryan does this is when he takes the bandages off in hospital for the first time. For those scenes, it was really helpful and it didn’t take much to take me to that place that Ryan was in because I am looking in the mirror and I have all these incredible prosthetics on. But other than that, I have just gotten used to it now and I forget the prosthetics are there.
Coronation Street airs at 8pm on ITV1