'Beauty and the Beast' star Jay Ryan on Vincent's inner beast, new threats, and fairy-tale endings
The CW’s Beauty and the Beast is back this week, with Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan) ready to move his relationship with Catherine Chandler (Kristin Kreuk) forward in a big way. But with the supernatural world always stirring up trouble, can these two ever have a normal life?
EW caught up with Ryan to get the scoop on potential new threats, Vincent’s “happy place,” and what a fairy-tale ending would look like for Vincent and Catherine. Hint: It might not be what you’d expect.
Beauty and the Beast returns Thursday, June 11 at 8 p.m. ET to the CW.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can you tell us about the threats that were alluded to in last season’s finale?
RYAN: The DHS agents come into the picture at the end of last season/the beginning of season 3, with a deal that’s almost too good to be true from Vincent’s perspective. And that’s that they’ll exonerate him, they will sweep of the darkest sides of him under the carpet for what he has accomplished—what him and Catherine have accomplished—in helping out this agency. However, we open up season 3 with Vincent kind of in his happy place; he has this very comfortable bubble around him and he thinks that things have come full circle, and he’s got the life back that he had before all of the atrocities of the medical experiments he had undertaken. He feels like these DHS agents are in the background; they’re keeping everything under wraps, and Vincent and Catherine can progress in their life and also their commitment to each other.
So, Vincent gets ready to pop the question, he’s rearing up for that. But these agents—as they do in these big, bad agencies—withdraw that offer because there have been these occurrences of the supernatural kind, I guess, which have started popping up all over the city. These agents go to Catherine at first, knowing Vincent isn’t going to be happy about being pulled back into the fight. So, they convince Catherine to try to convince Vincent, and Vincent is not too happy with the sight of anything supernatural or creature-like in his life anymore. At the perfect time for Catherine and Vincent to commit to each other, this huge conflict of a larger threat [starts] rearing its head.
So, this will obviously be a roadblock for Vincent and Catherine’s relationship. What other roadblocks can we expect coming up for the two of them?
I think the yin and the yang of having a healthy side of fighting the supernatural, the mythology side of the story, and also the intimate side of their relationship. And having those two aspects sit happily together so that Vincent feels satisfied and Catherine also feels satisfied in life and in love. He’s certainly ready to pop the question, but he soon realizes that Catherine is feeling a little empty in life with this co-habitation—the almost suburban-like quality of their relationship, which Vincent has been pining for. Catherine unleashes her truth on him, and that is who are they together without the risk and turmoil and excitement of the big fight that she believes they are destined to carry out.
That’s a big kick to Vincent’s ego, and it makes him very vulnerable. He thinks, without this darker side which he has just managed to put a lid on, do they have anything else? Do they have any other dynamic in their relationship that’s going to keep them going? Last season—season 2—the mantra for the writers was, “Who am I as individual characters?” Season 3 is very much, “Who are we?” in terms of Catherine and Vincent, Tess (Nina Lisandrello) and J.T. (Austin Basis), and also the dynamic of all of them together as a family unit. All of those boundaries will be tested this season.
Is there a side of Vincent that you want to explore more but you haven’t had a chance to? Especially now you’re filming season 4, is there something you want to tap into a little more?
I really would’ve liked to have played with the more supernatural side to the beast, and seeing how that would develop within his DNA and in his system—possibly creating new powers that arise within him. That’s something we touch on in season 3 and possibly season 4. I think that kind of bubbling effect of the beast inside of him can throw Vincent out of whack—I like that kind of Jekyll and Hyde side of him. It’s nice to see that kind of imbalance in those characters every now and then and see who takes the lead in an episode: is it his darker side or his more human side that takes control?
What are you most excited for fans to see this season?
I’m really excited for them to see this dynamic of Vincent wanting to lead this normal life and pop the question, while Catherine is more head-to-toe on discovering her true identity and her family’s purpose within this whole beast mythology. It’s this really intricate season. There’s a lot of information, there’s a lot of new characters, and they are all very much interwoven in the episodes. It’s not until the last three episodes of season 3 that we really start to see bigger answers. I’m excited for the audience to dive into the mythology a little bit more this season, and also they’re going to get more of a taste of the romantic element that I think they enjoyed in the first season. I think we’re sort of getting the balance right, now that we’ve done one and two; we know what works and we can mix that together.
We did an interview with Kristin (Kreuk) last week, and she talked about her dream ending for Catherine and Vincent. What would be your fairy-tale ending for the two of them?
Good question. [Laughs] I really haven’t thought about it that much, but I can just read the script and say the lines. [Laughs] Their fairy-tale ending? I think for Vincent, I don’t know if it would ever fly, but I think it’d be interesting if their fairy-tale ending is that Catherine also forms half of her side, perhaps her darker beast side, and they can live together as half-beast, half-human.
That’s really interesting, because Kristin mentioned her happily ever after would be for the two of them to have a more “normal” life.
I think it would add an interesting layer—Kristin will hate me for even pitching this—but if she did form a beast side to her, I think it’d be an interesting way for the show to go. It’ll probably never happen.
Beauty and the Beast