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The premiere of Constantine (Oct. 24 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC) will introduce many viewers to Welsh-born actor Matt Ryan, who stars as the titular demon hunter and master of the occult made famous in DC Comics’ Hellblazer series. But when Ryan stopped by EW, we got a head start. We learned he uses classical music to get into character (Schoenberg is great for getting into those dark places, he says). He had been reading the Hellblazer comic books before he went to bed, but he found himself having strange dreams, so now he unwinds by putting on nature programs instead . He is competitive when he’s playing the FIFA video game but less so when it comes to Call of Duty. “The thing is with Call of Duty, I don’t have enough time to become so good at it, so if I go and play online, I’m just getting my ass kicked by 12-year-old kids,” he says. And despite the fact that he films Constantine in Atlanta, the same city where his best mate Joseph Morgan shoots The Originals, they rarely get to see one another. (The two met in college and bonded over a shared love of genre films. They’ve costarred in 2013’s Armistice, which falls into that category, and in 500 Miles North, which should be released next year and centers on two estranged brothers on a road trip to scatter their father’s ashes and recreate childhood memories to secure their inheritance.)
As for Ryan’s fascination with the dark side, he traces it back to childhood camping trips and the requisite scary stories that accompanied them. None of them quite prepared him for Constantine. “I feel sometimes that the writers sit in the office in LA going, ‘What can we do to Matt Ryan?’ I’ve been naked covered in blood, flung around the place doing exorcisms,” he says. At least that means our Pop Culture Personality Test was a piece of cake. Watch the video and read the transcript below.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What TV show should go on forever?
Ryan: Well, I think that it’s gonna have to be, for me, Game of Thrones. They only do 10 episodes a season. But as soon as it finishes, you’re like, “When is the next one coming out?” It’s my favorite TV show…. The Red Wedding or whatever it was called, my face was just like [jaw drops]. Nobody was in the house at the time. So I was kinda like looking around for my friends going, “I need to…express…ah, s–t!”
What movie did you watch too young?
You know, I used to watch a lot of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. I’ve got an older brother, and my parents would always say, “You’re not allowed to watch that,” and my older brother would always kinda put it on, and we’d always watch those kind of action movies when we were really, really young with lots of swearing, and lots of shooting….and that was really fun.
How serious are you when you binge watch?
24, I did two seasons in a full sitting. There’s boxes of pizza, and cans of Coke, and beers, and just everything around me. And I came out into the sunlight afterwards, and I was just like, “What just happened to me?” I think it was a full three days inside watching it. That was great fun.
What’s your most prized pop culture possession?
I have a statue of Superman. It’s actually a big one…It’s a collectible statue of Superman, which the DC guys very kindly gave to me. So that’s a little prized possession of mine. Batman and Superman are probably my favorite superheroes—apart from Constantine.
Final score: Super Binge Watcher
For more on Constantine, watch our Comic-Con interview below.