In wait­ing

Ac­tor Ryan Corr — ac­claimed in and now — loves work­ing in Aus­tralia but won’t rule out Hol­ly­wood in the fu­ture

TV Soap - - Interview -

Hol­ly­wood can wait. Ryan Corr is in no rush to con­quer the bright lights of Tin­sel­town just yet de­spite be­com­ing one of Aus­tralia’s most in-de­mand and wel­l­known young ac­tors, thanks to his bulging re­sume of hit TV shows and iconic lms.

The 27-year-old re­mains fo­cused on telling good qual­ity sto­ries re­gard­less of where they’re made, rather than sim­ply mak­ing a name for him­self in the US or Europe.

This year alone, the Packed to the Rafters star has ap­peared in TV minis­eries Wanted, on stage at the Syd­ney Opera House as a 19th cen­tury tu­tor in Ar­ca­dia and is cur­rently lm­ing a biopic about an Australian icon.

Last year he lmed a part in Mel Gib­son’s lo­cally shot World War II lm Hack­saw Ridge and daz­zled cinema-go­ers with his emo­tional per­for­mance in the crit­i­cally ac­claimed movie Hold­ing the Man.

He says, “The aim of the game is to stay con­sis­tent and to just do projects that I be­lieve in and I’d like to be a part of, so it’s all been go­ing pretty well so far.” It cer­tainly has, which brings us to his lat­est work to hit the small screen, Clev­er­man, a genre-bend­ing drama about two es­tranged Indige­nous brothers and a species’ strug­gle for sur­vival in a dan­ger­ous world.

Corr says sign­ing on to play Blair, the best friend of main char­ac­ter Koen (Hunter PageLochard), was a “no-brainer”. It’s ex­actly the kind of orig­i­nal, ground­break­ing project keep­ing the NIDA grad­u­ate con­tent to re­main down un­der, at least for now.

“It was the rst time I’d come across a script that had been push­ing the en­ve­lope in terms of Australian drama and that was straight off the page,” he ex­plains. “You could re­ally see from the get-go in pre-pro­duc­tion and from the scripts, this was un­like any­thing we’ve done here be­fore and I think be­ing a part of that move­ment in this coun­try re­ally ex­cites me.”

Clev­er­man man­ages to blend sto­ries from the Dream­ing with ac­tion and fan­tasy while sub­tly hint­ing at some of Aus­tralia’s most heated po­lit­i­cal is­sues such as refugees and the treat­ment of Indige­nous peo­ple. But the series also ex­plores more per­sonal top­ics such as fam­ily, friend­ship and moral val­ues.

Such is the case with Corr’s char­ac­ter, whose girl­friend Ash (Stef Daw­son) is also Koen’s lover. Ac­cord­ing to Corr, this messy love tri­an­gle is a prod­uct of the high-stakes world the char­ac­ters live in and the tiny fam­ily unit they formed while liv­ing on the streets. The trio now run a bar and live to­gether. Corr found the dy­namic be­tween the friends fas­ci­nat­ing to play, de­scrib­ing the re­la­tion­ship as hu­man and im­per­fect.

“There is no one track for love and things can hap­pen and blind­side peo­ple,” he says. “I think this is a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of that and also a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the world they’re in and how there’s some­thing lurk­ing be­hind the cor­ner you might not know about. When there’s these sort of pres­sures and things go­ing on around you it can force peo­ple into be­hav­iours they might not nor­mally do.”

Apart from his re­la­tion­ship is­sues, Blair is also deal­ing with Koen be­com­ing the Clev­er­man and get­ting pow­ers such as self-heal­ing and vi­sions. Blair nds the pow­ers ex­cit­ing, even go­ing to the ex­tent of cut­ting Koen’s arm with a knife to watch it heal but he also sticks right by Koen’s side when Koen’s Clev­er­man role re­quires him to do some­thing dan­ger­ous.

“When he starts re­al­is­ing that some­thing re­ally in­cred­i­ble, mys­ti­cal even, is hap­pen­ing to his mate, he’s re­act­ing how any­one would and pos­si­bly a lit­tle less scared and a lit­tle more ex­cited about what this po­ten­tially means — and I think that speaks vol­umes about both Blair

and Koen’s re­la­tion­ship, that it wouldn’t mat­ter if his head turned into a beach ball he’d fol­low him.”

As Clev­er­man makes its mark both in Aus­tralia and over­seas, where it’s air­ing in the US and the UK, it will soon come time for Corr to choose his next project and that’s not a de­ci­sion he takes lightly. There’s only so much time in a year, he says, mean­ing that an ac­tor is lim­ited to a hand­ful of pro­duc­tions de­pend­ing on the size of the role, and Corr wants to make sure he does the best work pos­si­ble in qual­ity projects. And then one day he’ll be of­fered that ca­reer-de ning role in Hol­ly­wood and know it was worth the wait.

“I have heard Cate Blanchett launched her ca­reer by what she said ‘no’ to … and it’s be­come much more a pri­or­ity of mine to be­come se­lec­tive about what those projects are as I get older and the sort of things I want to give my work over to … in line with my be­lief sys­tem and in line with what I think needs to be told.

“It may be laugh­ter that draws me to a piece; it may be the op­por­tu­nity to work with an ac­tor or a di­rec­tor or the script it­self. It’s de nitely a con­scious de­ci­sion, one that comes a bit later as peo­ple get to know my work. I’ve had a lot of help and step­ping stones to get me to a stage where I can be a bit more picky about what I choose to do but I think that’s what makes a ca­reer.” TVS JUN 13-JUN 27, 2016

‘HIGH-STAKES WORLD’ Char­ac­ters Blair (left) and best friend Koen.

GROUND­BREAK­ING Ryan Corr as Blair (cen­tre) with Stef Daw­son (Ash) and Hunter Page-Lochard (Koen) in Clev­er­man.

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